It just kind of sneaks up on me, and before I know it, my checking account is down to $9.43, which has to last me until February. It’s enough to make me dread Christmas!
Shopping is easy if you’re buying toys for kids. But my parents and most of my friends already have everything they really need and can pretty much afford anything they want. Except for luxury automobiles and vacation homes, which I can’t afford either.
So short of taking my Christmas list to Century 21, there’s nothing my family and friends need that they haven’t purchased. I was totally stumped. But how could I not buy them something?
For days, I pored over ads and wandered store aisles, mumbling to myself, “What, what, what can I get them?” And that’s how I got in trouble because the next thing I knew, I was answering, “I know! I can bake Christmas cookies!”
It was the perfect gift, and I think I heard angels on high singing. Or maybe they were laughing.
But I was sure I had solved the dilemma of finding unique and meaningful gifts that would allow me to stay within my budget.
I would bake a variety of Christmas cookies for just my very closest friends and family. I grabbed a pen and made a list of recipients, which ended up numbering 157 since I was “only baking cookies.”
After researching recipes and writing a shopping list that could circle the globe, I went to the market for the special ingredients I would need. I left pushing 15 shopping carts full of cookie-makings, a new set of baking pans, measuring cups, bowls, a mixer, cookie press, utensils, a timer, oven mitts and an apron. It came to a mere $678.43.
That was just for the first batch of cookies, which burned while I was reading the directions for my new timer. I made two more trips to the store before I had three dozen reindeer sugar cookies. Or reindeer-ish. They could have been mistaken for two-headed dogs.
When I finished baking, 46 hours later, I also had bells and stars – well, sort of; they looked more like lampshades and squid.
I decided to package my unique cookie gifts in rattan baskets. And I decided they would look festive with colorful cellophane, metallic ribbons, and decorative gift tags.
Then, of course, I needed a few fillers to tuck inside the baskets along with my cookies, such as holiday coffee mugs, designer cocoa, Christmas napkins and napkin rings, cinnamon-scented candles, tiny wooden elves, snowmen, a jolly Santa, and personalized tree decorations.
When I added it all up, I had “cut” my holiday shopping to an economical $3,860.95 – for eight gifts.
So I may end up at Century 21 after all because I’ll have to put my house up for sale to pay for my Christmas baking. Now I’m certain those angels were laughing.