Today, Rich and I did our annual Christmas shopping trip.  If you don’t know the story, we don’t have many people to buy gifts for at Christmas, and neither of us really need anything, but we missed the idea of shopping for gifts.  So a couple of years ago, we decided we would (just for fun) go to Erie, and shop in several store until we met our goal….The plan is that we could only spend fifteen minutes in a store, and we both need to buy a total of five gifts for ourselves and the total can’t be more than $25.  (Neither of us need anything and it’s sometimes hard to come up with ideas once we’re out there, but sometimes, like today, it was simple.)

We started at T J Maxx, where I bought two bottles of OPI nail polish I found on our way to checkout for $3.99 each.  They normally are around $10 each, so I was thrilled to find them.  Then we went to Bath & Body Works where they had a Sugar Cookie mist for $6 and another Lemon Cookie scent, also for $6.  I had a coupon that gave me another product free, so got one of their room sprays, and I was at my five items and under my $25….We went to H&K and I found a cute pair of earrings for $2, so I ended up with six items for $22.  

Rich bought a stocking cap for $6 at TJ Maxx and got a great deal on boxer briefs at H&M $6 for three pair, and we went to Ollie’s, a discount store, where he bought some things to wash the car and a touch-up pen for paint on our car (I think it’s a sealer), and Rain-ex wipes and a crossword puzzle book for our vacation in February.  I’m not sure of his total, but I know he was under budget too.

We don’t wrap these things, just have fun shopping and sticking to our time limit and our budget.  We do buy each other a couple of gifts as well, but this has given us a way to add some fun back into our holiday season.  When you don’t have kids or grandkids to buy for, it’s not as much fun.   We have a few friends we exchange gifts with, but it’s not the same as when our parents were alive and we focused on making sure they had a good Christmas.  Since they’ve all passed, our traditions and family events have gone with them.

Luckily, our college friends have decided to spend the day together and we’re all making one dish for the meal and we’ll be spending Christmas together, watching movies.  I think there will be four couples, so our quest for family has been satisfied.  You never know where your “family” will come from…and we’re so lucky to have wonderful friends to share the day with. 

Here’s wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2020.

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