Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

I’m not one to put up the Christmas decorations right after the Halloween goblins have come to visit.  I don’t even put up the decorations the day after Thanksgiving, although I confess listening to Christmas music then.  I don’t want to rush Christmas; after all, the season is pretty long all by itself when you consider the actual twelve days of Christmas start on Christmas day.  Then there’s the four weeks of Advent before Christmas Eve.

Christian calendars aside, there’s a calendar that requires the holiday season to begin in August or September.  That would be the crafters’ calendar, especially when those crafts are scheduled to be displayed at shows and shops in time for the shopping season.

I’ve been working for months on the holiday cheer I want to present.  The things I make throughout the year are great holiday gifts, but then there are those things made specifically for the season.

Today I’m going to drop off some holiday votives and magnets at The Farmer’s Daughter, a shop in my town at which I consign my wares.  They’re having their holiday kick-off party this weekend and it will surely be wonderful event with free samples and perhaps a give-away or two, not to mention all of the wonderful gift items for sale.

And don’t forget the local art/craft fairs with local vendors displaying their talents.  The HandmadeMN Blog has a feature every Thursday highlighting some of the events in the Twin Cities area.  It’s a great way to support local artisans and get one-of-a-kind gifts for the people on your “nice” list.  OK, get some things for the “naughties” too…might turn them around.

Happy Shopping!

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Husby and I made plans to go to Gander Mountain to pick up a pair of boots for me.  Hiking boots that double as boots I can wear in the winter when dress boots are too dressy and snow boots are too clunky.  He’s been wanting me to get some new boots like this for a while (which is curious to me) and finally he had a coupon for $40 off anything at Gander Mountain.  There was no excuse for me not to get the boots.

The thing is, it’s March.  We’ve had temperatures ranging from 30 degrees to 65 degrees so far this month, and this week a major winter snow storm was predicted for our corner of the world on the day we’d planned to go shopping.  When I woke up that morning the sky was dark and threatening, but nothing was falling from the sky.  The forecast said 6-8 inches of snow for us, so right away I told Husby that if he didn’t want to go shopping we didn’t have to.  He said he didn’t care what the weather man said.  Once again I told him I didn’t need to buy boots today, there’s no hurry, and like a good husband who likes to avoid useless discussions he said, “okay, we won’t go today.”

I was a little relieved at first, but then my psychobabble kicked in and reminded me that I was trying to quit procrastinating on things.  There was really no evidence outside that traveling twenty minutes from our house would be threatening, especially at the time of day we’d be going shopping.  We made a plan and should stick to the plan, I told myself.  I approached Husby again and told him how stupid I felt for even trying to put off a shopping trip that would only benefit me.  Seriously, what wife wouldn’t want her husband to take her shopping?!

We went.

We walked into the huge store and made a b-line to the shoes and boots, which were right inside the front door.  I took a quick look at what they had to offer and found what I wanted.  I asked Rick the shoe guy if I could see that style in a 7 1/2, I tried them on with the socks I’d be wearing with them (I remembered to bring them along), they were perfect, and we checked out.  Quick shopping is the best if you ask me, especially as I have shopping anxiety.

Leather, with very fine arch support and superior gription.

Not only did I get a new pair of boots, Husby took me out to lunch at White Castle for some sliders (aka small hamburgers) with vinyl (aka cheese) accompanied by nails (aka French fries) and scabs (aka fried onion chips).  And the best thing about the day?  We were just north of the big storm line so there was no hazardous driving for the duration of our field trip.  I’m so glad I didn’t procrastinate.  I’m so glad I have a husband who wants me to have good, sturdy boots.  And I’m really, really glad there is such a thing as White Castle.

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I have one word for you.  Ikea.

A little late to the game I made my first trip to the most wonderful store in the world.  OK, maybe a lot late to the game.  Seriously, where have I been?

Charlotte invited Paenney (looking for inspiration to move out on his own), Fojo (moving off campus next year) and me (Ikea virgin) on a field trip to Ikea today.  Normally I don’t like shopping, but this trip was a real eye-opener.  Fojo even said to me, “I love this f$@king store.”  I couldn’t have agreed more.

I came home with a bunch of stuff and it only cost me $33, Fojo is well on his way to furnishing his very tiny off-campus apartment, and Paenney has lots of ideas and is eager move out of his parents house ASAP.  Charlotte, well she’s just glad she could make everyone happy today.

