Um…what’s that you say? Christmas?! Not even!
It’s really hard to think about Christmas when it’s 100+ degrees outside, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately! I’ve decided that shopping/preparing from July to December would probably be a good idea. Makes things easier on the budget, and it makes things less stressful. What can be bad about that!
Now, I used to shop all year. The last time I did this was 2002. Just married. I innocently started buying little things here and there and putting them up for Christmas. I tended to favor my mom because, well, I know her and I know what she likes. I put things all over the apartment. I made things too. Then, about a week before Christmas I started pulling everything out. Holy geez! There was stuff everywhere! I had done a pretty good job buying for everyone, but I had completely overbought for my mom. If I had been smart, I would have put some of it up for birthdays and next Christmas, but I was 21 and excited to give it all to her! So, I ended up having to go shopping to fill out everyone else’s haul so that she didn’t get more than everyone! Ever since then, I’ve been afraid to shop all year. Afraid of spending more money in my quest to spend less. Afraid to run out of room to hide things because I’ve overshopped!
Cut to now…9 years later. I’m ready. I can do it! I can be frugal AND have foresight! I can shop smarter, not harder. So far, Abbey is the one who has benefitted from my early shopping. One thing was supposed to be a birthday present, but I forgot to give it to her…it became a Christmas present! Score! Then, the other day, I found a gently used Leapster 2 (which we almost got her for her bday at full price) with 4 games (1 of which she will never see…no offense to those of you who like Spongebob, but we don’t) for half the price of the game system alone. Score number 2! With the exception of her “big gift” which will have to wait because we can’t hide it and a very few stocking stuffers, I’m done with her! Sweet!
Tomorrow, I embark on phase 2 of early Christmas. I’m going to start preparing to learn to make jelly. Yes, you read that correctly…jelly. We have a gnarly apple tree in our yard. No, it doesn’t grow gnarly apples. The previous owners of our property apparently never, ever pruned it. It is very bizarrely shaped, has a chain that has grown into the trunk, and is, frankly, ugly…but man does it grow some apples!
Last night, my family and I harvested apples. It was hot. There were ants and other creepy crawlies, but it was fun. Abbey had fun aiming the rotten or otherwise no good apples at the trash can. Lily had fun picking up the apples that fell to the ground and carrying them around.
Abbey did a great job sorting the good ones from the duds, and she had a lot of fun too!
After we finished, we decided to get a few pictures of our haul! As you can see in the background, there were a ton leftover. They mostly had bugs or were otherwise not ones we wanted to take in the house. I even got to get in a picture!
When we were about to head in, Lily decided she was going to help us carry everything inside. The basket probably weighed about as much as she does! Needless to say…she didn’t get very far!
We had a great time picking apples, and if you are someone who knows me in real life and we’re close…look out for some apple goodies this Christmas! That is, of course, assuming that I can pull them off. We shall see. Stay tuned!