Holiday Shopping

Isn’t it crazy how crowded the malls and shopping plazas are once the holiday season arrives? The mad dash for the perfect gift is on. From the looks on people’s faces, I can tell this is yet another year of “what should I buy.” Really, most make the quest for presents much more difficult and expensive than it needs to be. Pressure to out do previous years is rampant. The current rage is to find something unique and flashy. Trouble is, unique and flashy often ends up broken, gathering dust on a shelf or tucked away in a drawer. Why spend hard earned money on something that isn’t really needed and only serves to junk up the other person’s home?

If you are at a loss for gifts that will be appreciated and used, I would turn to the store that specializes in providing us with essentials…the grocery store. I know, sounds boring. Think about it though. There are lots of things in the grocery store we use, but may not splurge on regularly, like dried spices. Did you know they should be tossed every 6 months? Hmmm, many of mine are over 5 years old. No wonder my cooking is bland. What about some of those quality olive oils that come in the cans that shield light? Lots of fruits, nuts and preserves are at the ready. Fancy jars and bottles of olives, marinades and vinegars are unique yet functional. A variety of marinaras and sauces paired with specialty pastas might be nice.

Food isn’t the only option. The grocery store has plenty of hairbrushes, round and flat. Most people’s hairbrushes and combs are practically antiques and beginning to resemble pets. I know I’ve had mine for at least 4 years. There are shoe insoles, bubble baths, hand lotions, vitamins and books. Many homes have Brita water pitchers. The filter replacements are handy. What about kids? Coloring books, stickers, patterned shoe laces and flavored jellos work. Older kids might enjoy magazines (with subscriptions) or Rit dye to alter their clothes. Age appropriate cosmetics, cleansers and gels also do the trick.

Grocery stores are packed full of things everyone can use. Even if the ideas I’ve listed above don’t work for you, perhaps your mind is thinking about gifts in a new way. If hitting the malls and wrapping up the latest and greatest is your thing, that’s completely fine. I’m sure retailers will appreciate your dollars and enthusiasm. There are other options though. And you don’t have to go broke being merry.

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