Tis the Season

christmas shoppingAs I pack the car with bottled water, snacks, comfy shoes and big environmental bags it would appear that I am planning for a natural disaster of some sort.  To your disappointment it’s nothing so extreme but it is something almost as adrenaline filled. Yes you guessed it, I am planning for a girls Christmas shopping weekend!

There are a group of us that go shopping every year and attempt to conquer our entire Christmas list in one weekend.  We plan every detail….from which route to take, a listing of each store we want to hit and even how long we can spend in each store.  We plan out where we will stop for lunch (we need to make sure we have fuel in us to keep the shopping marathon going for the two days) and we plan where and when we will stop for dinner.  Dinner is mostly to re-group over a glass of wine to make sure we didn’t miss anything and if we did, to add it to the agenda for the next day.

We even go as far as booking into a hotel for the night near the shopping mall so that we can shop until we literally “drop”. I attend this shopping extravaganza with girlfriends who all have children the same age as mine.  This is helpful because then we can bounce gift ideas off one another and ensure that we are getting our kids the latest and greatest toys.  We spend the most time in toy and kids apparel stores.  We all have 6 year old boys that are obsessed with trucks, cars, airplanes and figurines.  We ensure that we bring all of the holiday store coupons with to ensure we are getting the best bang for our buck!!!!

DC Friend BatcaveFor the most part I usually get the majority of my Christmas shopping done that weekend.  For any last minute gifts I get those online as I am sick of the malls by then.  Going to websites like http://www.mattel.ca/ is a good as they have their toys categorized by age group which makes shopping very convenient.   They have everything from Barbie to the latest Imaginext toys (which my son and his friends LOVE).  The DC Super Friends™ Batcave is an absolute favorite in the 4-8 year category!!!!

For next year all you parents out there that are wondering when and how to start your Christmas shopping, my advice to you is pack your car with all of the essential survival tools and a well planned out Christmas list.  Then hit the open road for a shopping extravaganza.  It will take a weekend to get everything done but then you can rest and enjoy the rest of the holidays with family and friends knowing that you have conquered the list that was haunting you.

Well, I’m off to start wrapping……

“Disclosure: I am part of the Mattel Holiday Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Can We Watch Rudolf, Mum?

Can I come?” pleads Pickle.

What do you want to come for?” I wonder.

Why would anyone want to go grocery shopping out of choice???

I’m heading off after dinner to do ‘The Big Shop’. Not just the weekly Big Shop, but the Christmas Big Shop. I’m stressed. I tell her that as long as she doesn’t hinder me she can come if she really wants to, but she’ll be late to bed. After explaining what hinder means we’re agreed and set off.

She was actually a great help as ¾ of the way round my shopping cart was already full so I set her to work managing a back up cart. She only injured 3 shoppers and knocked down 1 display – not bad.

As the total climbed steadily at the checkout and I began to sweat, not only at the size of the bill, but also wondering how on earth all this food was going to fit in the fridge when we got home. Meanwhile Pickle was drawn to the display of bargain DVDs. She returned with the Muppet Christmas Carol/Muppet Treasure Island double bill and a good persuasive argument that we love Christmas Carol and have yet to see Treasure Island. Hey ho, what’s another £5? – the grocery bill was already twice that of a normal week. I should be grateful she wasn’t browsing the latest DVD releases.

I already got my £5 value from the DVD as I put it on this morning in an effort to keep excitement levels down a notch as we waited for Nanny and Grandad to arrive for their Christmas visit. I was supposed to be getting the house in order for the visitors (may as well make the effort to start with a tidy house before chaos descends) but found myself caught up watching with them. I do love a good Christmas DVD and was happy to add this one to our small collection of DVDs, books and CDs that always come out at the same time as the decorations. The trimming of the tree and the first viewing of Rudolf mark the beginning of the season in our house.

Rudolf and Hermey
So we’re all set: My new Michael Buble Christmas CD is playing, the fridge is stuffed, Nanny and Grandad are here, and the tree is trimmed and perched above a ridiculously large (and very exciting) mound of parcels.

And amazingly I think I only have 4 more gifts to wrap, which on Dec 22nd is unheard of for me…there must be something I’ve forgotten….

Wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!