As the holiday season is quickly approaching, I decided to take my 3 hours away from Ellie yesterday to do some Christmas shopping.
A few things you need to know about my views on Christmas gifts:
1. I have a lot to buy. We have many family members, including 7 nieces and nephews, and a toddler of our own.
2. I usually don't spend more than $20/per person with the exception of Grant, Ellie, and sometimes our parents. There are always exceptions if I find the perfect gift for someone, but in general, I can find something wonderful for not a lot of money.
3. I usually do a lot of shopping online, but sometimes I just need to see it in person. Plus, I don't have to pay shipping!
4. I LOVE giving Christmas gifts. Honestly, I do. While the shopping can overwhelm me, I love nothing more than seeing these people I love open what I lovingly chose for them. I know Christmas is not about gifts. It's about Jesus. And I do the best I can to make sure I keep that in mind all season and that we as a family recognize the true meaning of Christmas. However, I love the gift tradition. I don't go overboard with it, and I love giving someone a little "happy" at the end of every calendar year.
That being said, I have a lot of presents to buy and I need to get started early. I've already gone on one or two shopping excursions in the last few weeks to search for gifts. However, each of these excursions have included Ellie.
A few things you need to know about shopping with Ellie:
1. She has time limits.
2. She doesn't like when the stroller stops. Seriously. If we're truckin' away through the mall, she's happy as a clam. But the minute I turn into a store or, heaven forbid, temporarily stop the stroller to look at something or check the price of an item, or even PAY for an item... oh NO. My girl ain't takin' that. She turns around, points her tiny little index finger at me and says, "NO! NO!"
3. She requires things to hold.
4. She almost steals things from stores.
5. She throws her sippy cup.
6. It's a little bit of a hassle maneuvering her stroller in and out of the stores and racks of clothing. I've been known to knock things over.
So, yesterday, for the first time, I went Christmas shopping, in a mall, without Ellie.
A few things you need to know about this shopping excursion:
1. I got to the mall at 9:30, when the stores don't open till 10am. I walked in, grabbed a Starbucks, and sat quietly and waited for the stores to open while watching the sweet elderly people walk the mall in their cute little jogging suits.
2. Between 10am and 11:30am (when I had to leave to go get Ellie), I bought EIGHT Christmas gifts.
3. I did not have the stroller with me so I felt very free and uninhibited. The only downside was I wished I had the stroller to use as a place to put all my shopping bags so I didn't have to carry them.
4. I bought myself a pair of earrings at Francesca's, because I wanted them and they were BOGO and so I thought why not? YOLO.
5. It was quiet, it wasn't busy, and I felt quite accomplished when I left there.
Then, I picked Ellie up and she was so cute and happy to see me and we kissed and hugged and I drove her home and she took a nap and IT WAS THE BEST DAY!!!!
And that is the end of that story.