Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Rambling

At this point in the season, my resolve to rein in my inner Grinch and present a Holly Jolly Christmas attitude to one and all is beginning to slip just a little. OK, a lot. Why doesn't Christmas just get here and be done with it???

On the other hand, Amazon.com is holding one of Jay's presents until the last possible shipping date to get it here by December 24. And, that's getting on my last nerve.

Several years ago, I discovered, to my eternal delight, that I could do all my Christmas shopping on-line, and avoid the malls and the crowds altogether. All I had to do was start early enough. I got it down to a science, ordering presents, requesting that they be wrapped, and sent to the people I bought them for. That way, I didn't even have to go to the Post Office laden with boxes.

Last year, I refined it even further and send everyone gift cards from places I knew they liked to shop, leaning heavily toward Amazon.com. We're all avid readers, so that's always a good choice, and you can get almost everything else through them, too, and I can collect enough points to receive a gift certificate of my own from them about twice a year. How bad could that be? Seems like a win-win situation to me.

This year, I'm still ordering from Amazon.com, but I am not sending gift cards to any of the stores I usually frequent on line. Who knows if they will even be in business by January? I have also managed, for the first time ever, to adhere strictly to my budget. I have always been notorious for overdoing things until the last few years. But, I think I have finally pared down as far as I can and still give anyone presents at all. You might say I've hit rock bottom.

But I have hope that things will begin to get better - not immediately, but I think we'll start noticing by next Christmas that the economy, like me, has hit rock bottom and is beginning to trend upward instead of down.

Why? Because it simply has to.


Kay Dennison said...

I'm an online shopping aficionado, too. It simplifies a lot.

kenju said...

Yes, it does have to and the sooner the better!!

Maria said...

This year the family decided to give gifts only to the children. In many ways this sucks... but it has an economic appeal and highlights what Christmas is really about.

I do worry a great deal about loss of jobs, loss of income, and where our country is headed in the coming years. Very depressing!

Karen said...

I see many of my friends losing jobs or worrying about losing jobs. I don't know where the bottom is. I took on a second legal temp job just because it fell into my lap, so my personal cash flow has improved, but I realize that is not typical.

I stuck to my budget last year, but this year I went a little insane. Um, I paid more for Britney Spears concert tickets than any human should be allowed to pay. But I will make my sister happy and that is a good thing.

Margie's Musings said...

I too did my shopping online. A bonus to that is that everything comes boxed and I don't have to look for boxes for everything. We only bought for those who are nearby and that we see. That eliminated the postage. We really pared it down this year too.

I did my shopping online because Coffeyville only has one retail business left and that is a shoe store.

Cazzie!!! said...

I was very surprised that my husband's work place put on the party they did for us as a family this year in view of the economy. Perhaps next year it will not go ahead? I would not be surprised.
I have done most of my shopping on Ebay, lucky for me I have spent the money I made selling items myself.
My children will get one gift from Santa Claus, wrapped up, and the rest will be from Mum and Dad, placed inside new pillow slips. They will receive things like art supplies, books to read (age appropriate books) and some home made gifts. The other thing I had to get were some nice shoes and clothes, a few sets each as they grew out of things, you know, they do that!
Most of all, we want them to know, that Mum and Dad love them, support them and yet, we do not spoil them, kids can get too much these days.
I have heard parents utter, "We spend at least $500 on each child even at Christmas".
My thoughts were, Oh My God! That much! How can it be? They are either in debt or very rich now, suspect the first is the right option.
Nope, not the cost of the gift, or the quantity, but the thought and love that counts from where I am sitting :)
Have a safe and Merry Christmas Betty, thanks for all the tips on great books too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Betty,

In our area we have a small family owned department store that has always been our favorite place to shop over the years.

This year they have had to reorganize and borrow quite a bit of money to stay in business. I, like you, am afraid to give the usual gift cards from this store because ,as you said, they might be out of business after Christmas.

What I am doing instead is giving checks but the checks are accompanied by a copy of the store's catalog in the hope that the person receiving the check will do their best to spend their money in that store to help support a local business that has always been very good for our area and who now need our help to survive.