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NEWS
December 9, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ilexia Navarro bounced up and down excitedly Sunday morning as she set out into the aisles of Target in Cherry Hill to do her Christmas shopping. "I don't know everything I'm getting, but I have a good idea," the 9-year-old Williamstown girl said. First on Ilexia's list: her 2-year-old brother. Holding the elbow of a high school volunteer, she made her way to the toy aisle, where she picked up several items and asked what they looked like before settling on a package of cars.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2014 | By Monica Peters, For The Inquirer
Enjoy holiday shopping and fun on Saturday while benefiting a good cause at the Jingle Fest Holiday Craft Bazaar & Family Fun Festival at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. There are activities for the whole family, including Fido - featured are face painting, a moon bounce, pet Peach the pony, and spin-wheel games. Guests can paint a horseshoe and get on a giant slide. Santa, Frozen characters Elsa and Olaf, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse will visit. The expo will have an abundance of food and crafts and other items for purchase.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley and Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writers
  For the last few years, Day Two of the holiday shopping season - or is it Day Three now? - has been dubbed Small Business Saturday, a day to spotlight independent entrepreneurs and encourage visits to stores not on the mall map. If the holiday traffic at three of the region's shopping destinations was any indication, the strategy might have been working. By noon Saturday, Chestnut Hill's two-lane shopping district along Germantown Avenue began filling up with cars. Shop owners sounded cautiously optimistic and said some customers were specifically trying to patronize local businesses and avoid the malls.
NEWS
November 30, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
It took Holly Phares 27 days and 20 hours to enroll in health insurance during 2013's disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act website. She doesn't expect a repeat of her slog through last year's cyber hell. But the choral director for Tabernacle United Church in West Philadelphia will be shopping the marketplace for a better deal rather than simply reenrolling in her Independence Blue Cross platinum PPO. "They say there are twice as many choices" in the marketplace, says Phares, 51. "I'm just not going to stick with Blue Cross.
NEWS
November 23, 2014 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Two childhood memories always stay with me. For several years, my mom asked that we "adopt" families - whom we never met - and supply a full-Monty Christmas, including wrapped gifts, clothes, toys, and a holiday meal. And in the weeks leading up to the holidays, my dad would read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to my sister and me. Sometimes, he fell asleep. I remember these as the greatest gifts they ever gave us. With hard-core, ugly-sweater-shopping season approaching in advance of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, how do we avoid the urge to buy more stuff no one needs?
NEWS
November 9, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
When the Affordable Care Act marketplace reopens on November 15, Lenora Fedick will "more than likely" reenroll in her current Independence Blue Cross plan. But before she commits, the Phoenixville resident wants to know that she's getting every penny's worth for the premium she's paying. So Fedick is going to do a little shopping. "I want to make sure that I'm getting the best deal," said Fedick, who was among the roughly 50 residents who attended Independence's "Renewal" seminar at the Phoenixville YMCA last week.
NEWS
November 8, 2014 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
A proposed development on Lancaster Avenue, a key corridor on the Main Line, would bring new restaurants, shopping, and offices to an undeveloped tract in Bryn Mawr. The $20 million development still requires final approval from the Lower Merion commissioners. It could open in spring 2016 and would incorporate a vacant 1920s-era garage at 909 Lancaster Ave., between North Merion Avenue and North Warner Avenue. A strip of vacant shops behind the garage would be torn down. "Bryn Mawr has a history," said Paul Aschkenasy, the property owner and developer.
NEWS
November 7, 2014
WE, THE anti-consumerists, are losing the battles to curtail the consumerism that drives America, especially during the holiday season. Again this year, major retailers are leaping over each other in an effort to be the first to open early on Thanksgiving Day - before you even have a chance to cut the apple pie. This trend has been building since 2011. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is no longer the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season. We now have Black Thursday.
NEWS
November 6, 2014 | By Elizabeth Wellington, Inquirer Fashion Writer
Perusing department store racks is my downtime thing. Hauling armloads of jeans into dressing rooms is thrilling. One day I hope to walk into a boutique and embrace the trimmed-in-leather herringbone sheath I've been searching three years for. That is why the thought of searching for, and buying, clothing from a cold, hard laptop or smartphone app is weird to me. But I could no longer ignore the lure of the curated click. In the last few years, cyber-fashion shopping has evolved well beyond Gilt Groupe's online sample sales and Net-a-Porter's best buys in luxury.
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