Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How Many Shopping Days Until Christmas?

I am being reminded already by the barrage of television advertisements, store flyer's and Wish Books that have arrived from Toys R' Us, Walmart and Target that there is only six weeks to finish our Christmas shopping. That's just 40 days or 960 hours or 57600 minutes. However you look at it, Christmas is getting closer. And forget about getting it all done by December 1st like I plan to every year. I haven't bought the first thing yet.

So I decided that I should try and get one step closer by at least putting down on paper the people I shop for along with the gifts I want to buy for them. Only problem is that once I got the list of people down on paper, I got stuck with the whole gift list part. Once I started thinking about their needs, wants, and personalities I just went into a catatonic state and realized that this year was going to be no different than the last five when I sweated every purchase as if I were making the decision of a lifetime.

I mean if I had unlimited funds, then gift buying wouldn't be a problem. Did you say you wanted a flat screen television, no problem. Or that cashmere sweater would look good on Aunt Bitsy, no problem. But realistically, I am on a budget. A very small one. And while my list of recipients isn't all that long, it's big enough to send one thrifty, budget conscience shopper (me) into cardiac arrest.

I thought Christmas was suppose to be one of those wonderful fun-filled enjoyable times of year. I mean it's all about the thought, right? Bull. I have put lots of thought into some of my gifts only to be told by my husband or child that what I bought was weird or not something anyone int heir right mind would want.

So this year, I am vowing to make it different. I am going to buy nice, affordable gifts. Gifts that everyone will love. I have scoured the internet and found a few interesting sites. And if these don't help me, then maybe they will help you.

http://www.etsy.com/: My new favorite site for all things handmade and homemade. You will find everything from art to clothing here. Check out the belts at Applina's shop.

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/: They have fabulous gifts for those who love to pamper themselves. Check out the sweetest soft robe for only $39.50.

http://www.cafepress.com/: They have some very cute t-shirts, mugs and bags. One of my favorite t-shirts says "Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?"

http://www.cooking.com/: For the chefs in your family. They have good prices and an excellent selection. Plus a flat rate shipping of $4.99 making the deals even sweeter. On my list this year is the Kitchenaid Mini Chopper and OXO mandoline slicer.

http://www.blurb.com/: Check out the photo books at this website. They are reasonably priced and most sizes are available in softcover and hardcover. They also can publish your blog entries in a book.

http://www.swoozies.com: Check out the cute monogrammed items available at this site. I particularly like the monogrammed insulated lunch bag.

http://www.perpetualkid.com: This site claims to have "unique gifts to entertain your inner child". Check out the stocking stuffers for those on your list with a great sense of humor.

http://www.amazon.com: This site has it all. Well at least almost all. But I like their selection of books. One of the big hits this year is the Dangerous Book for Boys and there is even one for the girls, The Daring Book for Girls (although I don't know that this is as big a hit).

http://www.givesimple.com: I love these cute polka dot tea towels and matching oven mitts. They also have some nice jewelry and handbags.

http://littlemissmismatched.com: This is the greatest concept in my book. Socks that actually never matched to begin with. A youngster (or someone young at heart) would love these. They even have change purses and pouches to match.

http://designmommarketplace.blogspot.com: Check out this website for a lot of unique websites for home and family.

I hope that you will find one of these websites helpful. Now I need to sharpen my pencil and start crossing those names off my list.

Oh and if you do happen to be one of those people with unlimited funds, can you add me to your Christmas list?