Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Disclosure - I am participating in the Empire ‘Give & Get’ program by Mom Central on behalf of Empire Theatres. I received an Empire gift card and coupon bundle as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

How did December get here so quickly?  How are you doing with your Holiday gift shopping?

When the Winter Holiday Gift Giving Season comes around I like to organize my shopping and giving into three different categories:
  1. Gifts I can make myself.
  2. Gifts I can buy online.
  3. Gifts I can buy in stores.
I try to do the top two the most since I love crafting and as much as I love shopping, going into stores in December makes me kind of crazy.

I am well on my way with my Christmas crafting--none of which I can mention here since some of my readers will be getting the fruits of my dining-room table labours. If you want to give handmade but don't feel like you are crafty then you can shop your local craft sales or Etsy or Artfire and help another kitchen-table crafter out. (That second link is actually to a good friend of mine.  I just love her little felt ornaments.)

I am also waiting for the delivery of quite a few gifts I have purchased in the comfort of my jammies, coffee in hand.  I am trying to teach my Grandma how to shop online right now.  She wants to give gifts to family that live far away and I want her to stay off of icy sidewalks and out of  long lineups in stores and the post office.  Online shopping is great  because most stores will wrap and ship your gifts wherever you want and you don't have to stand in line at the post office your self.

If I must go into a store I try very hard to go as close to opening time as possible and try to avoid weekends.  This way the stores are much less crowded and the staff are much more available to help me.  And, having been on the other side of the cash register for quite a few years myself, please, no matter how grumpy and stressed and late you are, please try to put a smile on your face for that cashier. The don't get paid nearly enough to handle the rudeness that is thrown at them in December.

Gift cards are a good idea for teachers, babysitters, friends and fit perfectly in Christmas stockings.  Coffee shops cards,  Itunes cards and Movie passes are always welcome gifts.  Empire Theatres is doing a fantastic promotion right now where if you buy $30 in gift cards you get $30 in Empire Theatre coupons.

Movie passes are a great idea for new parents and if you can't include a coupon for free babysitting with your gift have no fear:  Empire Theatres has created the Reel Babies program. See the latest movies. No babysitter required! Twice a month, Moms and Dads get the chance to see ‘grown-up’movies in a baby-friendly environment. You can find all of the details on the website.  

I also love that you can now buy your tickets online and print them out at home.  Richard and I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last night and didn't have to wait in line at all! (It was a great movie, by the way, and didn't disappoint this Harry Potter nut at all.)

OK, so, take a deep breath, remember that the people on your list love you and appreciate the thought that goes into a gift and not necessarily the size or monetary value.  Take some time to center yourself and enjoy the little moments that crop up in this season that bring you joy. A moment like that happened for me yesterday as I watched Charlotte use up an entire roll of tape on a gift she very carefully picked out and wrapped for her Dad. She was so excited to GIVE it to him and she actually stopped talking about what she wanted to GET for a minute.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

As a teacher, I can honestly say the two BEST gifts I got from students (read: parents) were "the gift of textbooks" (WorldVision) at Christmas, and a gift certificate for a pedicure at the end of the year.

Yes, pedis are expensive, but I figure if the parents put asside $10 per month for the school year, they could give both the above gifts and stay withIN budget. And I'll remember them both way more than which of 30 kids gave me which knick-knack at Christmas or at year-end for each of my (potentially) 30 years of teaching. That adds up to 1800 knick-knacks (30x2x30) over a career... Take it from this teacher, I'd rather be soaking my feet reading celebrity magazines than dusting another ceramic apple.