Tag Archives: Holiday Shopping

Alica’s OCD tips for Holiday Happiness (pat. pending)

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By now most of you have gotten all of the holiday decorations put away, new gifts have found homes, and at least one credit card statement has shown up in the mail; you may or may not have been brave enough to open it yet.

One thing I feel safe betting on is most of you have vowed to do things differently next year. But how are you going to do that? What can you change to make the next holiday season better and do you really need to think about it now?

I have become one of those people who shops for gifts year round, mostly because I am addicted to teefury.com they have one-of-a-kind tee shirts. A new one each day and only for the day. So if I see something that is perfect for my sister I have to buy it right then, or it’ll be gone.

Tee shirts might not be your thing, but there are simple things you can do now that will make next year’s credit card bills less painful.
If you are crafty, start now. I’ll be picking a new pattern for knitted gifts and start working on them now so I have plenty for next holiday season and I’m not up at 3am knitting as fast as I can while watching a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress.

If you have storage space start buying things as you see them. Would your cousin love that book? Your son that dinosaur? Your husband that new bedroom toy? Go ahead and get it now. I have a storage box I tuck gifts into as I get them. And if dinos have been replaced by robots by next year, give it to another child on your list or donate it to one of the many toy drives.

“But I don’t have storage space,” you wail. Fear not I have a plan for that too. Gift cards. No, you don’t have to give them gift cards as gifts, but buy gifts cards to the stores you shop at most for the holiday and spend them instead of using your credit card. This is great for those of us who don’t save well. Tuck them in a safe place that you’ll remember. Every time you go to one of the big chain stores pick up a gift card to the place where you shopped the most this year. Me, I’ll be colleting Amazon gift cards. If you’re worried about your money tied up in gift cards you can’t use, buy Visa gift cards.

I know thinking about the holidays now doesn’t feel right or takes the fun out of the season, but wouldn’t it be great to have the stress of gift shopping done by Dec 1st so you could actually enjoy all the parties?

For those of you who have vowed to “do things different” I encourage you to try some of my tips, a little bit of time and money now could mean a huge difference next holiday season.

While searching for a song I found that the 2012 Eurovison song contest has started!!!! I’m so excited, so I’ll post favorites, and weird songs, and whatever catches my fancy. Here is Switzerland’s entry this year. What do you think?

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Passive Aggressive Gifts.

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Do you ever feel like the gifts you’re given are more of a passive aggressive snub then a present? Of course there’s the fattening rich food when everyone knows you’re dieting. The heavily perfumed soaps and lotions with a note, “So you’ll smell sweet all the time.” What does that mean? you think, as you sniff yourself. Or the gift certificate to “their” stylist when you’ve never shown any interest in their hair, at all, ever.

All of these are true passive aggressive snubs, but it is gifts to children that the real passive aggression can come through.

Messy gifts. Your three year old was just given a huge set of paints. Is this someone trying to encourage their creative side of your child or do they want to ruin your carpet?

Toys with small pieces. Your slightly OCD boy has been given a toy with lots of small pieces, many of them clear. You know have to check every dust pan and vacuum bag for missing pieces. Is the giver hoping to drive you insane?

Toys that make noise. I shudder even thinking about these. Now there are two levels: ones with batteries and ones that the child can make noise on continuously. The fire truck with real sirens that screech any times it’s moved, day or night. My eye is twitching just thinking about it. But batteries can be removed. Don’t let the giver win! Take those damn things out and just keep “forgetting” to buy more, never keep a stash of batteries at home, ever. After a bit, if you’re lucky, the child will forget it made sounds and just enjoy the toy. Then you win and the giver loses! Yes!

But what about the toys that make noise without a battery? The rattles, drums, rain sticks, and recorders? What then? Well it depends on the age of your child. Given to a child under six those, are weapons designed to drive a parent over the edge. What exactly did you do to the givers to make them hate you so much? An older child can be taught to play with those outside or in their rooms.

You can tell when the giver really loves you and is trying to encourage your child’s musical side. My parents gave my daughter a key board for Christmas a few years ago and sent headphones along that plug into it so we never have to hear the hours of practicing. This is how I know my parents love me.

So, as you buy gifts this year stop and think what message are you sending? Have you ever received a passive aggressive gift? Have you ever given a passive aggressive gift? Are you one who hunts for the nosiest child’s toy to give to that “special someone”?

For today’s song I give you Loreena Mckennitt – The Holly and The Ivy

LUSH the key to holiday bliss

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Today I am going to save you all frustration and harassment of finding the perfect gift for whatever holiday you celebrate. LUSH is the answer. LUSH is a small company which makes a variety of amazingly wonderful bath goodness by hand.

LUSH is the perfect gift for your family and friends who are: environmentalists, travelers, stressed, divas, and teenage girls. YES. Teenage girls love LUSH.

Allow me to show you why LUSH is so awesome. I only need one product: shampoo. LUSH has two forms of shampoo. liquid and solid. Their solid shampoos are perfect for those concerned with the environment. There is no plastic bottle or other damaging packaging. The traveler will love the solid shampoo because it won’t spill in the suitcase. The variety of natural scents will appeal to those who need stress relief, the divas who want pampering, and the teens who change their mind about their favorite scent on a daily basis. Both the liquid and solid shampoo have rich lather and leave your hair clean and lightly scented.

LUSH’s other products suit a variety of people, too. Our environmentalist and travelers will love the solid conditioner, soaps, and lotions. There is another line of products they call body butters, and you use them after you’re soapy in the shower. My favorite is the Buffy bar, it exfoliates as it moisturizes, and it smells divine. Convenient metal reusable tins can also be purchased to store your LUSH products for easy storage and transport.

Don’t worry, those stressed and in need of pampering, the divas who demand pampering, and the teens on your list haven’t been forgotten. There is a huge variety of bath jellies and bath bombs which scent, bubble, color and/or glitter the water. Lip scrubs polish the skin of your lips, then because LUSH is awesome, you can lick it off. They make the scrub from sugar and nature flavors. There are lip balms, perfumes, and a ton of other delectable items to choose from.
Wait, don’t cower in fear at the magnitude of choices, LUSH is here to help. You can go to one of their many stores through out the world. I love their staff, always so nice and eager to share with you their newest product by giving you samples. I love getting free stuff 🙂

You can also go to their website LUSH. They have a gift finder button. Just put in whom you want to buy a gift for. There are nine different choices including Secret Santa and kids. Then you pick a price range: under $25, $25-50, or over $50 (you can use the last one for me 🙂 And TA-DA! The perfect gift will appear on your screen ready to be shipped right to you or the lucky recipient.

I unfortunately don’t have a LUSH near me, and the body bar I adore melts at body temp. Having stuff mailed to me is a challenge, living as I do in the desert. Even in the winter, temps can be too high for safe mailing. So I drive to my closest LUSH. The fact that it’s two hours away should tell you how much I adore their products. So please save yourself this holiday season, go and check out the awesomeness that is LUSH, and yes I will create a twelve step program for next year once you’re all addicted.

Something else that makes me happy- Asian boy bands. I don’t know why, but I love them. I don’t think I’ve shown this one before- I really need to start a list.