Metro-East Living

Shopping: Here’s to a slow start to the new year

Cuddle up with “Star Wars” fleece blanket and plush character from CVS Pharmacy in Swansea.
Cuddle up with “Star Wars” fleece blanket and plush character from CVS Pharmacy in Swansea. News-Democrat

There are times after holidays that can pull us down into a funk.

This is the biggest one, I think, coming after Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. It’s a huge buildup of frenzied activity that starts in November, then suddenly it’s over and it’s January. And it’s cold. Maybe the tree and decorations are still up, but the spirit isn’t.

Another thing that’s missing is the crowd of shoppers. This Tuesday, parking lots were practically empty wherever I went. That’s not a bad thing for me, though. And, retailers expect it. Everywhere I went, workers were stocking shelves and moving the tidbits of Christmas decorations off to a corner.

This was especially true at the Target in Fairview Heights, where several employees were filling shopping carts with the leftovers of the holiday. (There’s probably a “Land of the Misfit Ornaments” somewhere in the building.) I saw a lot of red while I was there, too: some leftover Christmas candy, but mostly many shelves of Valentine’s Day treats.

I did see a nice, not-picked-over selection of ornaments, pillar candles and ceramic votive candleholders at Pier 1 Imports in Fairview Heights. Even better, it was all 75 percent off. I was told it would be there until it was all gone.

And while the new “Star Wars” movie made its presence known before the holidays began, it’s still holding strong with retailers.

Think spring training at Bed, Bath & Beyond in Fairview Heights. The St. Louis Cardinals have teamed up with “Star Wars” to produce can coozies ($5.99) with images of Darth Vader and Yoda (neither of which are in the new movie).

At CVS Pharmacy in Swansea, pick up a combo fleeced blanket with a “Star Wars” pattern embraced by a plus character, including Chewbacca and three others. Price: $28.49.

On a more practical note, HereToday in Fairview Heights (it’s the store by Old Navy) has cute sets of five-piece play tables with four seats for kids ($19.99). I saw several patterns. Each comes in a flat-pack that looks easy to set up.

Spanx now offers three new kinds of black leggings, including ones with stirrups for a smooth line under winter boots. Dillard’s online carries some of these styles, but to see more, go to You decide if the price is right: $110 to $128.

Through Sunday, take 25 percent off all teas in stock at Fezziwig’s Marketplace in O’Fallon. Minimum purchase of 2 ounces per tea variety is required.

Did you get a Fitbit or Fitbit Flex for Christmas? Think it’s not the most attractive piece of “jewelry” to wear at work or anywhere other than the gym? Go to online retailer Bezels & Bytes ( to check out the very cool and lightweight leather bracelets and cuffs into which you can slip the bit — and ditch the sweaty rubber band. There’s even a pendant necklace and charms that clip onto the Fitbit Charge HR band. Prices range from $50 for charms to $98 for cuffs, all with free shipping.

All regular-price clothing at Basket Case in Belleville and Lebanon is 40 percent off.

At Walmart in Belleville I spied a couple items that appealed to my need to clean out and organize this time of year. First, for anyone who carries laundry from the second floor to the basement, a sturdy and flexible basket is required. For $7.88, Walmart has what it calls a “2-bushel” rectangular laundry basket with handles on all four sides. Really handy when you need to turn corners and head up narrow stairs.

Also, I like the clean lines of Walmart’s bamboo untensil holders ($8.98) and expandable untensil organizer ($9.92) from Better Homes & Gardens.

If you’re making prints of those adorable holiday moments, Michaels Crafts in Shiloh has 50 percent off many of its wall and tabletop frames. Offer is good through Saturday.