Freebie of the Week: Join the public in singing — or listening to — the free seventh annual sing-along of Handel's "Messiah" at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the stately East Room of the Richard M. Nixon Library and Birthplace, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda. Bring your own musical score or borrow or buy one at the event (supplies are limited). Singers and guests are asked to dress in 18th-century costume, if available. There will be free parking on site, with free overflow parking across the street at Friends Christian Church. Doors open 30 minutes before each performance. Call (714) 996-1960.
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Didn't dare to brave the crowds for this year's Black Friday extravaganza? Lucky you! Cyber Monday, the e-commerce equivalent, is just around the corner, and lets you do all of your shopping in your pajamas. Also, be sure to "Like" all of your favorite retailers on Facebook for special fan-only offers from companies like Best Buy and Toys R Us. Into companies like Foursquare? Get special discounts or even gift card giveaways when you "check in" at lots of retailers this weekend.
And remember, before making your final purchase at a website, check out coupon listing websites like retailmenot.com for promotional codes good for free shipping and additional discounts. For the even more intrepid, make rebate sites like ebates.com your first stop before shopping online; they offer cash back at hundreds of retailers when you sign up and then use their links to access the websites of companies like Nordstrom and Home Depot. Hint: The two aforementioned companies are offering a special rate of 6% cash back on your purchases through ebates.com.
Some of our favorite Cyber Monday and Black Friday weekend virtual deals include:
Amazon.com is offering special, limited-time deals all weeken; past deals have included "Fable 3" for XBOX 360 for $29.99, and DVDs like "Talladega Nights" for $1.99. Expect even better offerings on Cyber Monday. Our advice: Research all the offerings in advance, and make a note on your phone or calendar to jump in at, say, 3 p.m. for that HDTV you had your eye on. Be prompt; the best deals are snapped up quickly.
Companies like TripAdvisor and Travelocity will offer special travel deals on Cyber Monday; sort through the thousands of deals using sites like Yapta.com, which can help refund you the difference if the price of your trip goes down in the future. Sites like SmarterTravel.com will help you see the final price for an airline fare, including all taxes and fees, which can differ dramatically from airport to airport; for example, a $1,000 fare to Paris may actually cost $1,500, while an $1,100 flight to nearby Brussels may save you $200 after taxes and fees, if you're willing to take a short (and inexpensive train ride).
Also check airline and hotel Twitter feeds this weekend; they may be the only way to hear about a hot deal.
Looking for something bricks-and-mortar? The annual Innovage Christmas Sale at 19511 Pauling, Foothill Ranch, will run through Dec. 19, and will include deals on books, small electronics, toys, jewelry, candles, house wares and more. Check out their website for a coupon to grab up to six Snuggie "blankets with feet" for $7 each. Visit innovagewarehousesale.com.
Have a hot sale tip, or know about a great local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact the O.C. Bargainista at email@example.com. And remember — never pay retail!