Today started out so nice and calm. Coffee date with my sweet husband, patronizing local small businesses for Small Business Saturday. We got pastries at Hillcrest Bakery and coffees at 527 Coffee. Aren't we just so local? Well. Just keep reading.
We got home and I decided to head out and "run my errands." I really, really only intended to go to Old Navy for their $8 Christmas jammie pants and Barnes and Noble for a few books that were on various lists. Oh, and since I was over that way anyway, I was going to stop in to Petco to check out doggie diapers. For Shade. I know. Just.....don't.
So, after finding out the diapers were like $20 for maybe six diapers, I said "Screw this, I'll just buy cheap baby diapers and cut a damn hole in them for his tail." And then I headed to Old Navy. And it's NOT my fault that they had such amazing deals. Or that they had this incredible clearance table. I fulfilled a lot of wishes in that store today, including my own wish I didn't even know I had to buy 9 shirts and a cardigan sweater for $31.50 total. P.S. That was just MY total. Ahem. I might have spent significantly more on Christmas wishes for others.
Then, I went to Barnes and Noble. Which was super quick and easy - found what I was looking for and was in and out of there in a few minutes. I could have spent all day browsing, perusing the "bargain book" section, and gotten caught up in buying all the fun holiday stuff, but I was on a MISSION by golly, and I was planning to head home to decorate for Christmas and do crafts.
But then I realized I still needed to run to Target for those damn diapers for the dog. So, I started to think, what else could I get at Target that might be on the wish lists? I made another list and drove over to Target. Once inside I really had to go to the bathroom (refer to earlier posts about Target) and I was really hungry. And, lucky for me, there was a Pizza Hut inside Target! I went to order a pizza only to be told "We're out of pizzas till Wednesday." Wtf? Wednesday is........FOUR days away! And you are PIZZA HUT for cryin' out loud. Whatever. I had the pasta.
So, then I got sucked into the vortex that is Target. It starts with a slow circle around the dollar section, and widens to include all departments, including clearance racks. Darn those clearance racks! But I did score some a-may-zing deals there. For instance, a fairly big-ticket item, normally $50 that I got for $12! Yessss! I cannot divulge what the item was because I made a promise to Santa. And my kids read my blog. Then I sort of started throwing stuff into the cart because I was having a hard time shopping for one child in particular. Ok, it's my son. Boys are SO hard to shop for. If it's not a video game, something computer-related or money, they just don't care that much. And since none of those are things I'm planning to gift to said son this year, I have to get creative. I'm really trying to avoid giving him underwear.
And then........after I actually heard my Target debit card let out a small whimper when I swiped it to pay for all those purchases........I decided to go to the mall. Not to shop, mind you, but to say hello to my daughter, who was working at Macy's. I parked a mere three or so miles away, trekked into Macy's and made my way to the children's department. I followed my daughter around while she put tiny dresses back on the racks and noticed that I could see her bra when she leaned forward, and, when she turned around, I noticed a hole in her sweater. I mentioned both, and she said "I know, I just don't have anything else to wear and I'm recycling all my clothes and I'm running out of things to wear to work." So, of course I had to go buy her a sweater.
I looked around Macy's and quickly realized no f**king way I was going to be able to afford anything at Macy's, so I headed to Sears. Where, by the way, I also found nothing. And was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ugly clothing. I headed back towards Macy's and found H&M. Knowing my daughter raved about this place, I went inside hoping to score some bargains. I DID manage to pick up a few things, but I didn't find the store all that appealing (OR cheap). I figured I'd find what I was looking for at JCPenney so I started the long, long walk to the opposite side of the mall. I made one pit stop at Bath and Body Works because I had a coupon for a free item with any purchase. I bought 2 mini candles for $5 and got a $12 bottle of peppermint body wash for FREE. Yay, for showers that get me in the Christmas spirit! I paid fast and bolted out of the store. Then, I went right by Maurice's, which I LOVE and had a coupon for so I had to stop. And I might have bought my daughter a new work wardrobe while I was in there, but almost all of it was on clearance. If I weren't so tired, I might have been tempted to buy something for myself, but I didn't even look.
I went back to show my daughter her new wares, got approval for all, and headed home. All told, I was out about 5-6 hours, BUT the best part of all? I finished my Christmas shopping! Except for a few items, I am nearly done and it's not even the end of November. I do believe this is some sort of record for me. And I'm already dreading wrapping it all. But I'm really happy that I managed to buy nearly everything on sale or clearance this year. Now, I haven't added it all up (and I'm scared to!) but I'm certain I did pretty well, considering Christmas for a family of six really adds up year after year.
I kind of failed Small Business Saturday, but the best part is, I won't have to spend days and days trying to fit all my shopping into one-hour blocks of time between kids' activities and driving them everywhere. Maybe I'll make cookies. And watch some Christmas movies! And sip Bailey's whilst admiring the lights upon the tree. Of course, I have to put the tree up first....
One thing at a time. 'Tis the season!