Twas 4 weeks before Christmas
All my shopping was done
I could relax and enjoy the holiday
And have lots of fun
I had time to hang stockings by our chimney with care
And I knew, indeed, that Saint Nick, would soon enough be here
My purchases are arriving, daily, by truck
All I need to do is wrap and gift card them, under the tree they will tuck
What is my secret?
I have not one, but two
I buy one big gift for every person on my list
And one little present, too
And I also shop online, with a swift click of a mouse
So I can stay in my jimmies, enjoy my Christmas carols and not leave the house!
There you have it, my secrets to enjoying my holiday without the stress of fighting all that holiday cheer in malls across the county! Last week, I went to a strip mall, just for beauty supplies, and the shoppers were already circling people walking to their cars, like vultures, hunting for a close parking spot for fear of walking a few more steps. People were in such a hurry that they weren’t even parking in between the lines, which left more than a shopper or two stranded without a parking space, or worse, perhaps, a dent in the door frame. As I watched people coming and going to and from their cars, they didn’t look happy or cheerful. Instead, they looked rushed and tired, as they dashed in and out of the stores. No one was smiling, laughing or looked like they were enjoying any "holiday cheer."
I did several things this year that made my shopping easier, so that I can now sit back and enjoy the Christmas lights, music and venture out only when I feel like it.
1. I made and kept a Christmas list. I keep a “Christmas list” file on my iPhone & computer. Whenever I think of something that I’d like, or something I’d like to give, I record it.
2. I have a box in our spare bedroom with “XMAS” spelled on the side. When I’m out and about during the year and I find something that I know someone would absolutely love and it’s an item that they wouldn’t buy for themselves, I’ll buy it and put it in the box until time to wrap it up for Christmas.
3. 95% of my Christmas shopping is done online. I can search for deals from reputable merchants (more on questionable retailers in another post) and buy considering the cost, combined with shipping charges. Many, if not most, online shopping places have free super saver or low cost shipping.
4. I bought each person one large, rather pricey gift, and one or two smaller intimate gifts.
5. This year I’ve also been able to personalize gifts by taking advantage of online printing of books, cards, and calendars that come built into my Apple products, such as iPhoto and Aperture. For one person, in particular, I have created a one-of-a-kind book that they will cherish, not to mention bring tears to their eyes when they open it up.
This year, unlike many years of Christmas past, I will have enjoyed shopping from the comfort of my studio, decked out in my jimmies, cinnamon tea, Christmas carols playing through my iPod connected to speakers, and even a roaring fire coming from my pseudo fireplace (A laptop looping a QuickTime movie of a roaring fire, complete with the sound of the crackling fire that I taped it myself).
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still take advantage of enjoying the holiday lights, parties and other fun things that come with Christmas, but only because I'm not stressed about finishing the holiday marathon.