Best Deals in December (and What to Avoid!)

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It’s holiday crunch time! Hopefully, you scored some great deals over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you probably have a few stragglers on your gift list.

Or perhaps you haven’t begun? In either case, there’s no need to despair. Despite having those big shopping days in the rearview mirror, December can be a great time to shop, particularly for activity items, like games, toys and books, tools & hardware, outerwear and gift cards.

Here are some of the best deals in December (and what to avoid):

Games and Activities

Deals on things that keep kids busy, like toys, games (especially video games) and books will be at their prime in December and will ramp up as Super Saturday approaches.

In recent years, Super Saturday has become a massive shopping day in itself, jumping 20% in 2017 over 2016, according to Shoppertrak.

Related Post: Find the Best Deals (and Steals!) Every Month

December Deals on Games and Activities

Target: Buy 2 get the 3rd free on select Little Golden books through 12/8.

Kano: Get $30 off the Computer Kit Touch kit. Through 12/24

Fat Brain Toys: Through 12/8, get retro toys starting at $1.48

  • Arts and crafts from $2.19
  • Science & nature toys from $2.39

Imagine Toys: Save up to 55% off sports & fitness toys and cars through 12/4

Barnes & Noble: Save 30% off select Star Wars LEGO sets and 30% off LEGO Batman sets. Through 12/25

Burlington: Through 12/7, save up to 80% off action figures

Hot Topic: Funko sale through 12/31! Get POP figures starting at $6.99 

Microsoft: Save up to $70 off Xbox 1 games through 12/31 Save up to 50% off games, toys & tech accessories. Valid through 12/24

The Chess Store: Get 10% off with no minimum with code HOLIDAYSALE. Valid through 12/31

Tools and Hardware

If your New Year’s resolutions call for upgraded lifestyles and home improvement, or if you have a DIYer on your list, it’s a great time to buy hardware, tools and smart products. Amazon, Lowe’s and Sears will have plentiful deals in this category.

**Many of the deals will be available closer to Christmas.

December Deals on Tools and Hardware

Lowe’s: Up to 40% off hardware sale through December 5th

Lowe’s: Save up to 44% off ladders and step stools and 33% off Craftsman Tools through December 5th

Home Depot: Tools savings page

Sears: Limited time doorbuster offers, including Craftsman 450 pc. Mechanic’s Tool Set for $199

Sears Parts Direct: Save 10% with code PD2223 through 12/31

(orig $459.99), Craftsman C3 19.2-Volt Lithium-Ion 3/8-in. Drill/Driver Kit for $49.99 (orig $79.99), Craftsman 230 pc. Mechanic’s Tool Set for $94.99 (orig $219.99)

Holiday Decor

If you are still in need of some holiday cheer around the house, you’ll find solid deals on artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, paper products, lights and ornaments. Expect to see amazing deals from Home Depot, Sears and Walmart, who all offered BOGO deals and discounts that reached up to 75% off last year. If you can think ahead, shop after Christmas for more clearance-level deals. Smart shopping hint: Try to buy things that you can use throughout the year, like red paper goods for Valentine’s Day or July 4th, or metallic items, that can be used for almost any holiday.     

December Deals on Holiday Decor

Macy’s: 20% off After Christmas Sale with code JOY (12/25-1/1) + free shipping at $49

Hobby Lobby:  Save 50% on Christmas items through December 15th

Ace Hardware: Holiday decor sale

Amazon: Get 3 20” Christmas stockings for $13.49 with code XMASCHFUN through 12/2

Amazon: Get a YTL 48” Christmas Tree Skirt for $18 with code 3SMOMT6E (originally $36). Valid through 12/31.

Sears: Trimming Traditions 6′ Lighted Inflatable Snowman for $24.99 (orig $59.99) – limited time doorbuster offer

Groupon: Get $19.96 off a personalized wreath hanger.  Final price, $19.99.  Valid through 12/31.

