Christmas Spending – Ho Ho Holy Sh*t

The count down has begun. We are weeks/days away from that gluttonous time of year that we in the 1st world call “Christmas”. There is debt to be accumulated, empty calories to scoff and guilt over and a wide swath of poor decisions to be made. You know, shopping decisions. Would he/she really wear/play with/be appalled by/be impressed with/be disappointed in/re-gift at next years staff party/(insert your own gift insecurities here)… or should I just buy a gift card. Actually gift cards are not as easy as they used to be either. There once was a day when it could only be an iTunes card or a gas card, now the possibilities are endless from big box stores to restaurant chains to ski passes to lingerie stores and everything in between. Plus…do you buy the $25, $50, $100 card? There’s no bargain shopping with gift cards either, your giftee knows exactly how much you paid for this gift.

*Spoiler alert* Stop reading if you think stockings are stuffed and presents under the tree magically delivered via your chimney by way of a jolly (albeit probably diabetic) fat man in a red suit.

Are you sure? Ok…so, I tried telling my family that I would forego the stocking stuffing this year. Before you get all judgey on me, understand that stuffing stockings at our house this Christmas would include “me” buying and stuffing stockings for my semi-retired (<-clue to his age) husband, my 24 year old son, my 37 year old bonus son, my bonus sons 30 year old new girlfriend, my 35 year old bonus daughter and her significantly older boyfriend,  and my husband happily buying and stuffing a stocking for 49 year old me. I thought that maybe at this stage we would have all grown out of wanting stockings. HA! There was a loud outcry from one son and one daughter and so…the show must go on.

I don’t know about you but I get nervous at this time of year when I see anyone who does my hair or taxes, delivers my newspaper or mail or picks up my garbage. I’d avoid seeing my gardeners and housekeepers too if I had any. Apparently these people get Christmas tips or gifts, which is fine I guess, but how much? What does this kind of “gifting” look like? A friend in the States told me she gives the hostess at one of her favourite restaurants $50 every Christmas. (Which is more like buying insurance for getting seated quickly at a good table than it is good cheer; I guess we’ll be sitting near the bathrooms all year.) By the way, she has more than one favourite restaurant.

Where do you draw the line? Should I gift or tip the kid that bags my groceries even though he puts the bag of oranges on top of the bread? What about the girl at the gym who laboriously swipes our membership card or the lady from Home Depot in the flooring department, or how about the guy that stopped his car at the cross walk so I could cross the street the other day?

The pressure is building…must get the perfect gift…must tip or give a gift to anyone who has crossed my path this year…must get fun original stocking stuffers…must decorate Martha Stewart style…must bake family favourites…must…must…must poor myself a large tumbler of red wine.

And then it was all Ho Ho Happiness again.


Shopping…for a Man.

Last week I wrote about Shopping When You’re Hungry, this week it’s, Shopping… for a Man. It’s hard to find the perfect man, because there is no such thing as perfect when it comes to men or women, but there is ‘pretty damn close!’

So assuming we are not shopping hungry and hypothetically we happen upon Mr Pretty Damn Close to Perfect, it goes something like this…

We catch his eye and can’t resist his charming smile and pearly whites. We flirt ever so subtly, even though he’s in the company of another woman. Our heart takes over and we convince ourselves, she’s probably his sister, they’re colleagues or just friends. This is where our hearts replace reality with make-believe and our heads get lost in the clouds! If the sparkle in his eye wasn’t enough to blind us and send us into a spellbound tailspin, the brilliant ray of light reflecting off his pearls will most certainly derail us from our path of common sense! Physiologically, we’ve been lured! All because we just can’t resist something that sparkles! Let me clarify, women who shop with their hearts can’t resist something that sparkles! We create what we think might be…first mistake! Back away from the temptation you long for until your head takes control over your heart! Don’t let your body try to fool you into thinking you’re just having a sugar low and a taste of protein will make you feel much better! It won’t!

Now, I’ll put it into perspective for most women and relate our shopping for a man as we would a pair of CFM GREAT shoes that speak to us telepathically. The gorgeous shoe on the left is a Brian Atwood Shoe, in F**k You Red, check out the link to see the description, warning it may offend some readers. We wouldn’t wear a shoe with a strap that was too tight or felt too small or god forbid belonged to another woman. It just wouldn’t feel right. We want the shoe that calls out our name to fit us just right in order to be pumped about it. (giggle) We shouldn’t feel any different when it comes to men. He should fit us just right, and only us!

I am in no way suggesting men are objects, although I think deep down they wish we would treat them as such to make it simpler for them. I also believe when it comes to love you should follow your heart, but until it is love you should use your head first. This will avoid the obvious, a shoe rarely worn because it pinches or makes our feet hurt! When we use our hearts, not our heads when we are initially infatuated with whatever is within our grasp, we turn a blind eye and ignore the obvious, Red Flags. I’m working on that post right now, stay tuned! 

So ladies, when you’re out browsing or shopping and come across a potentially perfect fit, use your head, until your heart naturally takes its place. My heart tells me Paul Walker is Mr Perfect, my head assures me he has flaws just like everyone else on the planet! I just wish they were a little more visible to the naked eye!

Happy Shopping Ladies!


Shopping When You’re Hungry!

Yesterday Jacquie posted about Breaking the Shopping Addiction so I thought I would follow her lead here and add yet another element of shopping. You know what they say about going grocery shopping when you’re hungry…you shouldn’t. I’ve come to the same conclusion when you’re shopping for…pretty much anything, including men. *wink * We’ve all gone shopping hungry at some point in our lives, whether we want to admit to it or not.

It should be a Golden Rule: “Don’t shop for anything when you’re hungry for it!” You will usually end up with what you don’t necessarily need or want and it’s never an easy task to return what you got. Mentally we just aren’t prepared to return something we’ve bonded with the entire car ride home. 🙂 Buyers remorse sometimes kicks in but not soon enough, we quickly justify our purchase in our own minds and find ourselves hiding or not speaking of what we bought until the dust settles! If you’re hiding what you bought, chances are you didn’t need it! lol

Basically, unless you’re ready to unwrap what you purchase and use it immediately, you should hold off or at least think about it…unless of course you look at shopping as doing research for when you’re ready to purchase. Do you see where the justifying happens so naturally! Ya…its research I’m doing, no harm in that! Cha-ching! There’s nothing wrong with a little research, as long as its left in the store!

When you’ve done without something for awhile, sometimes it’s just too tempting and hard to resist. Temptation can be tricky, even for those who have great discipline, unfortunately most of us fall under the category ‘Discipline Zero.’ Restraint is definitely something learned with age…at least for me.

So next time you’re out shopping for whatever, ask yourself two questions.

1) Am I hungry?

2) Do I really want or need him this?

Stay tuned next week I’ll tackle Shopping… for a Man ~