What’s your Christmas shopping style, and how has it changed over the years? Do you have a plan and a store-specific list, or do you just hit the stores knowing inspiration will strike?
Back in my single days and early married years, Christmas shopping meant roaming the mall and looking for something that struck my fancy. I may have looked at a catalog or two (No, not a “look book,” an actual paper catalog. People used to wait by their mailboxes for this huge Christmas catalog from Sears…oh, never mind!), but mostly I just shopped. I even remember doing that for our oldest’s first Christmas…it wasn’t as if we were going to spoil the surprise!
Then my husband and I started a tradition of getting a sitter for an afternoon and shopping together. Our days of leisurely browsing were over, so we had a general list prepared, but our final picks didn’t always have much in common with it.
Then came the years the kids had their own lists…lists that made it obvious they had no clue that Santa may have a budget. Despite our very Republican, conservative, capitalistic household, they still believed in such a thing as “free”. We tried explaining that, even though Santa made the toys, he still had to pay for the materials, but they weren’t buying it. Those years were the hardest, because we knew there were going to be some disappointments…like the year my oldest wanted the Lego Taj Mahal (currently listed on Amazon for $2,250). We did a lot of wandering the aisles, hoping to see something as cool as the more unrealistic options on their lists.
This year, the kids have very realistic lists…lists that make me wonder if the Santa gig is up. I already had the talk with my oldest (not “The Talk,” the Santa talk…although, if you knew what he asked me 10 minutes later, you’d buy me a glass of wine), but I’m wondering what’s up with the other two. I did my homework (like narrowing “keyboard” down to the specific keyboard I wanted to buy and the store where wanted to get it), my husband took the day off work, and we made a leisurely “date day” out of it. The only thing that surprised me is how many things I need to order online; brick-and-mortar stores seem to have limited stock this year. And because the kids really weren’t asking for that much, we were able to include a few surprises that will just blow them away.
Oh, one more thing…my shameless plug for Amazon Prime. I’m ordering over $400 worth of stuff from Amazon, and all but one item is eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime. And some of them are heavy and bulky, so that’s a significant savings. Seriously, I can see no good reason not to do the 30-day free trial. If you feel weird that I’ll get a small commission if you sign up through my link; then go sign up from Amazon’s website (and don’t tell them I sent you!). Just give some serious thought to how much you’ll be able to save in free shipping…not to mention all the free video.