Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Cyber Monday...let the SHOPPING commence!!

Hello ladies. Yes, it's true I am back from the desert. Wow, what a great place to spend Thanksgiving. We ate our dinner by the pool, drank lots of great wine and had a great time. So, it is time to start thinking about the holidays. And YES, Virginia...I do put up a REAL tree. My niece and nephew are so accustomed to the artificial kind, they did not understand what it means to have a real tree (my niece asked if it talked, isn't that about the cutest thing ever?). I go to the local lot, have them strap it to the top of the Silver Ultimate Driving Machine and drag it up my back stairs. And yes, I have needles all over the house, the cat sleeps under the tree and then drinks the water out of it. REALLY GOOD for a diabetic cat to drink water with sap in it.

Enough of my that Thanksgiving is over, we should officially talk about shopping and the holidays. As most of you know, I am a bit of a shopaholic, although now that I have been BROKE for two years, I don't get on eBay as much, but here are some ladies seriously tips for shopping and the holidays. Some are practical, some are funny and some lend themselves to the whole purpose of my to be classy. SO, HERE WE GO!!!

1. MAKE A BUDGET for gifts and STICK TO IT. I personally use a spreadsheet as it helps me narrow down what to buy and where to buy. And I can see how far over or under budget I am.

2. If you send out Christmas/Holiday Cards, please be sure to personally sign them. Unless you are a business, it is a bit impersonal to have your name imprinted on them. And if you have a very daunting card list, maybe it is time to pare the list down. Does that friend that you NEVER speak to or hear from really need a card? Also, I do write a holiday letter but I don't send it to family and close friends, they should know everything that is in the letter.

3. Don't assume that everyone celebrates CHRISTMAS. That is why I like to call December into early January...the HOLIDAYS. CHRISTmas is exclusive to CHRISTians. With Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Chinese New Year, you need to respect how all people celebrate their holiday. OH, on a side note, Kwanzaa and Christmas are not mutually exclusive, many African American families celebrate both.

4. For those people that are important to you in life, put some thought into the gift that you buy for him/her. No matter what you can afford, buy something that will mean something to the person you are giving it to. I like to buy something that I know the person wouldn't buy for her/himself. Gift cards are nice, but if you are really close with someone, it might be a bit impersonal. There are exceptions...last year I got my sister a GC to Victoria's Secret because I knew she needed bras. Remember, the post about Up and Out sister needed a little assistance there.

5. OK, office parties...ladies seriously, be careful here. Dress appropriately, nothing too low cut or too short, remember you work with these people. Also, watch how much alcohol you drink! You know how those things go, free alcohol = TROUBLE.

6. Make sure to take care of yourself during the holidays. This is a stressful time of year! Don't get so caught up in everything that you don't get a proper diet or sleep. Remember, we are into the FOOD holidays, which means extra pounds!

7. Don't worry about being SUPER MOM or SUPER WOMAN! Really, is the world going to come to an end if Sallie Sue doesn't have homemade cookies to take to school. The local baker at the grocery store makes great cookies. There is so much pressure on us to get to parties, cook, shop, do cards, and plus keep up on everyday stuff that we do throughout the year, it could drive a girl crazy! Don't try to take on too much.

8. Remember the reason for the celebrate and enjoy your family and friends. Count your blessings for what you have because there are so many people out there without homes or food. And that reminds me, if you have time, volunteer to those people in need, give food or clothing to a shelter, help cook at a meal, and keep hoping that things get better for all.

I am heading home tonight to continue to take advantage of Cyber Monday and YES, not so soccer mom (you know who you are), it is a real thing. Enjoy the upcoming weeks. Ladies seriously, be safe, be merry and enjoy!

Cheers and CIAO BELLAS!

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