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Sunday, November 24, 2013

The problem with going out Christmas shopping for other people's gifts

The problem I encountered on Saturday, when out shopping for 2 gifts for Christmas, is I found I suddenly "needed" new things that I had previously not realized that I needed.

It is so tempting, this time of year, to have the "wants" every time you turn around. I saw so many adorable Christmas decorations, some really lovely clothing, and some wonderful kitchenware. By the time that I realized what was going on in my "wanting" little heart, I knew it was time to get home, and get a grip on what I truly need and some of my more reasonable wants.

I did find 2 very nice gifts, though, and spent very little cash for them. I had a pocket full of gift cards, that covered all but the tax.

So, when I came home from shopping, I lit a couple of Christmas candles, put on some Nat King Cole Christmas music, made myself a cup of ginger pear tea, and savored the quiet time after being out.


  1. Nat King Cole Christmas music. Sounds just right.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I did have to put up with comments like, "Christmas music, already?" "couldn't you wait until after Thanksgiving?". Oh well. Just trying to spread the cheer!

    2. My Mom always did "Christmas in July" for us - brought out the Christmas Albums & we all enjoyed them! No time is wrong for Christmas Music (Especially Christmas Hymns!) : )

    3. Hi Anna,
      what a lovely memory to hold, Christmas in July! You're right, no time is wrong for meaningful music!

  2. Most people don't have self-control like you and retailers count on it. Do you ever notice more people eating out at Christmas too? Drinking expensive coffees, stopping for a bit to eat and the next thing you know it you have dropped $30 without even buying any gifts.

    1. Hi Cheapchick,
      I think this year, more than other years, I am keenly aware of what it would mean should I overspend without thinking. I feel like there's a lot at stake, for our family, as we're still not sure if we'll be able to make it on our reduced income.

      You're right about retailers, they do count on impulse purchases. Well, I'll let someone else make those purchases and keep the economy afloat this year!

      Although, I do admit, we do eat out once during the week before Christmas and go to Starbucks once during the holidays. We usually use gift cards to cover the expense, though. I think of it this way, someone gave us the gift of eating out whenever we choose, and we choose Christmas. Even if the gift card was given last spring for a birthday.

  3. It can be so hard to control those impulse buys! Or the desire for more when you are surrounded in a "buy this!" atmosphere. I am finding a similar situation with our kitchen re-do--I've spent a lot of time online researching our purchases, color options, etc., and I'm finding that I am not feeling content with what I have. "If only we could have been able to afford the more expensive cabinetry, then I'd be REALLY happy with how my kitchen turned out" and "I wish we could replace our (perfectly usable and attractive) vinyl flooring with hardwood" ... I think that a few days out of town, spending time with family and not dealing with the kitchen, will be good for me. I need a break from the kitchen and an attitude adjustment. I'm proud of you for choosing to keep to your budget and to find the positive in your shopping trip.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Oh, I know what you're going through. We way over spent when we redid our kitchen. Suddenly, I was spending like the money wasn't really mine.
      As for flooring, we chose vinyl, on purpose! It's warm underfoot, soft enough when you drop a dish, and is easier to keep clean (no tiny cracks for food to lodge in). So, think of the vinyl as a smart choice, and not something you got stuck with. Your cabinets will be lovely. And you and your family will enjoy your redone kitchen. There are things that I sometimes think we could have done better, but I think overall, our kitchen came out nice and is enjoyable to use.

      Have a wonderful time with family! Getting away will definitely give you perspective. All those things I felt I had to have in the shops the other day, now don't seem that appealing. Distance seems to give perspective in all things in life.

    2. We chose the vinyl flooring a few years ago for similar reasons, and really, it's very pretty and so practical because it doesn't show the dirt. Our kitchen is the main through-way (making up a phrase here!) and we got the best-grade flooring and it's held up well. Our old cabinets were dark wood so it was shocking to have antique white cabinets with our lighter flooring, but now that I'm getting used to it I've been thinking, "Oh yeah, I wanted to lighten it up in here and we've accomplished that". We haven't painted yet but I think that will make a huge difference as well. Plus, once we paint we can move the fridge back to where it belongs!!!!!!!!!!!!

      We really did well with sticking to a budget for our kitchen--keeping our flooring and appliances has saved us a lot.

      Are you hosting Thanksgiving or do you get to relax and be guests? Have a fun week with your family!

    3. You're going to love your kitchen! It sounds like it will be light and bright.

      We're the hosts for Thanksgiving, having some church family over. It will be 10 of us in total. So, I'm busy making sure I have everything, today. Have a safe drive, and enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!

  4. My husband and I have spent quite a bit of time cleaning, organizing, and FINALLY updating our home, so I was feeling a pretty big aversion to bringing anything new into our house.

    But we went through the gifts I've been purchasing throughout the year and I realized that it will still be a challenge for me to not want to spend more on our children, friends and family.

    I really enjoyed your solution to extra wants. I'm going to have to try that next time I need to "get a grip".

    1. Hi Katie,
      I understand the feeling of not wanting to bring any more stuff into your home. I feel that way, a lot!
      It's really hard to *not* want to buy or do even more for people we love. It sounds like you've got a handle on it, though. :-)


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