;Twas the day of good christmas and all through the house, the food was casually burning, not a piece good enough, even for a mouse. The fire extinguisher was hung by the oven with care, in hopes the fire department would not have to ;soon be there….Ok ok, our family christmas dinner may not have turned out this bad, but the potential was definitely there! In my last post (read it HERE) I spoke of how shopping for holiday presents was not my favorite pastime, and shopping for groceries ranks right up there with it. The aisle are crowded, the check out lines are long, and I, like many other frustrated shoppers, can manage to walk in for a quick trip with specific items in mind, walk out an hour and a half later with 250 dollars with of junk food none of which were on my original quick list, nor do they manage to make one complete meal. Most of the time it is just my husband and I and two cats (who are not that picky thankfully) so the meals tend to be quick and easy. But this week we are hosting our first ever family Christmas dinner. Thats right folks, I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, is cooking a meal from start to finish, (hopefully with out the aid of the fine members of the Temple Fire Department). In order to prepare for such an event, that means that Matthew and I had to set off on adventure that I genuinely try to avoid. Holiday grocery shopping. After all is said and done, I managed to get all the items I needed and developed another one of my infamous “how to” lists!
Imagine this shopping experience. It is one week before Christmas. It snowed about a week ago and has been 65 one day, then 20 the next so the snow has just enough time to kind of melt, but then freeze to a nasty blackish brown slush. Every body and their brother are out shopping, and since I’m just someone’s sister (bahaha) the only parking left is by a smelly Long John Silvers dumpster all the way at the other end of the parking lot. You are wearing jeans and tennis shoes (because Santa has yet to bring you a new pair of boots) and they probably have a hole in them. By the time you travel from middle earth to whatever store you are going to, the snow/slush and sidewalk salt combo has absorbed into your pant leg and is now midway up your calf. You finally make it to the store and while it is warm your wet pant legs give you a cold friendly reminder of what’s waiting for you outside. The happy people drinking their Starbucks, whom got the close parking spots and already have their warm snow boots from Santa are looking at you funny because your wet tennis shoes are now squeaking like a cheap duck call every time you take a step. You’ve probably forgot your shopping list in your car but the trip back to middle earth isn’t worth it, so you decide just to ‘wing’ it. You are wearing a coat that is big enough to keep you warm when your outside but is impossible to manage in small aisles, and does not fit in your cart with all your ‘winged’ purchases, so you decide to wear it instead. An hour later you have broke three mugs and whatever shirt you were wearing underneath your coat is drenched with so much sweat that even if you could take your coat off and leave it somewhere, you cant because, lets face it, no one wants to see that. Your not the type of person that does returns or back tracks to stores, so you have to decided right then and there if your going to buy a particular item for a person because once you lay the item down and leave that store, that present no longer exists. Because of this you will spend HOURS looking at the same framed picture of 5 dogs playing poker trying to decided if Aunt Bethany is really going to like it, if it’s the right size or if you can get it cheaper at another store. You decide after coming across grown men and woman fighting over the last cabbage patch doll (ok, I realize that statement is a bit outdated, but I am not a kid nor do I own a kid, therefore I don’t know what the ‘It” present of the year is..so we shall go with what I know) that it is time to go, so you gather up your winged presents and head for the line that looks the shortest and has the smallest chance of having 10 price checks and minimal coupons. Your almost done and home free…300.00 later your back to your house, all of your winged treasures unloaded you find your list in your purse and began to check things off. You then realize that you forgot cousin Eddy and aunt Ethel’s second cousin myrtle who is going to be at the family dinner this year..people still like cash, right?
If you cant tell from the above scenario….
I despise shopping. When this blog began a few months ago, my second post ever (read it here) was about my strong dislike of shopping, a dislike that is only fueled during the holiday season.It is because of this,that I have developed a very straight forward and strategic method for Christmas shopping, get in and get out..ALIVE. If I can get it online I’m going to. I don’t care if Best Buy themselves are giving away 24 KG iPads to the first 1000 customers on ‘black thufriday’ you will not see me sleeping out in a tent a week in advance. I generally do 90% of my shopping online and make one marathon store shopping session similar to the one described above. That marathon occurred today, and while I am proud to say I made it out alive and most of my presents are nestled snug underneath the tree, the day did not go with out some fun observations that couldn’t help but make my experience a little bit better.
Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say….
For the first time ever in my life my holiday shopping experience did not involve snow, hauling around a deadly coat (deadly to glass and fragile often expensive items..) and I wasn’t messing with a car whose heater may or may not be working. It was a very warm 70 degrees today when I left on my shopping expedition! I wore jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops..sun roof was open and Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka” was playing on the radio..I love you Indiana but Texas has you trumped in the department.
People make/buy the weirdest products..
The rest of this blog post is going to be simple in the fact, that it is going to be littered with all the interesting gift ideas I found while shopping in stores today and while shopping on line earlier in the week. I know we are rebounding from a recession, but some of these items could have fooled me..
Words cannot describe the sheer shock and amazement when I came across an aisle in Big Lots that showcased 4 new in package VHS tapes, none of which were titles I had ever heard of. The fun continued when I rounded the corner and found beauty number two, a Nokia ‘candy bar’ phone complete with gray scale screen 17 pin charger and the game snake. Don’t worry ladies and gentleman, the phone is locked up in a glass case as to detour thieves. I imagine the VHS will be in there before long.
Some poor kid somewhere…
Probably asked Santa to buy them an iPad from the really cool AT&T representative for Christmas. What Santa heard was, “send one of the elves down to the local family dollar and get the new Glow Pad, 2nd generation with ‘No G’ data service for 10$ and call it a day! Same thing right?
No Holiday love for Beiber or One Direction…
Some book store out there is dying to fill the dreams of some pre-teen Bieber or One Direction fan as out of all the book shelves with all the books, this one section had about 30 copies of each book..un-touched. Even more alarming then none of these books being purchased, was the fact that the book title below looked like it had been picked over and a generally quite popular with the public. Then again, with a title such as “raising a non-violent child” how could you not purchase!
As seen on tv…as wrapped under the tree…..
What better way to get present ideas then staying up till 3 in the morning, long after Letterman and Obrien have gone to bed, to watch the ever popular ‘as seen on tv’ infomercials. (I wrote another post poking fun of this hobby, you can read it here!) Best part is, you no longer have to pay shipping and handling and processing fees because you can stroll right in to your local store and purchase these must have items! The best item of course, was the 3 piece lint roller set (overly enthusiastic guy not included) with a 5 ft detachable pole. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like to roll lint with the best of them, but what type of clothing is this guy rolling that is going to require a 5ft pole
I would now like to take a second and offer up a moment of silence for the 6 rats and 1 1/2 raccoon that gave their lives (probably against their will) to make this bag so that it could be an unfortunate 30$ Christmas present..your short lived rodent life was not lived in vain..thank you..
Pets deserve presents too…
If you are an ‘avid’ reader, you already know that I’m a bit of a cat person (again, I have another blog post, you can read it here) and while I might obsess from time to time, there are clearly people out there who are going a bit over board, and if I may say so, giving the rest of us cat fans a bad rap. At any rate, I found my email bombarded with the silliest (ok not all are silly ) idea for pet and pet enthusiast presents.
1. First and fore most..CATS USE LITTER BOXES, not 400$ space ships or human toilets. “Ground control to Major Tomcat..permission to lift tail and release fluids?” “Roger that ground control, permission granted”
2. Dressing your pets, and dressing up like your pets..both ways are to cheerfully and fashionably celebrate the holidays. Is this Vin Diesel look alike is rocking this snowflake turtle neck, cat vest combo or what? He looks ‘purrrrrrfect’
What if you don’t have the money or time to go out and buy an expensive sweater that showcases your love for your feline friend? Do not worry, amazons got your back! This book shows you every possible craft you can make with all that valuable hair you cat leaves behind! The possibilities are endless! and to think, you’ve been rolling that hair up on your new 18$ 5 foot lint roller!
Now that you’ve got your holiday outfit picked out (or made…) it is time to get your pet all spiffied up and ready for Santa. While on my shopping marathon today, I found the loveliest little holiday outfit sure to make my little princes just glow. It’s not everyday that your cat has the chance to be a jester, or one of Santa’s elves!