Christmas shopping is DONE!
Yeah, that's right. I'm done.
Tim still needs to pick out something for his dad, which I may have input on. Then there's his mom's best friend and best friend's husband. They check in on her and try to help her out all the time. We want to get them something to tell them we appreciate everything they do. But Tim knows them better, so he'll probably be coming up with those gifts too.
So now all I have to do is sit back and try not to buy anything else for the holidays.
Perhaps easier said than done. There are plenty of pretty, glossy Black Friday ads for the ogling. (Although it helps to have already scoured most of them online, so I'm somewhat inured to the sales' siren song.) And there will be 999,999 sales between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. So temptation will be all around.
Still, my resolve is a lot less flexible this year. I think part of it is basic paranoia about our financial future. If (when) my job ends, things will get very, very lean. So, as much as I want to spend an extra $30 to get Tim this collectible -- and trust me, I hemmed and hawed and tried to rationalize for the better part of two weeks -- I just can't bring myself to go over budget this year. Which says a lot, with Black Friday looming. Plus, it's hard/dangerous to say no to Vader.
I'm not promising to stay in for all of Black Friday. There are a few things I would like to get for the house: an extra slow cooker, some food containers for leftovers, etc. And there are some $20-25 trees that look promising, some of which are even some are even not pre-lit.
But gift shopping for Tim? Done! Mom? Done! All that's left is getting the ingredients (and energy) for Christmas cookies. I'm a big fan of cookies as gifts. Beyond the obvious affordability issue, there's less pressure when you give cookies. If you get someone a gift, if he didn't get you one, there is a mad rush of guilt and apologies and generally awkward feelings. But most people can take cookies without any guilt, except about their waistline.
On that subject... Many of you probably have friends who are bound and determined to lose weight. This is especially hard during the holidays, which leads to the ultimate in frugal gifts: the gift of nothing.
Seriously. One year two friends, who were also roommates, were really serious about losing weight. So I told them that my gift that year was NOT giving them Christmas cookies. They actually thanked me!
I suppose, in that situation, the reply, "Oh but I didn't get you anything!" takes on a positive meaning.
So what are your gifting plans? What's your budget? Are you using rewards programs to help finance this holiday season? How many more gifts do you need to get? (And how many more will you actually get?)