Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . Shopping

I'll just come out and admit it--I like getting presents. I do. That surprise of ripping open the paper and finding something underneath that you didn't choose for yourself. That feeling of appreciation that comes from knowing someone took the time to select something for you. And, well, just getting new things. ;-)

I like giving presents. I like putting thought and care into what each person in my life wants and needs. I love finding those gems--like the year we gave my mother-in-law the leg lamp from her all-time favorite move, A Christmas Story. (Or as she calls it, Shoot Your Eye Out, LOL.) I love picking things that I know will make my kids squeal with delight.

But this year . . . I don't know. We're trying to clear some accumulated junk from our house, so I'm rather loath to bring in new junk. You know? In years past when buying for my kids, I would often just grab things to fill out the allotted funds from, say, my grandmother. To fill up the stocking.

After throwing out all the cheap toys that had broken and giving away many of the ones they just don't play with, I'm not doing that this year. This year, my thought is, "I'm not spending the money unless I know they'll love it."

I think it's a good philosophy--accept that it means I'm still not done shopping, and there are only ten days until Christmas. Aaaaggghhhh!

For someone who grew up in a family that celebrated Christmas with joy and generosity (even those lean years, my Mom managed to stretch each dollar so the under-the-tree looked bursting!), I feel downright guilty sometimes for choosing an approach that doesn't result in such bulk. I'm afraid my kids will be disappointed--though we've never bought them a whole lot for Christmas, given how much they get everywhere else.

They never are--my kids don't expect a gazillion gifts from us, and we try really hard to keep their focus on the giving, the giving in honor of Christ.

Still, this year . . . my daughter's dresser is literally bursting with clothes. Literally. I cleaned out probably half their toys, and there are still so many . . . And the rest of my family?? What do they really want, really need?

Well, we solved the dilemma for the kids with these little bundles of joy. The two grays will be ours. =)

I was still stressing about some of the other members of our family, but last night my hubby and I went out on our annual Christmas Shopping Date, and we came up with good things for all, I think. Things that aren't just going to clutter, but are rather going to add meaning.

See, shopping with my husband keeps me in that mindset. He's from a family that gives only what, and when, they think will be special. I don't always like this approach, but shopping with him keeps me from buying junk. It makes me think about how I'm spending each dollar. I needed that--that shift in focus. Our shopping date is in its third year now, and it's a tradition I'm going to cling to just to keep myself in line. ;-)

What are your shopping traditions for this often-hectic time of year?


  1. I REALLY like the new approach too. And those kitties are ADORABLE! Don't really have giving traditions - other than three gifts each for the kids.

  2. WEll, as you know , I still do the bursting thing...and no one seems to mind But I just love to watch you and your sister with your gifts, as well as your kiddos and hers. Just can't help myself.=)

  3. We usually having a shopping date too, but it got squeezed off the calendar this year :(

    We too just cleaned out a bunch of toys, so coming up with Christmas lists for the kids was kinda tough. Especially for our one year old who, really, just wants whatever his big sister is playing with.

  4. I like the little leftover kitty... but, as my 15 year old calico sits on my lap purring, she is the last one. My husband and I shop together. Mailed out packages earlier this year than ever! I am a gazer coming home with nothing. He has a plan.

  5. Every year my mom does the shopping (with Dad buying cute little things every once in a while for a couple of us), and then they have a Christmas date about a week before Christmas where they buy stocking-stuffers for us. *Happy sigh* I love Christmas. :)