Even though we cut back on the gift buying this year, it seems we're still doing our part to keep the economy up and running! With five combined kids between the two of us, three of whom have spouces, plus two grandkids, four parents, and each other, we've got lots of gifts to buy and wrap! But this year I decided rather than fight all the crowds at the mall, I would shop primarily online and suck-up and pay the excessive shipping that some of these obscure shops want. If you ever need to know where to buy authentic Mexican cooking supplies and food, just ask me! Or how about speciality products and clothing for the bicycling enthusiast... got it. Educational toys and books for growing young children... check. Professional tools for the home improvement worker... yup, I got that, too! If you need to find funky tampon carrying cases and condom caddys with funny sayings on them, well just ask! I know where to find them!! (seriously, I do) And only for a mere $32!! What a deal. Although that's where Idraw the line. No, Monica, I'm NOT buying you a tampon case for Christmas to be opened in front of all your siblings and grandparents, no matter how much you want it!
My question is, whatever happened to doing your gift buying at Woolworth's Drug Store? When I was little my Daddy would take all of us kids during the holidays out to Topps (remember Topps?) and Zayres and Woolworth's Drug Store... the most popular discount stores in our area.
There were four of us kids and we had lots of relatives to buy for, so we needed inexpensive gifts. We were always in a dilemma on what to buy our mom, grandparents, and siblings for their Christmas gifts. If we even looked at something he would go, "Your mom will love it! Put it in the cart!" Daddy wasn't much for shopping, so the sooner he could get us all out of there and to Henry's Hamburgers for a quick bite to eat, and travel back home, the better! Never failed, my poor mom got so many dumb, cheap gifts it was ridiculous! I'm sure that one day, when she leaves this world, we'll find about a thousand bottles of dried-up, bright red fingernail polish and Salsa Red Revlon lipstick stuffed far back in her vanity drawers. Those gifts she just couldn't bare to part with, even though it was the last thing on earth she wanted or needed. They represented our love, compassion, and creativity. Our days spent shopping with our daddy. The time we spent making lists, worrying if she would like bright red better than hot pink, the scent of roses better than lilac, or blue slippers rather than white.
I have some of those things tucked away in the back of my drawers and closets, too. Little treasures hidden away, some never opened, yet so full of sentiment and memories. One thing in particular I can think of, and actually know where it is, because it's always packed away with our Christmas decorations. It's a gift to my husband, given to him when our youngest daughter was in the second grade. She had one of those "shop for your family" days at school, where the kids were to bring in some money to shop with and they got to go to the gymnasium where Santa's Secret Shop was set-up. It was full of all sorts of trinkets and treasures that every little kid loves to buy for their mommy and daddy and siblings.
Well, Natalie, was soooo excited to give this gift to her Daddy! She LOVED this gift more than any other thing she had purchased. She really wanted to keep it for herself, but knew that Christmas was a time for giving and so she committed to giving it away. I'll never forget the look on Dale's face when he opened his gift. Of course he wasn't expecting some fabulously expensive item from his little girl, but I really don't believe he thought he'd be receiving a necklace! It was a giant jingle bell, dangling on a bright green and gold braided rope! Why she chose to give a necklace to her Daddy rather than me or her sister or grandma, is beyond me. I guess she felt it was extra special. She was so proud and happy and insisted he put it on that very moment and wear it. And he did. He wore that necklace all Christmas day, as well as to all the relative's houses we visited for several days after.
We've kept that necklace all these years. Natalie just finished her first semester at college. It holds a special place in our hearts because of what it represents. Each year when we pull it out, we get to re-live that moment in time and how happy and proud our little girl was that day. And every year her Daddy wears it around his neck... if only for a little while, as a connection to the past and all the wonderful memories that go with it.
It's good to know that there's some traditions that withstand the test of time. Aaaaaahh, Christmas.... itis the most wonderful time of the year!
It's definitely that time of year for generosity! I just found out about another awesome FREE giveaway!! Modish is holding three random drawings for a total of $2,161 worth of free merchandise! How cool is that? There will be one winner for each giveaway package, and each contest will end on Tuesday, December 16th. The winners will be selected next Wednesday morning and announed on their blog. Here's a list of the artists and artisans who contributed:
One of my favorite artists, Susan Tuttle, has a new book out! Susan is a talented photographer and writer, as well. Her book, Exhibition 36: Mixed-Media Demonstrations + Explorations, is now available at Amazon. It was just released from North Light Books and already has five star reviews! Although I haven't read it yet, it's on my Christmas wish list and I can't wait to receive it! If you're looking for a new source for techniques and inspiration, check out Susan's new book!
I hope all of you had a wonderful and very happy Thanksgiving last week! We certainly had more than our share of food. We hosted a beautiful dinner here and had a lucky thirteen, with eleven adults and two children.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving I did another art fair/show with my mom. We had one two weeks ago and it went pretty well. This show was much better and was pretty busy off and on throughout the whole day. I sold lots of my new pendants and a couple of my mounted prints.
I have a good selection and am making more for holiday orders. No more shows for the rest of this year, though. I need to concentrate on getting my Christmas shopping finished!
Here's a picture from the show we did earlier in the month. I think we had a much better set-up last weekend, but I somehow managed for forget about taking a photo.