Friday, November 28, 2008

Gift-shopping season is upon us.

Somehow that just now occurred to me. Maybe it was a side effect of living in a television-free bubble, maybe I've just been too busy with students, but in any case, Thanksgiving is over and I haven't figured out what I'm going to get anyone. By this time the past two years, I had researched prices, ordered everything online, and been done with it all. I was one of those smug people who began making lists of gift ideas in July. Now I have no clue and less access to shopping facilities if my plan of getting everything through the interwebs doesn't pan out.

I used up my one halfway decent gift idea for my brother last month. My parents are in a position where if there was something they really wanted that I could afford, they've probably already have bought it for themselves so I have to find things they'd enjoy but aren't aware of. Thanks to the C. family drawing of names, I need to figure out what to get for my cousin's wife, a very nice woman I barely know. Are my roommate and I doing gifts? Would it be thoughtful to get her something I know she could use in her classroom, or is it better to explicitly acknowledge that she's a person who cares about things beyond elementary school music?

I also have no sense of my budget. As backwards as it seems, for Christmas shopping it was always easier to set a budget once I had somewhat figured out what I was buying most people. That only works when you've planned ahead. I could stick with the budget I kept the past two years, but since I've transitioned from being a student to being a teacher I have considerably more discretionary income and it seems a little chintzy. However, if I don't budget at all, I'm liable to go wild.

I guess I have a day to think about it. Although I probably won't quite observe Buy Nothing Day this year since I'm having lunch with my friend today and still intend to try to pay, I have no intentions whatsoever of hitting any of the big box stores. My friend did mention visiting our favorite used bookstores as a probable activity for today's (gulp) date, but I suspect it will be reasonably well removed from today's consumerist feeding frenzy so I wouldn't feel quite so bad if I ended up leaving a few dollars there as well.

1 comment:

Fabulously Broke said...

I always have a vague idea like 'around $500' or 'under $1000' but never set any actual limits because it depends on what catches my eye

But I can feel when I go over... or go too far!