the joys of Christmas [shopping!]

Ah the joys of Christmas! Well not really, because I’m really talking about the shopping…. and we all know that Christmas isn’t about shopping, right? RIGHT?

Last week we finished the stuff (we mostly didn’t buy but more just made ourselves) for family and finally mailed it all out on Saturday (and due to mailing costs, probably would have been better off ordering online and just getting the free shipping!).

We tried to wrap up shopping for the kids – and I think we did. Oh wait – except for the money that family sent us so we could go and buy more stuff at the last minute for them and further “enjoy” shopping and way too many cars on the road. It’s simply amazing how horrible it can be on the road this time of year unless you’re really patient (and even if you are, you will probably still get mad because the sheer volume of it is overwhelming). Just yesterday we saw a car driving way too slowly (which isn’t that unusual) but then they got in the left lane, turned on their turn-right blinker and proceeded to turn right. The car in front of us, which of course was in the right lane hoping they would be able to pass this car, almost got hit 🙂 Plenty of cars slowing down way too early to make right-hand turns. Plenty of cars not paying attention to the left and causing the dozen or so cars behind them to wait through maybe three lights just to make it through. Ah the joys.

The best part of shopping over the weekend was when my wife had me drop her and the baby girl (who’s actually 2) off at Target so I could take the other 2 just across the street to the Dollar Store to buy gifts for each other. After driving away and getting onto the main road, I realize that I didn’t ask for my money from the wife (I generally am not the keeper of the money), and think I better just go and take out a $20 at the ATM. But in the process of driving, I completely forget the ATM and pass the bank. I then proceed to wait thru a light to make a u-turn, and then u-turn again at the next light and get to the bank. When I get to the ATM and pull out my wallet, I notice my ever-thoughtful wife actually DID give me a $20 (just didn’t tell me). So I leave the bank lot, make another u-turn to get to the other side of the street and then finally into the parking lot where the dollar store is.

Ah the joys. Most years, I’m really frustrated over all this shopping. Last year, my wife just up and did it all in one day.

I could link to so many other people that wrote online about shopping and Christmas. I will link to Gary from Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit as I really liked this “We went shopping for a while this afternoon. The traffic, the parking lots, all the people, what a pain.” He wrote a lot more than that – but I really connected with that. I really enjoyed Brant’s post from Letters from Kamp Krusty regarding crap and don’t buy it if you can’t afford it. Towards that topic, I will end with an SNL skit regarding Debt Management and how to get out of it:

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2 responses to “the joys of Christmas [shopping!]

  1. We tried a different approach this year. We started in August – agreed on a budget, who to buy for, etc,etc. Then went to Amazon and started adding to the cart. Over the next few months we just ordered what we could and finished up by Dec 1. and paid 0.00 is shipping. We can actually relax and be somewhat stress free.

  2. Ya Eric – I really need to get in agreement with the better half in advance on this one. I draw it out and moan about it and how I don’t want to spend any $ (as if that ever happens) and what happens? We want until the last minute and spend more than we probably want to anyway 🙂 Budgeting is a *good* thing. Now if only we could get better at that… I’m hoping that after this month we will actually have a better shot at it.

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