Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Scratching the Holiday Shopping Itch

I heard on the news this morning Americans plan to spend $100 less on gift giving this year than last. The reason: More money is going into our gas tanks. If someone asked me that question for a national poll, I would probably say the same thing. Besides more money going into my ever-thirsty Honda minivan, my gift list is shrinking. I have no children at home anymore. While I just got a new grandson on October 29th, I don't buy the amount of gifts I did when my son was at home.

My sisters and I have agreed to downsize this year for the above mentioned reasons. I believe most people polled, me included, have every intention of spending less this year. But what happens as soon as the stores open the day after Thanksgiving...(Do they ever really close?) We run to the stores to spend those hard earned dollars on gifts. Forget gas prices for one day.

I love shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, that makes me either suicidal, homicidal, or just down right psychotic, but you couldn't keep me away with razor wire. I love getting up early, dusting off my running shoes and charge cards and hitting those early bird specials. According to store ads, most of them are even opening up an hour earlier than last year.

Can I make it? Do I have the fortitude? Your darn tootin'. I can't wait.
I am not ordinarily a shopper. Nor do I like to part with my hard earned money. I recycle aluminum foil, for crying out loud. But not the day after Christmas. The budget I planned to stringently adhere to is tucked away in my sock drawer at home. I love to buy for my family. I love to imagine the looks on the faces of those I hold dear when they open the perfect gift I chose so carefully. And it only happens once a year. Right? So I'll go a little overboard. I'll spend more than I said I would. But if I didn't, I would kick myself on Christmas morning if I let my usual spendthrifty nature rule my heart.

The gloves are off. I've got an itch, and I can't wait for Friday to scratch it.

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