Shopaholics Anonymous

I recently confessed that I used to be able to spend an entire day in a mall, shopping for sport.  A couple of girlfriends and I would start out early, load up as we saw fit, break for lunch and then with elbows pointed out for safety, get back at it.  Sometimes we’d have to rent a locker to stuff in our stuff before we went and bought more stuff.  We never, ever made runs to the car to put our stuff in unless we were leaving.  With drivers circling the mall, especially around the holidays, opening your trunk, filling it up and then not leaving is a shopper’s no-no.  We were kind to our fellow hunters by not misleading them that our prime spot was opening up. 

These days I’m much less interested in accumulating stuff.  Getting things for the sake of having new things is not where it’s at.   And buying gifts that are “okay” is a definite no-no.  I still love the hunt, even if my stamina isn’t what it used to be, so I’m willing to stalk my prey until I get the perfect item.

And that’s not easy!  But where there used to be a trend toward gimmicky items released just in time for Christmas, there now seems to be a slew of doodads that people might actually use.   I don’t know why it took the Scotch company so many years to come up with the wrapping paper cutter (brilliant!) and the hands-free tape dispenser (how did we live without it?!) but they’re finally out and they’ve revolutionized gift wrapping.  At least until it comes time to buy a 10 dollar pre-cut tape refill and then we may rethink the entire process.

I’ve seen cuff bracelets made out of coffee cup sleeves covered in thin wood veneer.  Very chic and eco friendly.  If I didn’t already have a Magic Bullet I would be asking Santa for one because its compact brilliance is unmatched in the blender world, unless you’re making Margaritas for a crowd.  I recently read several warnings about gift cards but I still think they can make excellent gifts for the hard to buy for.  An email recently circulated that claimed many stores were going out of business and therefore one should not purchase gift cards at them because they’ll be worthless.  Best Buy actually took out an ad to dispel this myth.  The sky is not falling, at least not on that particular retailer.

I do love shopping for gifts.  But as the recipient of a lot of worthless junk over the years I try to hone in on stuff that’s going to mean something.  I don’t always hit the mark, of course, but as one of Santa’s designated elves, I do my best to make the fat man proud of me.