Saturday, December 19, 2009

I love shopping at Christmastime. I don't really like to think of myself as that girl who always has the newest and greatest thing from the trendiest shop in town. I don't value my life on racking up large amounts of things. I do like the feel of the mall at Christmas. It seems the way of the mall is dying what with all the strip mall shopping areas and whatnot. I miss the actual mall. It is completely impractical for a mom with 3 kids in a hurry but it is such a wonderful idea. I miss back when Abby was 2 or 3 and I worked at the mall in Plano. Most times on my lunch break I'd just walk around and sniff the Godiva chocolates (someone actually gave me some once- she was my employee and she went to school at Hockaday - she could afford it). I'd look at the large tree and listen to the swanky music playing. I'd go to Aveda and try their holiday scented lotions and scrubs. I'd go to the coffee place and get some fancy $5 coffee and sip it. I kinda miss that. But I am a mom of 3 kids. I live in the suburbs of Dallas. It is a long way to the mall and I have to get a sitter so I can actually shop. I think that this year was my absolute favorite, though. Wes and I argued about how many gifts to get each kid. We argued about how he doesn't need to spend that much money on me (seriously, don't). But ultimately, we did it together. We held hands walking through Target (off the mall, of course) and listened to the peppy new Christmas music there. We talked about how we "know" what our kids want. Maybe some day, a long way away, we'll be walking hand-in-hand at the mall, shopping for grandkid #3 and the young whippersnapper behind the counter will be getting ready for her lunchbreak to go sip coffee. In that case I'll probably give her a $5 bill and tell her to have one for me.

With only six days to go...

I did my Christmas shopping, with less than a week to spare. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with crowds like this. Trying to get out of Walmart was dern close though.
This was probably the most sophisticated approach I've ever taken. First of all, I went with Amy which ensured a logical search path from Target to Justice, etc. Mathematically speaking, it was a depth-first algorithm - making it the "shortest". We only backtracked a few times. It's maddening, but I never seem to find EXACTLY what I want, although I come close in most instances.

My budget was approximately $50 and Amy seemingly spent three times as much (just kidding Pretty). She got me something, but I have no idea what. Of course I was reassured by her assertion that, "It's really nothing special". In which case, I say - anything that writes or can be written on is exciting to me. I've got a very strange attachment to writing utensils.

I can't tell what everybody got, but I will tell you that I did not get Amy 6 forks. It didn't take long for me to see the absurdity of having a set of unmatched silverware. Besides, how exciting could that really be? The lady in the checkout lane tried to hint to me after scanning all the toys...

"Sir, are these your forks?"

I didn't say I was perfect, only getting better. Christmas shopping without kids and with the wife was the best experience of the season. I can't wait to see the happy (or horrified/just kidding) looks.