My daughter Kerry and I did our usual Black Friday shopping frenzy this year. I was glad she was able to come home from New England for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, though she warned me not to get spoiled to that, since it’s unlikely to happen again during the remainder of her medical residency. We’ve done the Black Friday excursion every year since she was very young (my other daughter and my son having no interest in hitting Kohl’s at 4 a.m., for some reason) and we had a great time again this year. We bagged some bargains, had a nice lunch at Shorty Small’s, laughed and gossiped and people watched. In this tough economy, there were a lot of people out bargain hunting, but everyone we encountered seemed to be in a good mood. We returned home late that afternoon (twelve and a half hours after leaving) tired, grubby and satisfied with our results.
I’ve finished my Christmas shopping now, and managed to stay on budget (using coupons, hitting sales, price-matching and doing some shopping on-line), but I’ll have to watch myself during the next two weeks. Once I start gift shopping, it’s hard to stop. I get in the mind-set of looking for just the right gifts for my recipients, and the problem is I keep finding things I think they’d like even after I’ve made my purchases! I love giving gifts, but our family has long made a practice of not over-doing or going into debt at the holidays, so I have to rein in my shopping impulses.
The best gift this year is that we’ll all be together. Our oldest daughter Courtney is flying in from her post-doctoral position in the Pacific Northwest. Kerry and her husband will have a week to spend with us before returning to her medical residency and his graduate school classes in New England. Our son David will be home from his junior year of college for winter break. There is no material possession that could be a better present for me!
I hope your holidays are filled with joys that money can’t buy.
* If you’re looking for a feel-good holiday read, don’t forget to look for A VERY NASCAR HOLIDAY, on shelves now. It includes three heart-warming, Christmas-themed stories with dashing race car driver heroes. My own story is called SECRET SANTA. For more details, click on the Books Available Now tab above.
** And don’t forget to enter the drawing for the New Year’s Day giveaway of my New Year’s Eve-themed book, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. It’s a fast-paced, fun story with lots of humor and a little heart-break — but always, of course, a very happy ending. Check the Enter to Win! page for details on how to enter. I haven’t received many entries yet (everyone must be busy getting ready for the holidays), so if you enter, your chances of winning are very good now!
Now, off to wrap …