I was torn about writing this post. As this blog would suggest, I love shopping and gift-giving but I need to elaborate about what that actually means. I see shopping as an activity, a spectator sport of sorts. I can spend a day “shopping” and not buy a single thing. I am passionate about gift-giving because of how great it feels when you show a recipient that you know who they are and what is important to them, but I also believe you can give things like your time and attention or your talents and skills. Generosity, creativity and thought when put altogether can be incredibly powerful.
I started this Black Friday doing what I normally do, tweeting Black Friday sales from my @Gift_Whisperer account and checking out what other bloggers and retailers were doing. Then I saw something horribly disturbing. But I’ll get to that…
Old Typewriter courtesy of thaikrit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Yesterday I was Christmas shopping, my daughter joined me later in the day. I had a list of people to buy for–her and her brother among them–so I had to be careful about my packages and such. At the end of our excursion we got into a cab and as we were driving she looked at me and said: “Mom, can you still sign our packages ‘From Santa‘?” You see, as of last year, there aren’t any “believers” in our house anymore. Of course I said sure, but I was reminded of something from long ago.
Its always fun to write about the parties and joy that come with the holidays, but all those festivities come with a fair amount of pressure. While it’s easy to discount those stresses as “luxury problems” they are real and can be triggered unexpectedly. Here are a few thoughts on combating/coping with the holiday blues–perhaps before it even strikes.
Last week my kids wrote their Gift Lists (it’s the first year we don’t have at least one Santa List, but that’s another post so I won’t get all weepy here about that). When they were done, I graciously took the folded lists smiled and took them upstairs to unfurl and consume them and to my horror saw the dreaded three letters written in CAPS on both: P-E-T. And to put the crown on this proverbial animal kingdom, of course, they both wanted different species.
Over the next 31 days, it’s easy to get caught up in buying and acquiring. I feel incredibly lucky (thus far and knock wood) to have been able to provide my family with a holiday that includes delicious food, a warm house and a bunch of selections from their respective lists… but I know not everyone is as fortunate. Please take a few minutes to check out the opportunities to help other families during this festive season, I’ve included a few below.
Image courtesy of Stewart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you’re anything like me, you believe the best gifts come in small packages. That’s why I LOVE buying stocking stuffers. When I was a youngster, every year I knew that there would be one very special gift in my stocking among the little fun things that were also there and it was always so much fun anticipating where it would be–under the chocolate Santa…after the silly putty…before the socks? Below are some fun and unique stocking stuffer ideas (some links are also available to see some of my picks for each) meant to inspire and delight your recipients…and feel free to add your ideas in the comments below.
image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
My post today isn’t going to be a gift list or guide. Sorry in advance, although it IS slightly gifting related.
Before you continue reading any further, make sure there are only adults present–no children (or inner children) peeking behind you or reading over your shoulder. There are some “holiday spoilers” in this post, if you catch my drift. Alright, now that you’ve done that, I can share the rest of this with you.
Remember when Holiday shopping started AFTER Thanksgiving? Me too! This year I started getting catalogs and emails after my kids went back to school. Then the panic started–have I been asleep at the shopping wheel, should I be more prepared? Every year it seems we get inundated with Christmas promotions and Chanukah sales earlier and earlier but what this also means is that ultimately people ARE shopping so there is more competition for selection so starting to think about your gift list now is prudent. That’s why I’m dedicating my regular end-of-month toy feature to gifting ideas and thought starters, as always from Amazon.com. Enjoy!