I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas: Sponsored by the Thrift Store, Craigslist and Generous Family

 We have just returned to Buffalo after a prolonged Christmas including three straight days of gift giving and many a delicious dinner at Gregory's parents. Santa arrived here in Buffalo on Christmas Eve with some amazing gifts - more amazing to me because "Santa" found so many of them for about a dollar. I have yet to write a post about the epic thrift stores in this area, but my Christmas finds were fantastic. Although I have to credit Gregory for many an item. Ayla's side of the room is plastered with Princess wall decals (AND GEMSTONES!) and Jackson's Yoda alarm clock is by far the cutest clock ever.

  It was so relaxing and rewarding to have one day here, just our little family. I know the years that all of my kids truly believe in Santa are fleeting and it is such a gift to feel that again! And I know that the years we can get away with "inexpensive" (relatively, when kids are asking for ipads) presents are even more fleeting. So add their true enchantment with the season and the ability to be pleased with toothbrushes: we might have just had our best Christmas yet!

 The Barbie car, horse and neighborhood of Barbies came from Craigslist, the Fisher Price pirate ship from Amvets, Hello Kitty from the dollar store and all of the free toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoo that I super-couponed from Rite Aid. I splurged on everyone else in the family instead. This is what I love most about this time of year. It's not a consumerist, materialistic drive that takes me Christmas shopping: it really is my chance to buy cool, quirky, necessary or not items for the people around me! Gregory and I are always buying each other what I feel other couples buy on a normal day, only nicer because it is a special occasion. We have had the same set of semi-ugly, chipped plates for the past decade and after years of us both pining away at Ikea dishes, Gregory finally splurged and bought beautiful Corning ware dishes. I couldn't have asked for anything more than a new iron (not a housewife iron, but a sewing business iron), new plates, an organizing system, a case of Ravenswood wine (intact with rebate form... for a super couponing nerd like me) and Archer Farms coffee!

 Only, we got more because we then drove to Pittsburgh on Christmas and spent time with as much family as we could. I am always blown away by the generosity shown for ourselves and our kids. Santa brought the highly coveted Fijit robot for Ayla to Nano and Gramps' house. Santa also made a visit to my mothers' and our kids nearly peed their pants when the gifts were discovered there!

Elliot wearing my new onion goggles. They will definitely be put to use. Good call, Mom!
 I will go on record saying that Christmas is not about the gifts... but it also kind of IS about the gifts. I get so excited giving the presents I have been scheming about for months. I spent a lot of time crafting and sewing and on Snapfish.com thinking of fun presents to give, so for me, that is a huge part of the day. Of course I love receiving presents, mostly because I am blessed with family that is thoughtful, funny, generous and with really great taste!

Is a caption really necessary? YES, they all have matching tutus. Ok wait, yes, please note Baxter eyein' up the cheese on the table...

Could we be happy without presents? Sure. But in my life, where I don't often splurge, it is fun to go shopping and give myself "permission" to get something nice for the people I love. (I mean, I never would buy a broccoli stuffed toy for myself, but for Erin on Christmas, most definitely! :) )

 I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas like we did. And of course, every other holiday that you may celebrate. (Note: must write blog post about the importance of being polite about that during the holidays.) I know we really appreciated the chance to spend time with family and friends in Pittsburgh - now that we had to actually "return" for Christmas, it's really setting in that we live in Buffalo for real!


  1. I once got onion goggles for Christmas...they totally work!! Highly recommended, especially if onions make you weep nonstop the way they do to me.

  2. I also get intensely excited about giving gifts, for any holiday or occasion! Buuuut I think you knew that...

    p.s. I am greatly enjoying driving in the HOV lane with my new driving buddy! Ms. Ali is quite the chatty veggie!