Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finances & Christmas gifts

This year has definitely been interesting.  Especially since we have banned ourselves from using credit cards.  However, I am discovering these small little blessings.  For instance.. about a month ago.  We needed a new handle for our sliding door.  We had been going on for quite a while with a busted one.  We stopped at Lowe's and found one for 8 and change.  We started to walk out since we had no money to look for anything else.  There was this shelf with marked down items on it.. just a bunch of random stuff.. but.. there was one item that caught both of us as we walked quickly by.. causing us both to stop dead and stare.  Among the items was a sliding door handle for 75 cents.  Wow!  We checked the size and it matched up.. It was just as solid as the one we were purchasing.. the only difference was it was a light color wood.. well seriously.. we just had to snatch that up. 

At the register it was quite funny because the guy looked at us and said.. wow, big spender.. lol. 

So with this interesting time of year and no purchases allowed on credit cards.. I had a serious conversation with Anna.  We told her Christmas was going to have to be less gifts this year.  She said, "Mommy, that is ok, because I have my family!"  She asked specifically for 4 things. 

  1. pink guitar
  2. sewing machine
  3. metal slinky
  4. yo-yo
The first is a gift she is requesting from santa.  (Angel decided a long time ago that we were doing the Santa thing.. I decided it wasn't worth fighting over)

We had a little bit of money after the bills.. we managed to get the first gift (although it is purple), as well as spent 50 cents for the slinky at the christmas tree shop and 3.00 for the yo-yo at walmart.  All that is left was the sewing machine..

That sewing machine caused alot of problems.. First I knew that A.C. Moore had them for about 20.00.. I had a 40% off coupon.. so I headed off to A.C. Moore..   No sewing machines.. only the 60.00 Alex one that comes with projects.. problem.. I am not spending 60.00 on a kids sewing machine.. yes I know I had a coupon.. but seriously, no way! 

So I came home and looked on Amazon.  They had the machines.. and they were 20.00.. however, one look at the reviews and my heart sank.. they had horrible reviews!  So I take a look at the Alex reviews.. wow.. much more promising.. but 60.00! 

a week later, A.C. Moore had more coupons.. this time a 50% off one, only good for 1 day.. well I think we are going to go for it.. The reviews look great, and I think we can do 30.00.  So I send Angel to get it. 

they ran out...

Now, I am on the verge of tears over a sewing machine.. and to add from that my mom informs me that she got Anna a scarf and hat for Christmas.. (she already has the one I made her last year) .. Ok.. I need to calm down.. this is not what Christmas is all about. 

We go on with the week and I find out that Angel is taking David to see Meadow in Hartford.. (about 1.5 hours away).. suddenly a light bulb moment..

I check online to see if there is an A.C. Moore in the area.. yes there is!  So I look at their coupons.. 50% off good all week!  So the day of the visit I call A.C. Moore.  I am on hold for a bit.. they are busy.. finally someone is able to help.. She tells me there is 1 sewing machine left and she will hold it for us!  Whoo hoo.. my heart races!  I am happy!!  I immediately tell Angel and arm him with coupon and directions..

After he is gone, I am excited.. then I get the call.. "honey, who did you talk to??"  umm.. ok.. I never ever hear names ..  He tells me they can't find it.. oh man.. I then realize the one who put it on hold probably isn't even there anymore.. After me telling him the exact conversation with the lady on the phone.. he convinces them to try again.. He keeps me on the line talking and then I hear.. she got it.. they found it..

So now I am thrilled!  30.00 for a 60.00 machine.. and I found a bunch of fabric from my aunt that I had put away.  This is truly going to be great.

Now, I have never ever expected anyone to get for Anna (or David either when he was little).  However I just found out that she is getting two awesome gifts (one from Justine and one from David/Abby) ..

So once again, I let the gift giving get in the way of truly experiencing the joy of Christmas.. I have alot to learn. 

Maybe I should stop school this week instead of next week and just spend time doing things with Anna.  We don't have the store bought gingerhouse kit this year but maybe we could just make some.. We can't make all our usual Christmas gifts but I am sure we can do a few.. Maybe we could try to make some homemade type of gifts for others..

Maybe now is the time to just enjoy the time together instead of stressing out. 

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