Monday, October 1, 2007
It's Time I Start Christmas Shopping !
About this time every year I start feeling the urge to begin my Christmas shopping!
Throughout the year I listen to what my kids offhandedly mention they want or need. One of my sons doesn't like to receive gifts. In the past I upgraded my used laptop, made candles with his favorite scent, and recently, for his birthday, I made dinners and froze them, gave him a large salad bowl that I learned he needed, bought him a water filterer that can be used in the wilderness, and I purchased a very nice sleeping bag (60% off!). He loved these gifts. He really keeps me on my creative gift giving toes.
My other son has expensive taste and is a bit more difficult to find gifts for. I bought a sweater on overstock.com last Christmas that I thought he might like (my kids know they can return anything they don't like without hurting my feelings) and it ended up being his favorite sweater - he wears it all the time. It was $250 reduced to $14!
Saturday my two sons and I took my granddaughter birthday shopping for a new bike. We went in on the bike. My oldest mentioned that she needed a helmet, which we hadn't budgeted for, but, it really is a necessity. I agreed to pay for that in addition to a half the price of the bike. My granddaughter has everything from her other side of the family. My side of the family is a bit in shock and overwhelmed by all the things she has. She owns every new video gaming system that comes out, many of the games, every dvd imaginable, etc. She's already difficult to buy for and she's only 9! It's awful.
While we were shopping though I heard my oldest say he needed a bike helmet too. He wasn't asking me for one, it was just mentioned in passing. The next time I was at my computer I pulled up my word document called Gift Ideas and added it to the list. Later, I mentioned to my youngest son that I was trying to find a punching bag on Craigslist for my new gym. His eyes lit up, "that's what I need! When I'm playing poker and feel like punching the wall I would love to have a punching bag that I could beat on!" Whoa, I heard that one! It went right onto the gift list and I'm already searching Craigslist for it.
My third (step) child is obsessed with clothes and fashion. Each year she receives a special hardcover book related to her favorite designers. Hopefully she's use these as resources for her college studies of fashion design. Again, here is another child who gets just about everything she wants, yet, her mother is broke. She can't hold a job, a residence, an auto (she parks it at her older daughters houses), yet my step daughter has a subscription to every fashion magazine, buys new clothes weekly and has more on layaway, and recently her and her mother "won" the opportunity to get electrolysis on their face for "only $1700"! It's just a bit too insane for me to comprehend. One of her favorite gifts from me a couple of years ago was a box of custom designed "fashion" business cards with her cell number and email address. I was able to put this together so easily it was surprising. This will be her first year receiving a "used, like new" fashion book - but I think its good for her and I doubt she'll even mind. She also collects crosses so I'll keep my eyes open for a unique, possibly vintage, cross.
By keeping my gift list, and listening throughout the year, I'm able to get gifts that I believe they truly will appreciate, I can purchase the gifts when I see them at the best prices, and I NEVER have to enter a shopping mall after Thanksgiving.