It's December first and my shopping isn't done. But I'm very, very close. There are only a couple of small, very specific things I need to buy, so no aimless mall wandering is involved. Celebrating Black Friday here is the big new thing, but it actually set me back rather than helping me. I hate crowds, but I thought it probably wouldn't be that bad since Friday's actually not a holiday here and people have jobs. Apparently a lot of people do not. I drove onto the mall parking lot and drove right off again. I decided I'd rather pay double. Except that's the thing - based on the flyers and ads I saw, the sales weren't even that great. I mean 20% off? That's not even worth the gas you waste trying to find a parking spot. I did go to Canadian Tire for one thing I saw in the flyer, but of course that item was sold out.
I understand why retailers want people to spend their money here rather than in the U.S. and I fully support shopping local (except sometimes), but I don't know many people who go across the border just to shop Black Friday in the first place. But we consumers get all crazy and unable to think for ourselves when someone tells us there are sales and we should be shopping. And the retailers in their Canadian head offices are laughing and shaking their heads and saying, "I can't believe that worked!" Well, the joke's on them, because I saved 100% by not shopping on Black Friday. (I saw that on Facebook, accompanied by a picture of Julie Andrews twirling on a meadow in the mountains.)
All that to say I would be done if it weren't for my aversion to crowds and retail gurus trying to control my mind. So I'll go tomorrow instead. I really showed them. By paying full price and spending more money, I'm making quite the statement.
I was pretty productive in other ways though. I wrapped presents, we watched Elf as a family and I made homemade Nutella. It was easier than I thought it would be; I made it on Saturday morning between picking Spencer up from fencing and dropping Neve off at gymnastics. That means nothing to you because you don't know when their activities start and end, but the point is, it didn't take long. Other than being a bit thicker than the bought version, my Nutella turned out pretty good. With a few adjustments, I think I'll make some more to give as hostess gifts and such. I also made some sugar cookies and chocolate bark. The sugar cookies looked soft and lovely, so it was a bit of a bad surprise to bite into them and discover they were as hard as rock, but the bark was good.
Saturday afternoon I went on a house tour with some relatives. We started at Pineridge Hollow and took a bus to five different houses that were decorated for Christmas and one church. The houses were amazing and the decorations were beautiful. It was very fun to look at, but most of the houses were over the top. Every surface in every room was covered in Christmas stuff. I kept wondering where they charge their phones or put their mail and where their kids do homework and where they store the stuff for ten or eleven months of the year. I also felt very sad about my lame Christmas decorations that I had yet to put up. I'd rather go on a tour of dilapidated rooming houses or homeless shelters so I could feel awesome and thankful for my house.
Today Dale put up the outside Christmas lights and I decorated the tree and the house. I'm not volunteering my house for a public tour anytime soon, but it all looks Christmasy and cozy, especially when the lights are dim. My friend Shannon's house could definitely be on the tour circuit. I stopped in today to take a peek since they've just finished a big renovation. It's amazing - you can see pictures here.
In other news, Spencer's pet fish Napoleon has moved on to the big fishbowl in the sky (if that's where things end up when they get flushed down the toilet). Napoleon was on the brink of death for several weeks; we were about to flush him a few times when he'd suddenly started swimming again. Poor Spencer - we kept telling him his fish was dead … no, wait! He's alive. Oh, NOW he's dead. Oh, maybe not. By the time Napoleon died for real, it was almost a relief. We had him for well over a year, so he did good. Neve's little Swimmy is still going strong.
|It looks like they're saying a prayer, but I think they're just trying to figure out how to remove Napoleon from the bottom of the fishbowl in the least disgusting way.|