Tag Archives: shopping

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving. An American holiday, packed with food, family, fankfulness (if you’ll forgive my brief descent into Estuary English), and f-

Hmm, must be some way to start this with an “f”.

Ah, filling up shopping carts.

There we go.

Naturally, we had some tidying to do before company came over, but thanks to the game night we had the other week, the mess wasn’t deeply entrenched. Company came, and fun was had. Food was served in the afternoon. It was breakfast to me, as I knew there’d be a lot of food, and I wanted a lot of it. Also, it was probably good policy to not get in the way of the wonderful cooks, who are people I’m very thankful for.

After the main course, we took a break before dessert. In that break, games were played. The kids played Loopin’ Louie, and sometime before that (you know how days go, could have been before eating), they played Twister. I played two games of Blokus with my parents-in-law, the first also with Oldest, and the second with my sister-in-law. During the second game, I got distracted a couple of times helping youngest play Dixit. He’s not really old enough to play, so I picked a card from his hand and asked him to say a word the card made him think of. The picture was of a treasure chest in a castle, with tentacles extruding from something inhabiting the chest, and the shadow of a treasure-hunter seen through a door, he’s coming down some stairs to the room.

The clue that Youngest gave to this image, was “three”.

So it was fun hearing all that. And despite the distractions, I managed to win both games. Sometimes I worry that if I do that too much, people won’t want to play with me.

In-laws and games, I’m thankful for those.

In the evening, some of us went to Wal-Mart. Say what you want about their Black Friday sale (and many do), it’s a good opportunity to pick up Christmas presents.

Last year, they staggered the sales, so some started at 6, some at 8, some at 10, and some the next morning. Or perhaps the 110 was the next morning. Anyhoo, this time the flyer was set up in a similar way, only all the times were 6pm, pretty much. Our store seems a little too large for the area, so often when you go in, it feels pretty empty. Tonight, everyone could get around, though sometimes the main aisles took a bit of time. I think they opened their doors around 4pm, but people couldn’t check out with the Black Friday items until 6. We got there just after 6, so missed the initial rush.

In the end, I didn’t get much. My mother-in-law expected to see me with a stack of DVDs as long as my arm, and I kind of expected that, too, but not much really grabbed me. I ended up with 3 DVDs, a couple of USB flash drives (it’s amazing how the price of those things has been dropping – it was only a year or two ago that I got 16GB for what I paid for 32GB today), and some headphones.

We left there at about 8, and the extra divisions between the checkout lines, were being taken down as we queued. The big rush, for them, was already over. Black Friday had almost ended at 8 on Thursday.

Was almost tempted by 3 seasons of NCIS. I know I’ll enjoy it if I sit down and watch it, in fact part of an episode I caught before we moved here, intrigued me enough that it’s on my radar. Don’t think I’ve actually caught more than one full episode, though. Maybe one day.

Also, I did catch a bunch of deals on Amazon, in the morning. Missed out on “Inside Out”, being waitlisted when I clicked “add to cart” as soon as it was available. Got one lightning deal, and a few other things that were just cheap. Still got my eye on a couple of things that I hope will dramatically drop in price, as both did at around this time of year, last year.

The waiting game.

This evening, after coming home, I played some jigsaw puzzles with Youngest. He’s getting the hang of lifting pieces and putting them in, rather than trying to ram them together, flat on the table. Still trying to figure out turning them just that little bit more to make them fit right. Still, happy with the improvement.

My kids and wife, I’m really thankful for.

There’s been snow on the ground for a week, or maybe two (not the best at keeping track of time). This has prompted me to sing “White Thanksgiving” to the tune of “White Christmas”.

And may all your Thanksgivings be white…

On Christmas Shopping

I’m one of those annoying people who starts Christmas shopping months in advance. Indeed, I’ve now at least ordered something for everybody in the house. The last person to be ordered for was Youngest, who really doesn’t need much (with access to many toys and books from his older siblings), but I wanted to get him something, and one of those play mats with roads and buildings on, came on a reasonably good sale, and he loves him some cars.

There’s still a thing or two I’m planning to pick up (one may be dependent on whether or not it goes on a good sale this week). And I haven’t started thinking about those outside the house, yet.

I have gottent to the point of rather enjoying buying presents for people, and I think I’m getting reasonably good at choosing what people will like. Some of it’s down to observation: that thing you mentioned that you liked the look of six months ago? Probably went on a hidden Amazon wishlist, so I would remember it.

This is definitely a skill I had to develop. Cue shameful anecdote:

One year, my sister had said something she wanted for Christmas. I didn’t make adequate note, and forgot what it was (it was a chocolate fondue set – NOW I remember). Closer to Christmas, I said I’d forgotten what it was she wanted, please could she remind me. I think she thought I was joking, but alas, no. I believe I asked a couple more times (could be wrong about that, long time ago), but she wouldn’t tell me. So I didn’t get her anything.

As you can imagine, this didn’t go over very well with anyone. It was either her birthday or the following Christmas that I attempted to make up for the incident by getting her a large, expensive present. (I hope she liked it…) Anyway, we’re on speaking terms, so hopefully there’s no remaining grudge.

So there you go: keep your ears open for what your people want, make sure you don’t forget, plan ahead so you can take advantage of sales. And have a good hiding place or two, to keep the purchases where the intended recipient won’t find them.