It’s that time of year again and the holiday shopping season is about to be in full swing. With so many retailers pushing the limit on “Black Friday” sales, which is usually the day AFTER Thanksgiving, we’re beginning to see some of the sales starting this weekend. I tell ya, the “holiday season” begins earlier and earlier each year. Crazy! But I’m part of the crazy crowd who loves it because the holidays make me HAPPY! So when I saw this Holiday Q&A on DiscoDiva‘s blog, I thought it was perfect. Let’s get it!
1. What’s your favorite thing to cook for Thanksgiving?
I have a huge family full of cooks and I’m still considered a “baby” by my elders, so I rarely cook for Thanksgiving. The one time I hosted Thanksgiving dinner in my own home, I still didn’t cook any major parts of the meal. *shrug* IF I choose to do anything, it’s the cakes or pies – yes, from scratch. And I’ve watched/taste tested long enough to make a pretty good macaroni and cheese too.
2. Where do you spend Thanksgiving?
Always with family. Sometimes I travel for my born day and Christmas, but I never EVER miss Thanksgiving with my family. I’m either with my mom’s side of the family down south or with my dad’s side of the family up north. But this year will feel strange. I’m staying close to home because I’m having major dental work the day before. O_O I know, right? Depending on how I feel after my appointment, I may spend it alone (sleep to avoid pain!), with my cousins in B-more, or with friends locally.
3. Do you dress up for Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner?
I try to wear something cute and put a little extra effort into my hair and makeup because there are always family videos and photos in process. When I’m at mom’s, I usually change into sweats after dinner. Once the ‘itis sets in, all bets are OFF.
4. Do you shop on Black Friday?
If there is something specific that I’m looking for, yes. But I don’t shop just because it’s Black Friday. I hunt for sales and often find the same great prices throughout the year. However, the time between the week before Thanksgiving and two weeks after Christmas, I shop online only and refuse to step inside a retail store. I have no time or patience for the madness.
5. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I wanted a bagless upright vacuum cleaner with cyclonic technology and hepa filter. I used past tense because I saw a great deal yesterday and bought it for myself. Oops. I know my family is sick of me.
6. If you buy for kids (your own or someone else’s) how do you choose their gift? A list? Ask them? Gift cards for everybody?
I have never asked my daughter what she wanted for wanted for Christmas. Even when she was little and wrote letters to Santa or tore out pages from the JCP toy catalog, I ignored them. Now that she’s an adult and drop not so subtle hints, I ignore them too. LOL! For the most part, I observe and listen to her throughout the year. If I hear her mention something repeatedly, notice her doing something consistently, observe her exploring a new interest, or recognize an unfulfilled need – that’s what I buy. In the past 20 years, my gifts have been on point 99% of the time. The other 1% is the year I canceled Christmas.
When I buy for someone else’s kid, I do the same if I’m close to the family. Otherwise, I will ask their parents what they like, want, or need. I try to put thought into my gifts so I never buy gift cards for kids.
7. When do you usually finish up your Christmas shopping?
For others, before Thanksgiving. If I’m still shopping after that, 9x out of 10, I’m shopping for myself. LOL
8. Do you decorate for the holidays? If so, how?
Yes, only for Christmas though. I have an artificial pre-lit tree (bought real trees when CG was a kid) that I love to decorate every year. The colors and blinking lights make me feel so warm and fuzzy at night. I try really hard to wait until the day after Thanksgiving before I put it up, but this year was a fail. I couldn’t help it! Seeing my tree puts me in the holiday spirit – earlier is better!
I also have a tiny Charlie Brown tree with a single red ornament. I love that little thing because it’s hilarious. I laugh every. single. time. I look at it. LOL! Let’s see, what else…? Oh, I also decorate the fireplace, dining table, counter tops, doorknobs, and put a holiday wreath and floor mat at my front door. I also put jingle bells in my car. And that’s it. I think.
9. I’ve used Thanksgiving and Christmas here, but am well aware there are other holidays celebrated (or not) this time of the year. What holidays – if any – do you celebrate?
Unless you count my born day season, none.
10. Charitable giving yay/nay?
Absolutely! This is one of the many reasons I love the holidays.
I have a personal connection and choose to always support the Salvation Army throughout the year. During the holiday season, I participate in their angel tree program by adopting 2-4 children. I don’t have a “little one” anymore, so buying gifts for the babies brings me enormous joy.
I also adopt 1-2 families from a local non-profit that supports battered women and children. I provide a Thanksgiving meal, a Christmas meal, and purchase items from their wishlist (including adults). I enjoy supporting this program because I get to speak directly with the families and drop off their gifts to them in person. Over the years, CG and I have formed a few lasting friendships.
Sometimes I donate a turkey or buy a raffle ticket to donate a Thanksgiving dinner basket to a local food bank. This year, I also made blessing bags for the homeless, which I’ve decided to start doing annually.
And finally, on December 1st, I begin my 31 day random acts of kindness project. Each day, I do whatever God places on my heart – no matter how big or small. If the recipient happens to be someone I know, I ask them to pay it forward. Nothing is owed to me because my reward is God’s grace when I give or assist with a joyful heart. I began this personal project a few years ago, and once I realized the impact it had on myself and others, I decided to continue every year. It holds a special place in my heart because it also coincides with my Born Day “Season” Celebration – and yes, that’s a holiday too.