My family does not go overboard with gifts during the Holidays. Since I am unattached, no kids, no nieces or nephews, I have very few gifts that I purchase for Christmas. I have my parents, my brother and his girlfriend and my grandparents. I also buy little things for my students, co-workers and a few close friends, but nothing that requires a lot of money or searching. I typically like to spend one afternoon shopping, but I other than that I avoid shopping areas (even the grocery store!) like the plague this time of year. Who needs to spend 45 minutes in the parking lot simply trying to turn right onto the highway?
This year, on Cyber Monday, when I knew there were spectacular deals online, I went searching for some deals. My brother recently bought a Weber charcoal grill and he is kind of obsessed about it. And with good reason. Everything I have tasted off that machine is delicious. I found a great deal at Omaha Steaks for a sampler of different kinds of meats and I was done. His gift is actually already in his deep freeze.
A few days later, as I was recently added to their e-mail list, I spotted another great deal. I was hoping my brother would invite me to his house to grill out with some of the Omaha Steaks, but I felt that was being greedy and didn’t want to hint. So instead I bought myself some, too. I had been struggling for an idea for my grandparents. I wanted to get them something that was a luxury item, but also something that would be useful for them (as they do not have a lot of disposable income.) When I saw this great deal and debate buying some for myself, I realized this could be a perfect gift for them. I’m not sure if it would be considered taking the easy way out by getting so many people the same type of gift, but the thought process behind each was different and I am hoping that it will be something all of them would enjoy.
My parents are taking a trip to Las Vegas in March. They deserve this trip more than anyone I know. I can remember being twelve and they were going to travel to Vegas. My brother and I were all set up to stay at my grandparent’s farm and I was excited because instead of walking to school, I would get to ride the bus. They did not have a lot of extra money, so they purchased standby tickets, which did not pan out for them. Now, twenty years later, they are finally realizing the dream of going to Vegas! So my brother and I are going to stuff a box full of playing cards, fake casino chips, dice and one hundred one dollar bills to use for gambling.
My brother and his girlfriend just bought a house. I know that she loves decorating and there is a trendy and stylish little boutique with the most lovely pieces in a small local town. I am looking into their return policy (because I know that my taste is not the same as hers, so I would hate for her to be stuck with something she doesn’t like!) or I will simply go with a gift card. I am usually against gift cards because they feel impersonal, but I think if I can explain why it’s not so awful.
My students have been obsessed with a few goofy stress balls I have been given as gifts. One where the cows eyeballs bug out when you squeeze him and another where an alien’s stomach pops out. I found some inexpensive, silly stress balls at Oriental Trading Company, along with some other small stocking stuffer goodies: snowflake yo-yo, reindeer nose bullseye game and bouncy balls. I’m sure their parents will hate me.
The rest of my shopping is stress free and will be completed whenever I get a chance. One white elephant exchange gift (always fun to find!) and a few little things for my co-workers (lottery tickets are always a good fallback option.)
How much holiday shopping do you have left to do? Do you purchase a lot of gifts this time of year?