Christmas shopping with Mari

It is a well-known fact that I love shopping. Okay, I don’t just love shopping…I’m a shopaholic. It took me some time to be able to admit that to myself. My family knew it and would always call me out on it, but I lived in a perfectly shaped bubble of denial. I’ve taken some steps to end my shopping addiction, such as giving it up for Lent, which worked for exactly 41 days. I even made a rule for myself that required me to ask my boyfriend before I purchased anything. That worked as well, until he shipped off to basic training. Now that he’s away and I’m on my own, there is no limit to the amount of shopping that I have done over the past month. I have a valid excuse though: Christmas shopping!

If there is one thing I love more than buying things for myself, it is buying things for other people.

I just love seeing the excitement on their faces when they open their gifts, especially when it is totally unexpected. I have honestly considered a career as a personal gift shopper for people. Do you think that would a successful business? Hmmm…

I’m a strong believer in personal gifts. I don’t think you need to spend loads of money on just one gift. Homemade gifts are usually the most personal you can get, but there are still options for the less crafty people out there (like me!)

Gift giving can be a fun or dreadful occasion, depending on how well you know the giftee*. If I’m giving someone a gift, it is usually because I know them, even if it’s just a little bit. Knowing what that person likes can go a long way. I think books make great books, but if that person hates reading (I try not to judge people who say they hate reading), getting them a book would be useless, unless it’s a book that you know for sure they will enjoy.

I try to pick a budget, setting a limit to how much I will spend for each person. I did pretty well this year with sticking to the budget for some people. For others though, not so much. It can get really hard for me not to buy something for someone once I see it, especially if I know they will love it.

I’m big on the online shopping scene. I buy everything online if I can. Actually, now that I think of it, I haven’t bought any gifts in a store this year. Avoiding crowds like the plague over here. One rule of thumb I always stick to though during my online shopping is free shipping. I refuse to pay for shipping. This can be a problem, since most stores usually only offer free shipping on orders $100 or more. It can be both a blessing and a curse. Depends on your perspective. And if I can get a discount on my purchase? Even better!

There is one Christmas shopping habit that will definitely be hard to break someday, like when I have kids of my own…buying gifts for myself. I have to buy a gift (or seven) for myself each year. The gifts I buy are mostly things that I would not be able to justify buying during the rest of the year. What better excuse is there other than discounts? Hello, 50% off! Also, I have no Christmas budget for myself, which can be fatal but somehow, I manage not go into debt. I think my mother is in my head all the time, her look of disapproval at my superficiality as I purchase yet another thing I really don’t need. That must be why my Christmas shopping habits have not killed me…yet!

I started my Christmas shopping back in October, so I had all my gifts by the beginning of December. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks just buying things for myself.

Now comes the fun part: gift wrapping! I don’t wrap the gifts I buy for myself. Gosh, how lame do you think I am? Okay, I’ve thought about doing that, but I have to think of the trees, ya know.

So these are my shopping habits. I can’t wait till Christmas morning when my family open gifts. I just hope they’re as excited as I am about their gifts! Here’s to a weekend with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Home Alone, full of gift wrapping, baking, and all-around Christmas cheer!

*Giftee? I’m not sure if that is actually a word, but if it isn’t, I am making it one now. It is officially a part of my vocabulary.

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