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    Running errands

    Monday, August 30th, 2010

    A couple of weeks ago I was wandering around the internet and stumbled across a blog where a woman was describing her family’s schedule. Among the activities she laid out she mentioned going grocery shopping and running errands “once every month or so“.  How is that even possible? I’m comforting myself with the idea that she must live on a farm or something, because I’m at the grocery store at least two or three times a week, and I feel like I’m running errands more days than not.

    So, I decided to assess my schedule and see if there isn’t a way I could condense my errands – plan ahead and not have so many last minute runs out to the store.  I looked at my calendar for the upcoming month and figured out days that need planning for- preschool days that I’m teaching, parties I’m hosting, and came up with a list of things to be done in connection with them.  (I still have to figure out when to do those things, but it’s a step in the right direction.)  Then I planned out our meals for the next two weeks (I usually plan just one week in advance) and did that shopping today. Already I’ve realized I forgot a key item, and I’ll probably need to do a milk run in about a week, but I’m hopeful that skipping the almost daily trips to the store will cut down on the spending that goes with each trip.  (We will be making stops at the local produce stand, but that counts more as an activity than an errand. :) )

    So tell me, how many times do you grocery shop? How many days are you running errands?  Do you have any tips on how to condense, plan ahead?

    Abundance, or clutter? Buying, or giving?

    Monday, November 30th, 2009

    Today while Z is off to the car show with her Daddy (what can I say, the girl loves cars),  I will be scooting around town with A, finishing up the Christmas shopping. Luckily A is still small enough that even if she remembers seeing me buy a gigantic stuffed Nemo,  she won’t be able to say anything coherent about it Christmas morning. (You know, other than “feesh! feesh!”)

    (Disclaimer: I usually don’t have all the shopping done this early. But this year I  felt driven to get all of the shopping done before Thanksgiving, a goal which I obviously didn’t meet. I’m not sure if we’re going to get hit by the flu, or what, but I’ve really felt like I need to get it all done and finished. )

    My husband and I come strongly from the school of “more is more” at Christmas.  We agreed before Z’s first Christmas that when Santa came, he left a BUNCH of toys, (even though you only get to ask him for one).  There’s just something symbolic in a loving, kind man, who gives you plentiful gifts, simply because he loves you and because you tried hard to be good.

    In preparation for  the new things the girls are receiving, I cleared out a bunch of toys that they no longer play with, and in the process, realized that a lot of the toys that were hardly ever played with were those I bought at Christmas time LAST year, in an attempt to either balance out what the two girls were getting, or to just fatten out the pile. What I really ended up doing was just fattening up their room.

    So this year I’m focusing. They’re each getting their “big” toy (and a couple others), and the rest will be things I think they’ll actually use, not just filler.  I’m going for puzzles and games over cheapie plastic toys.   Books instead of junk.  Clothes instead of a repeat of something they already have.

    I read somewhere that at Christmas each kid should get something to play with, something to wear, and something to read. I really like that.

    Besides the girls, we have a decent sized extended family that everyone buys for, and of course, I usually over buy there too. (Remember that whole “gifts love language”? That was me.)  So I went really simple on presents this year, trying to focus on one thing that each person would really like.  And for the most part, I think I succeeded.

    And the result of all this? I feel like the things I’m giving will really be gifts, not just stuff. Hopefully they will have meaning to the recipient, but even if they don’t, they have meaning to me.  They really will be an expression of my love and understanding of the person I’m giving them to, not just an expression of my largesse.  And with all the presents purchased at the beginning of December, hopefully I can focus on some other elements of the season, like giving to those who could really benefit from it.

    How is your gifting going?  Do you have any great go-to gifts the rest of us could benefit from? What do YOU want for Christmas?