Target:  Christmas Decor Sale up to 40% off (40% off artificial trees, 30% off outdoor lit decor, etc). Holiday Home Catalog (prices valid from 11/7-12/25)


Many retailers will be offering anywhere from 40% to 75% off on outerwear and winter apparel. Look for sales like Zara’s annual Winter sale and the Clear the Rack sale from Nordstrom Rack. As January approaches, discounts will deepen. 

December Deals on Outerwear

Macy’s: 30% off Friends & Family with code FRIEND + free shipping at $25 (11/29-12/10)

  • 20% off Time to Shop 100’s of Specials with code SHOP + free shipping at $49  (12/13-12/17)
  • 20% off Holiday Countdown/ Super Saturday with code GIFT (12/20-12/24)

Burlington: Save up to 87% off coats & jackets. Through 1/1/19

Uniqlo: Limited Time Offers on Outerwear & Holiday Gift Guide

32 Degrees: Daily Deals on Outerwear, including – 32 Degrees Men’s Down Packable Jacket $26.25, Women’s Ultra Light Down Vest for $18.75 + free shipping / returns w/ code 32SD25

Sierra Trading Post:  Save up to 87% off adult coats and jackets. Valid through 2/2/19

Sierra Trading Post: Save 20-50% off The North Face and Marmot items through 12/31

PacSun: Save 30% off women’s jackets and coats. Valid through 12/30

Jimmy Jazz: Save up to 75% off men’s fleece and light jackets. Valid through 12/31

Gift Cards

If you’re really not sure what to give, give a gift card! Gift cards will be discounted more than usual this month and some retailers, like Target and JCPenney will give store gift cards as part of a promotion.

December Deals on Gift Cards

Slickdeals’ Holiday Gift Card Promo Thread 2018 is here.

Microsoft Rewards: $10 Microsoft Gift Card (Digital Code) (VALID THRU 12/15 OR WHILE PROMOTION LASTS)

JCPenney: $15 JCPenney eGift Card on Purchases of $45 or More via Slickdeals Rebate + free store pickup at JCPenney

The Children’s Place: Spend More, Get More Gift Card Event (valid December 26, 2018 – February 2, 2019)

  • Get a $10 Bonus Card with $50+ gift card purchase
  • Get a $15 Bonus Card with a $75+ gift card purchase
  • Get a $20 Bonus Card with a $100+ gift card purchase

Also, always check a discounted gift card site, like GiftCardGranny. As of 11/27, we’re already seeing discounts of 10% or more from Victoria’s Secret, Sephora and Starbucks and they will only deepen in December.

What Not to Buy in December

Fitness, Beauty and Wellness

Gym memberships, workout DVDs, fitness equipment, and leftover holiday gift sets will all be favorably priced in January. You will see scattered deals throughout the holidays, especially in fitness apparel, but the discounts tend to deepen after the New Year.


Since the late 1800s, January has been the month of “white sales”, when all manner of linens go on sale. Many stores, like West Elm, Macy’s, Pottery Barn Kids and JCPenney, slash prices on sheets and bedding to make way for new spring merchandise.


While jewelry can make the perfect holiday gift, we don’t often see deep discounts in this category until right before Valentine’s Day. The other good time to invest in jewelry is right before Mother’s Day.

You can get some of the best deals in December, particularly games, toys and books, tools and hardware, outerwear and gift cards. #bestdeals2018 #coupons #couponcodes #couponing #december2018 #giftideas #dealsandsteals

In exchange for rounding up these deals for my readers, I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Thank you for helping support my blog!

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Smart Shopping Expert

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist, TV presenter, spokesperson, and educator, specializing in beauty, tech, apps, toys, gift guides, and smart shopping. She has appeared as an expert on dozens of TV shows and radio networks, including Today, Rachael Ray Show, Inside Edition, CNN, Reuters,, Sirius Radio, and numerous FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. Trae has been featured as a beauty tastemaker in Elle, Redbook, InStyle, and Essence, and her work has appeared on Yahoo Finance, Marketwatch,,,,