Monday, November 28, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

I'm really getting into the holiday spirit now.  That means I'm listening to Christmas music, enjoying the lights and decor, and starting to get a lot of my shopping done, which means looking for good bargains.  Of course, if you think about bargains this time of year, everyone thinks about Black Friday.  Now, I love finding a bargain.  I mean, I really love finding a bargain.  But I do not love going shopping when the stores are crowded, let alone when they are jam packed with crazy people fighting over the last "Tickle Me Elmo" or whatever the latest must-have item is for Christmas.  Yes, I know "Tickle Me Elmo" was the big thing in about 1996.  No, I do not have the slightest idea what hot toys are selling out in stores this year.  I don't watch much TV and I don't shop on Black Friday, so I'm clueless about this stuff.  And you did read that right.  As much as I love a good deal, I do not go shopping on Black Friday.  Ever.  I especially don't go shopping at midnight on Thanksgiving.   What?! The idea of the crowds and insanity makes me feel a little ill.  I don't even like going grocery shopping on a weekend or after 4 pm.  Grocery shopping at 9 am on a Tuesday when the stores are nearly deserted is one of the secret perks of being a stay-at-home mom.  But I digress.  Back to the bargain shopping...

I am happy to report that I managed to get three fabulous deals in the past week in spite of my Black Friday boycott.  Deal #1 was before Thanksgiving at Kohl's.  You may remember that I wrote about my distress over being unable to find a decent maternity blazer to wear to testify in court (you can read about it here if you're so inclined).  I essentially was not able to find one and settled for a black cardigan.  I have worn that cardigan to court twice, and felt like a frump both times.  Then I got subpoenaed again.  I finally decided that I need to just buy a non-maternity black blazer in my regular size that I can wear unbuttoned for now and then continue to wear when I'm not pregnant anymore.  That way I don't feel bad about spending money on a maternity item I'll rarely wear, and I'll add a staple to my wardrobe that I should really already have.  I mean, how can I not have a black blazer?  I checked Kohl's last week when Lass and I were running errands after dropping Miss off at school.  I found a blazer there.  And even though it was before Thanksgiving, it was on sale.  I got a great blazer for about $35!!  Okay, so this wasn't a holiday gift find, but saving money still gets me in the spirit.

Deal #2 was for this beautiful necklace.  This was a Black Friday online sale in this awesome Etsy shop.  I am kind of addicted to these necklaces, and I got a super deal on this one.  Plus, I don't have to pay shipping because the mama who makes them lives nearby and her son goes to preschool with Miss.  Score!  Oh yeah, I guess this wasn't a holiday gift find either, but really the sale was too good to pass up.

Deal #3 and the best one yet was a find for Miss.  I got her a pair of Land's End snow boots that were regularly priced at about $50.  They are on sale for $25 right now. Plus I got a special "Cyber Monday" additional discount code and free shipping.  I paid about $18 for them!!  Woohoo!

Another thing that has really gotten me into the spirit of the season is buying gifts for some local children for Christmas.  Last year we packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.  That is a great cause, but this year I wanted to give to a more local cause.  I looked online for some local charities and found out our police station has a program where they match you up with a child, give you the age, gender, sizes, needs, and wishes of him or her.  I requested two children and we got a three-year-old and a seven-year-old, both girls.  It was so fun to shop for them with my girls!  I think Miss is starting to understand the concept of giving to someone less fortunate than us, and she had fun picking out the toys, books, clothes, and other miscellaneous items for these little girls.  She kept asking what the little girls' names were that we were shopping for (which of course I didn't know).  We got school outfits, jammies, underwear, snow pants and boots, books, a baby doll and stroller, a shopping cart and toy food, and a case of art supplies, along with a few other things. Today we packed them up and took them to the police station to drop them off.  Miss even carried one of the big bags full of gifts all by herself.  She was so proud and kept declining my offers to help her.  She even got a "Junior Officer" badge sticker from the officer at the station.  It was such a fun experience.

And finally, to wrap up this post, here are a few photos of my girls getting into the spirit watching football with their Daddy.  This photo was taken on Saturday at the beginning of the Michigan vs. Ohio State game.  And yes, my hubby was rooting for Michigan on that day. 

I love this time of year!

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