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Friday, December 12, 2003

I Shop, Therefore I AM

I just have this to say about that...The 99 Cent Store KICKS ASS!

I have been worried beyond belief how I was going to manage to do ALL of my Christmas shopping on the budget that Charlie gave me this year. Quite literally, I would have to buy for everyone on our family shopping list for $300. That's it. I'm not just talking about the A, B, and C. I'm talking about in-laws, out-laws, and all the little laws in between. Even though I felt at the time he said it to me that I didn't think that was possible (still don't), I didn't make a fuss or scoff at him. The fact is, things are damn tight this year. And I know that me not working has everything to do with it. So far be it from me to say "boo" when Charlie says "Here's your shopping money, Babe...stretch it!" The other day when Averie and I went to the bank to transfer funds from savings to checking (at Charlie's request), I nearly hyperventilated when I saw that after the transfer, we had a balance in savings of $4.82. Yes, that's right kiddies...feast your eyes on that would ya? $4 friggin 82.

Needless to say, I've had a daunting task in front of me. Yes, I've already gone a tad bit over the initial $300. But I've just got to say that the one thing that has always caused me a wrinkle or two every Christmas is stocking stuffers. We didn't have stockings when I was a kid, so that wasn't an issue. Stockings were what you tacked onto the walls for decoration. Nothing more. It wasn't until I met and married Charlie that I discovered that there were actually people in the world that DO stuff their stockings and it's a HUGE deal to them. In fact, to Charlie's family, stockings WERE the favorite thing about Christmas mornings. So now, I had to learn how to do this too. I must say, I learned fast and I learned well. I even went so far as to sew personalized stockings for our family. I learned from Charlie's mom what traditional things should be put into stockings...a new penny, an orange, some nuts, an apple, some chocolate coins, and of course the stories behind why those traditions were so important. So, I followed family tradition and now my kids also look forward to running to their stockings on Christmas morning. It's always the first thing we do. BUT, the fact is, it can cost a small fortune to fill Christmas stockings. I usually try to include useful things like a new toothbrush, some socks, pens or pencils for school, stationery, and then some favorite candies or fun goodies like CDs or hockey pucks, etc. Last year, I couldn't do a stocking for less than $30.00, even bordering on $40.00. But then again, last year didn't hurt so much. THIS year, I was sweating it big time.

So, I hit the 99 cent store this morning, first thing. I'm telling you, that place ROCKS! I got some great stuff there and I FILLED those stockings for less than $20. Who's the best shopper? Oh, that would be me.


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