Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Shopping

I have one more small present to buy and then I think I'm done. I didn't spend too much this year-- my extended family has cut back on gift exchanging, and I gave a lot of people freebie books! May sound cheezy, but these are all people who love to read and value good books-- they won't know or care where I got them.
As I mentioned regarding my Thanksgiving weekend mall outing, the stores never seemed all that crowded. Even this week in New York it didn't seem all that bad. Last Saturday afternoon I spent some time at the Union Square holiday market, where it was a bit of a slog to get through the crowds, but that is because they squeeze a lot of stalls into those narrow aisles!

But here's what always happens to me at this time of year-- I get very anxious about gift-giving. I hate the idea of giving people crappy, impersonal gifts. I want everything I give to be thoughtful, personal, tasteful and all-around sublimely perfect, while also being inexpensive. Of course I find this impossible, so I procrastinate about the shopping and get more and more agitated about finishing it at the last minute. In the meantime, because all this forces me to go to stores, I start seeing lots of things that I want for myself. Especially this year, when there are plenty of little household things I need, it's been hard to hold back, trying to remember that if I'm lucky, people might give me a few of these things, or at least gift cards with which to buy them. Then I think, "yeah, I wish! I'll probably end up with 8 decorative candles and ornaments for a Christmas tree I'll never put up."
So I start to feel all greedy and Scrooge-like when I should be basking in the spirit of giving. This time of year is dangerous-- most of the time, I think I am really pretty good about resisting consumerist lust, and not going shopping. But then when I do see things and want them, I suddenly throw frugality to the wind and want immediate gratification. But then I see the lines in the stores, even as moderate as they seem this year, and that helps me wait.
But after the holidays, when the sales are on, here's my shopping agenda:
--Paragon Sporting Goods or maybe LL Bean, for a parka. I've only needed a new one for about 4 years now!
--Banana Republic, to try on a couple of sweaters and pants that looked nice
--The Gap and/or Macy's/Lord & Taylor, for some more new undergarments (there are just a few too many days when I hear my mother's voice in my head saying "what if you got hit by a bus and were taken to the hospital in those...")
--Tootsie Plohound, to see if a really crazy pair of red boots has been marked down any further! They could be just the kind of funky-ugly that maybe few enough people will think they're cool that they'll end up on clearance... or else it could be that they are so unusually beautiful and unique that they'll be sold out by the time I go back.

--Various stores/websites for a coffee maker and one of those little counter top grills, since I seem to have trouble broiling things in my new stove without setting them on fire.
--Local stores for some plants
--Who knows where for curtains/blinds, a bed, and other assorted furniture, lamps and rugs
--And if my parents don't give them to me for Xmas, a power drill and some new towels.

There isn't really anything else I want right now, except for this big box set of Greta Garbo movies on DVD... but who knows what else lurks around the corner, waiting to catch my eye if I go shopping tonight.

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