This year I embarked on a new adventure: Black Friday shopping. Actually, it should have been called Thursday Night Madness. We spent Thanksgiving day with some good friends, the Beavers. Scott and Gayle-Rae host Thanksgiving most years at their home. We have a group of families who either have no family in the area or whose extended families all do different things. So we have a great time getting together to eat and watch football (for those who actually care) and to play lots of games. After a great day with dear friends, the Handy Man and I brought our children home, got the little ones tucked into bed, and headed out to Wal-Mart.
There were two things that were “must-haves” on my list. So Handy Man got in line outside for the bike while I stood in line in the grocery department for the LEGO’s. The sale began at 10 PM, and we were about third or fourth in our respective lines at 9 PM. I spent the hour chatting with my fellow queue-mates and when the ribbon came down, I grabbed the LEGO’s (one for me and one for my friend) and saw my opportunity to get a few of the “would-like-to-haves” on my list. In two minutes flat I had in my arms 2 large boxes of LEGOs, three board games, two packages of match box cards, and a large play-dough set. I could barely see over the top of my stack. I must have made quite a spectacle. I got everything out to the car, verified that the Handy Man did have the bike but was still waiting to check out, and I raced back in for round two. It was crazy. I have never seen that many people in Wal-Mart…EVER! I was able to grab a few of items I was looking for when the Handy Man called me to let me know that he was finally through the line and was waiting for me in the car. It took me over 20 minutes to get to the cashier. Madness.
I am not sure I will do it again. The good news is that my Christmas shopping is 95% complete. I need some stocking stuffers, but other than that, I have just about everything on my list! I like being almost done so early, but it feels slightly weird. I keep thinking I have forgotten something. I also scored big online. A lot of retailers had really nice Black Friday sales. I like getting things I am going to buy anyway at big discounts.
We try to keep Christmas light. We give each of our children three gifts plus stocking stuffers. With this crowd of kids, though, stocking stuffers can add up! Lindy may be spending Christmas Eve night with us, too, so I guess I will do her stocking as well. We don’t do Santa in our house. We want to keep Christmas about Jesus as much as possible. If three gifts were enough for him, it should be enough for our kids. The kids know where all the loot comes from, but we still play the stocking game. They love trying to guess what all the bundles in the stockings are. Usually they will find the requisite lip balm, socks and candy, along with toiletries or makeup. Little people find less utilitarian things in their stockings, but it is funny how much the older ones enjoy getting their shampoo and lip balm!
Some of the board games will not be for Christmas. Our games cabinet has been depleted. After finally throwing away the games that were no longer play-able due to missing pieces, we have just a few games left. ‘Lil Adventurer asked me the other day if I could please get some board games for kids. Hopefully we will be able to institute a family game night, so now I have a small stash of games set aside for just such an occasion as that.
Regardless of what small things we find for stockings or when I eventually break out the new games, we are just about ready for Christmas. Except for all the cleaning, decorating, baking and wrapping. On second thought, perhaps I am not quite so ready. At least I can check off the shopping!