Fa, la, la, la, la,, la, la and other tales of last minute holiday shopping!

Last minute shopping is both exhilarating and frustrating.  I always try to be "together" when it comes to the holidays, but because it's a busy time of year in my business, I never seem to start early enough.  I find myself relying more and more on, on line shopping. It seems I'm not alone.On line sales are predicted to increase between 6 and 8 percent to as much as $105 billion this holiday season!

Americans appear to enjoy hunting down deals on their smartphones, tablets and computers.

Still, nothing beats the memories of holiday shopping and traditions shared with others.

Some of my favorite holiday shopping memories involve both my daughters, Brianna and Brittany:
Whenever we went last minute Christmas shopping, it was a tradition to stop at See's Chocolate to buy a bag of our personal favorite chocolates; mine was Dark Chocolate Butter Chews and the girls, Butterscotch squares and Molasses Chips. Somehow no matter how crowded the Mall, this made shopping more pleasurable. To this day, I associate Christmas shopping with eating chocolate!
My second memory is our tradition to go to the mall first thing (usually 6:00 am.) for the day after Christmas sales. This was back in the days when there were actually deals to be found the day after Christmas!  We would map out which stores we would go to first.  


Crate n Barrel always had beautiful Christmas ornaments that were a bit spendy for our family to buy at full price. Our after Christmas shopping plan was to arrive at the store, right when the doors opened, and purchase ornaments we had previously selected, marked down by 50%.


One year, with our ornaments in mind, we arrived to a HUGE crowd already forming at the store entrance! When the doors opened, that's when my typically reserved, daughter, Brianna (age 7), zipped through the crowd and ran straight for the ornaments!  I can still picture the big smile on her face as she handed me as many as her little arms could carry of our favorites.  No one even noticed her tiny body squeezing and zipping by them...she was on a mission, and it was mission accomplished! 


My girls and I loved decorating the tree together.  We cherished our collectable, moving Hallmark ornaments, the ones we bought each year, again at the after Christmas sale.  The three of us would put on our Christmas aprons and listen to Christmas Carols, while decorating the tree.  
One year, my youngest, Brittany, age 3, came racing into living room, proclaiming, I don't want to decorate the tree! She proceeded to dramatically throw herself facedown, onto the side of the couch, while burying her head in the cushions.  The funny thing was...she had only a top and her apron her naked behind was all you saw as she exclaimed her displeasure!  Funnier thing was, I captured it all on our video camera!  Five minutes later she was sitting next to the tree singing "Jesus loves me."  Drama over!


Holiday shopping is much less stressful these days, as I realize most of things I desire for Christmas can't be purchased at the Mall or on line. Time spent with loved ones, laughter, giving of ourselves to others, making new traditions.  These are gifts that never go out of style, and make beautiful future holiday memories.


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