Saturday, November 19, 2011

Off and running

I simply cannot believe that next Thursday is Thanksgiving.....can you?

I suppose it's a byproduct of age, but I now marvel at how quickly time seems to pass, compared to, say, thirty years ago.  Simply amazing.

But, despite that, we're off and running with our preparations for the Christmas season.  I have all of my time off requests in for work, and we've already done about 60% of our Christmas shopping.  However, before you start throwing things at your computer screen, note that we started a tradition in our family several years ago of buying a variety of gift cards.  This began because our daughter and her family live in Colorado, and since we're not with them frequently, we had less of an idea of what to get them, so the gift card idea became a pretty practical solution to the gift-giving dilemma.  Plus they're easier to ship than larger presents, and we normally ship their holiday gifts to them.

In fact, I bought about half of what we're giving for Christmas this morning....at the grocery store.  You know, the big display with all of the gift cards on it!  What I particularly like about that is that the grocery store also operates a gas station, and your purchases all give you discount points on gas purchases.  Purchases of gift cards pay DOUBLE, so how about that?

I noticed a couple of years ago a lot of restaurants would give the purchaser an extra $5 or $10 off when buying $50 worth of gift cards.  That's always a pretty good deal, too.  Don't do that as much as we once did, as our kids eat out (except for fast food) much less frequently than they used to....

My next move is to write our traditional Christmas letter that we include in the Christmas cards which we send out. And, yes, we have the cards already, too.

My wife and I normally make a trip to Cincinnati over a weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas to do our holiday shopping and enjoy a weekend out of town, but it looks like that little tradition may be put aside this year, between my frequent business travel and a trip to Colorado we'll make the weekend before Christmas to see our granddaughter perform in a local production of the Nutcracker.

Regardless, I always look forward to the holidays, and hope that you do, too.

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