Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Assignment # 346: Holiday Procrastinator

Continuing with the seasonal theme:

Ack! The holiday shopping season is upon us! What is your shopping strategy for this time of year? Do you spread out your shopping over weeks and months, or try to get it all done at once? Do you mostly shop online or in person? How heavily, if at all, do you rely on gift cards, gift certificates or plain old fashioned cash and checks?

Extra Credit: Do you enjoy shopping the Black Friday and after-Christmas sales?
Um, I haven't started yet.

This is not unusual for me. It's not that I hate to shop, but I have limited patience with lines, and even more limited funds to spend. I'm not likely to get in line to buy anyone a new tv or computer at a deep discount. The only person I can afford to spend significant money on these days is my husband, and frankly we have a history of returning his "big present" to Best Buy (or wherever) immediately after Christmas or his birthday. We do this almost every year, it seems.

Even more limited in supply is my fund of ideas for what to get anyone. As you can tell from the above, shopping for John is a perennial problem. He tends to just buy what he wants. If he doesn't buy it, it means he doesn't think we should spend the money.

For many years, my dad organized Christmas lists, so that we all knew what other family members wanted and could share out gift ideas for each family member to buy; but even he has pretty much given up on this now. He sends a check, and I send Amazon gift certificates, to just about everybody. Or Borders or Barnes and Noble gift cards. Same thing, really, just in person.

A gift from me to me: sandals that fit!

So, no standing in line at Best Buy at 4:45 AM, as an old classmate of mine documented on Facebook Friday morning with a photo of a Best Buy line in Binghamton, NY. No turning in at Park Place Mall. I did want to participate in a push to buy local on Saturday, but I forgot. Nevertheless I managed it, by accident. Michael of Michael's Shoes, who is also the deacon at St. Michael's, coincidentally enough, is having a sale at his store. Since his store was the source of the only decent shoes I've bought in the past decade for my large, flat, pain-prone feet, I decided it was a good idea to get another pair while I could get them, especially at a substantial discount. So I walked in yesterday and said, "Show me anything you have in stock that's likely to fit and not hurt my feet!" Most of what they brought out was either too masculine or not right for the shape of my feet; but I got a nice and non-pain-inducing pair of sandals, probably the first pair I've had since college, if not high school. Okay, so it's a present from me to me, but I did buy local, on the big shopping weekend!

Still, I'm working up my plans and ideas. I have established that John doesn't want me to buy him an iPad, except possibly after I get the job I applied for last week. (More on this if anything comes of it.) On the other hand, he has mentioned a few things in passing, mostly housewares. I'll have to look into those possibilities.

Given that my unemployment benefits are currently under threat by Republicans in Congress, I'm going to have to wait to see whether I can send friends and family the usual Amazon gifts, and how much. There is one exception to this calculation, though. A friend of mine Back East, with whom I've been exchanging birthday and holiday gifts for three decades, was burned out of his home a few weeks ago when his landlord's apartment, which was below his, caught fire. Because it rained the following night, his apartment was so structurally unsound that he couldn't even go back in for the few possessions that survived. He's hoping to use Amazon to replace a few favorite books, and I'll be supplementing that with a few mathoms. I wish I could do more, but he's the sort of person who is embarrassed if anyone does anything in a situation like this!

Here are the guidelines if you'd like to participate in this week's Weekend Assignment.

1. Please post your response no later than than 12:01 AM on Thursday morning, December 2nd, your local time. You can do this either in a blog entry of your own or in the comments section of the assignment entry. No submissions will be accepted after that time unless I really want to.

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3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments to the assignment. Please post the URL itself rather than a live link.

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5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please see the "Teacher's Lounge" page for details. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor." Help me out, folks, because sometimes I run dry when doing this week after week!

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That's it for now. I realize it's a busy time of year, but please jump in with an entry if you can. Have a great week! I'll be back Friday night with my Round Robin entry.



Carly said...

Hey Karen

I am so sorry about your friends situation. I will keep him in my prayers, and you as well. Hopefully the mean spirited republicans will not get their way! Hope things turn around on the job front. Happy Holidays.


barrettmanor said...

Gee, I'm not the only one who finds themselves back at the store after Christmas, returning The Gift for Spouse. I have a terrible track record on these things. Keeping my fingers crossed on the job.