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Adventures in Christmas Shopping: Losing Steam



I saw my grandmother yesterday and she told me how she needs to start hunkering down on her Christmas shopping to which my late grandfather’s sister, my Aunt Susie, exclaimed “It’s April! Are you crazy?!”

To be clear, I 100% side with my grandmother here - the Felix in their Odd Couple like relationship. I’m stressed out that the only two people I have figured out for Christmas are Mike and my grandmother.

I still have no idea what I’m going to get my father - and my mother gives specific but unrealistic instructions that leave me in Target desperately searching for specific patterned hand towels she purchased three years ago because those are the ones she likes. So yeah, assuming Target switches up theirs selection from time to time, I’m kind of out of luck.

But, I have to give it to my Aunt for her laid back attitude. She’s not going to worry about Christmas until Black Friday rolls around and even then she won’t be in a rush. Unfortunately for me I can’t do it. If my Christmas shopping drags on to December I’m just a ball of nerves during my favorite time of the year.

Luckily, I have Tara. Who not only understands my crazy desire to buy Christmas gifts all year round but even joins me. So off we went on another shopping trip this past Saturday.

Unfortunately, unlike our March trip, this trip went horribly. Not that I had a bad time. I love to shop - even if I'm doing more window shopping than purchasing. But I’ve seem to have hit a wall with gift ideas. I know what my mom wants but our taste is so out of whack I’m convinced whatever I pick out she won’t like. Nonetheless I still searched for a wallet, an entryway rug and striped hot pink towels for her.

No luck there. No luck despite the fact we went to Macy’s, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, Burlington and Kohl’s where I poked around in every wallet they had for sale.

The good news for the day is I didn’t spend too much. I'll spare you the details because we went so many places but I did really good! I only came home with three bags. That, my friends, is a new record.

I got away pretty cheap on the food front this time around. I know it’s weird to be as frugal as I am with most things but not have a problem spending $100 on dinner. I always justify it as a special treat. Since I’m trying to save money I should definitely stop but I have trouble spending no money. Ugh, I’m so mad at myself for saying that.

Anyways, I only spent $5.00 for breakfast and $15.63 for dinner. So maybe I’m getting the hang of this spending less thing? Let’s hope so!

Mike asked me to pick him up a shirt because he wanted a new shirt for his first day at his new job (yay!). His new job is actually his old job at an office way closer to home - his drive is now 10 minutes compared to almost an hour and a half! Still, super proud of him.

Anyways, new job, new shirt? I can get on board with that. I grabbed a blue checkered shirt from H&M, my total came up to $15.61. Unfortunately it didn’t fit so he didn’t get to wear it for his big day, which was yesterday. But at least he liked it. Yeah, let’s look at the positive!

After the mall we hit up Marshalls and TJ Maxx where I made my two other purchases for the day. And no, I didn't buy anything Christmas related at all.

At Marshalls I bought a bundle of hangers because no matter how many clothes I get rid of I somehow end up with more clothes and need more hangers. Maybe my clothes multiply at night? I have no idea. I can't explain it but I am always buying hangers. Total spent at Marshalls: $5.40.

At TJ Maxx I bought beach towels, which I've been looking for since at least our March shopping trip. I definitely needed some towels for summer. I only had one old hand me down beach towel from my mom. It was definitely time to be an adult and buy some new towels.

You'd think it would be no problem to find beach towels. But, let me assure you, that's not the case when you're picky (read: neurotic). I needed very specific beach towels apparently but I finally found a few that I liked! And they were less expensive than all the other ones I'd considered. Score!

Look at those colors!

I was so excited to find yellow beach towels! They didn't have four yellow ones so orange was a second choice but I think they're great. So summery! Bring on the pool! Total spent at TJ Maxx: $41.76.

So yeah, pretty exciting purchases, huh? I mean, how fun is it to buy hangers? Oh well, at least I didn't buy anything I didn't need. That's at least a plus.

Total for the day: $83.40. Hey, definitely under the $100 I mentally prepare to spend on our shopping trips! I'll call that a success.

Total for non-Christmas items: $83.40

Cumulative total for Christmas 2019: $194.46. I'm including the boot scraper I bought for my dad at the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market a few weeks back.

I’m definitely losing steam on my Christmas shopping but I hope it’s just a mid year slump. The good news is I’m still on track to meet my goal of one gift a month throughout the year so maybe it’s not so bad. I still have eight months to go after all. Thanks for the reminder Aunt Susie!

Have you started thinking about Christmas shopping yet? Or are you more like my Aunt Susie and won't think about Christmas until you have to break out your winter jacket again?
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