All field trips should be this much fun and productive!  Ikea rocks…as if you didn’t know.

PS – To remind you, Paenney and Fojo are my nephews.  I am so sure Fojo dropped the F-bomb on me.  To be fair, Fojo and Paenney subsequently heard the F-bomb dropped by both me and their mother (Charlotte) at least once during our outing.  There’s something about swearing that bonds the generations, don’t you think?

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There was an article in Yahoo News or some other internet news site about a woman who claims to have paid only $2000 on $10,000 worth of merchandise on Black Friday.  I only have one thing to say about that: The day I spend $2000 (much less $10,000) on Christmas gifts is the day I win the lottery and become Oprah’s sole beneficiary.  But probably not even then.

I’m not alone in thinking the whole Black Friday thing has gotten out of control.  It’s unbelievable how Corporate America is able to manipulate the country into thinking that more is better.  Seriously, I believe people go out on Black Friday Thursday just to buy as much stuff as they possibly can and decide later who will receive what item from the myriad of on-sale crap.  Where has the thoughtfulness of gift-giving gone?  Are we, as a whole, really convinced that a violent, frontal lobe-frying video game is better for our kids than a book?  Is it really better to give Grandma a high-tech food processor rather than a CD featuring music from her era?

The magic and joy of the Christmas season is being sucked away by greed.  Not only is Christmas promoted way too early, it is obscenely promoted with shouting and concepts like “busting” doors. 

I can think of SO many things I’d rather do than stand in line, outside, on a cold Minnesota November night, with a bunch of strangers.

There’s nothing wrong with a sale or saving money, but let’s all remember the idea behind giving gifts.  Let’s not let retail stores tell us we are bad if we don’t give diamonds and flat-screen TVs (on sale of course) as gifts.  Most importantly, let’s not let the Thanksgiving holiday turn into an eat-and-run kind of day.  Relax.  Preparing a delicious meal is enough to think about for one day.  Even if you’re all alone on Thanksgiving, take that time to be silently thoughtful about that for which you are thankful.  Or watch a good movie.

I’ll be spending Black Friday with Husby at the Taylors Falls Depot selling my wares along with some other talented artisans.  It will prove to be a fun event with sweet treats and cider for anyone who stops by.  Be sure to stay for the parade downtown Taylors Falls, as well as the lighting of the Christmas decorations. 

I like the idea of spending the day in small town, doing small town stuff at a small town pace.  In the back of my mind I’ll still know the world has gone mad and people are clawing and trampling each other to the delight and amusement of big box stores.  To this thought I can only say, non illegitimi carborundum est.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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Let’s delve into my psyche today.  I wouldn’t ordinarily divulge my psychological idiosyncracies, but I’m so proud to have survived my latest shopping excursion I have to share with you all.

You see, shopping gives me a tremendous amount of anxiety.  I’m not sure why this is, but I avoid shopping as much as I can.  It’s completely against the female stereotype, but there it is.  I walk around in outdated clothes because new clothes are in stores (I loathe stores), and cost way more than I think they’re worth (I don’t want to be poor).  I get sweaty palms when I have to order up wax, fragrance oils and dyes for my candle production.  I curse myself when a pan or cooking utensil becomes unusable – replacement calls for a shopping trip.  You get the idea.

This past weekend I couldn’t put it off any longer.  A trip to a store (or two) was necessary.  Luckily Husby agreed to accompany me.  Without him I would have collapsed into a mass of indecision, paralyzed in the retail headlights, at the mercy of *gasp* a sales person.

Yep, after eighteen years of fine service the washer and dryer Husby bought before we were married finally began acting in a way that made us fear for our lives.  They had to be replaced, which meant shopping.  Big shopping.  This shopping was such a frightful thought to me I put off the task for two weeks before I decided my exploding dryer anxiety outweighed my shopping anxiety.

Surprisingly it was relatively painless, with Husby’s help.  We got a pretty fancy washer/dryer combo, and on sale to boot.  With the money we saved on that we threw all caution to the wind and got ourselves a new dehumidifier too.  Husby then rewarded my bravery with lunch at a nearby restaurant.  Food rewards are always well received.

All that’s left is the big delivery day and I can start doing laundry in a whole new way.  Apparently this new-fangled washer works without a center twisty agitator thing, which is gentler on clothes.  You know what that means?  Longer lasting clothes = less clothes shopping for me!  Yay!

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