Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I know I was MIA last week, and I'll tell you why. Last year, Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff posed a challenge for everyone - to get all of their Christmas shopping completed by December 4th (I think that was the exact date, that is). My mom and I have a ridiculously huge list every year, so we thought we'd try to tackle everything in one weekend, and meet this challenge!

Well, we did it. We were exhausted, but we did it, and it gave us time for fun things like stress-free Christmas parties and baking and all that fun jazz. Best idea, ever. We planned to do it again this year, and on the same weekend - Black Friday weekend.

Since, in Canada, our Thanksgiving is in October (which is super nice because the leaves are all pretty and you can still sometimes have nice warm weekends - plus it spaces out the turkey and indulgences a bit, which is good news to me), black Friday has never really been a big deal around these parts. But, last year the stores picked up the trend and started having super awesome sales on Black Friday - and no mobs or stampedes of people - sounds great to me!

I took Friday off this year, and we got our shop on. And shop, we did. I have to say - I'd never realized just how much thought and effort goes into shopping - and when you're purchasing around 30 gifts in one weekend (between my mom and I), trying to keep track of everything, trying to be strategic, trying to remember sales, locations, everything - it's kind of like advanced calculations. I think Stephen Hawking would be proud, seriously. Big bang theory? That's got nothing on our shopping adventures.

In the past, theGuy and I would spend tons of time 'thinking' about what to get this person, and what to do for this person. He would say "I want to see what's out there, and then I'll decide." This would result in us spending countless hours wandering around aimlessly, trying to think of the perfect gift to get someone. I'm all for the 'let-it-reach-out-and-grab-you' strategy for Christmas shopping, but only if you start in January. It just doesn't work like that. My mom and I were still able to get thoughtful gifts for everyone - the pickings weren't as slim as in December, and I don't have to spend every single weeknight out shopping for the four weeks before Christmas. Hooray!

So, get out there and shop, people. Or get your craft on! The sooner you get it out of the way, the sooner you can live the dream, and enjoy the melodic and calm Christmas which the carols are about. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? More likely to happen when you aren't circling a mall parking lot looking for a spot. Enjoy the season!

And who knows - maybe you'll get into the spirit, and become inspired, too!

Now I have time to draw my face off!

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