The Shopping Extrvaganza!
Let the shopping begin.
Years, ago I discovered that it made retailers nervous to have 7 little kids and one mom running around the store with various items hidden under their coats. It HAD to be this way in order for them to all shop and buy presents for each other in SECRET. Shortly after one memorable day in particular, I hit on a new tradition.
For years now, I have taken each of the children out for their OWN shopping day. They get all their gifts bought in one day...and they get to pick where we will eat lunch. I really am not a shopper - but this seems to be the best way to go.
I thought that maybe all these shopping days stressed all my children and so last year I convinced all to shop online. I loved it!
This year we sat down and discussed what "one thing" makes Christmas "Christmas" to our children....and I was SHOCKED (and appalled) when several mentioned that they wanted to do the shopping days again. Good grief - with the internet at your finger tips why venture into WALMART at this time of year?????? Those people are CRAZY in there. But Dollar Tree, Walmart, Academy, Lowes, Circuit City....ugh. I'm making a deliberate effort to relax and have FUN with this.....though I really am NOT a shopper. The kids seem to really want to do this. They enjoy the special time out with me, and they enjoy the planning to bless each other.
We first created a master list. Everyone gives us as many ideas as they can about what they may like. This helps a BIT to make sure that you don't end up with a plastic t-rex for an 11 yo girl. THEN I give each person a page in my journal. Everyone clues me in as to what they bought for each person and I try to make sure we avoide totaly duplicates...because NONE of us want to go back to WALMART to RETURN THINGS! ::snort::
Today was Nolan's day. Zander begged to come along. I thought this was good. Two in one, for ME. We got all their gifts finished....well WAIT we need to buy for Mike - but we may regift him, and they need to buy for ME.
I have decided to create some good from these shopping excursions...I'm rating salads around town. So far....Wendy's Mandarin is good. Wendy's Southwest is yuck (think iceberg with a huge scoop of HOT chili on top; limp, wilted lettuce - ewww). Surprisingly, McDonald's Southwest salad is good. IF you skip the salad dressing and use the lime for your dressing. Stay tuned for more culinary reviews.
Ah - I'd had Jamin grab some minestrone from the freezer and throw it in the crockpot. Yum. THEN all the little ones and Mike and I did the 4 mile fast walk. Jared was too chicken! It WAS hilarious. Deja, just in case you were wondering - I DID finally get the workout in! ::snort::