Archives for posts with tag: shopping

When I’m shopping alone, I often go into a zone wandering around the aisles, thinking random thoughts. Here’s some from yesterday.

I just want a gingerbread mix. When did we get so many kinds of cake mix? Where is the gingerbread? Don’t tell me they don’t make it any more. (I finally found a box of good old Betty Crocker gingerbread) What do people in foreign countries think when they see all this stuff?IMG_8670Look at all the kinds of Oreos. I remember when there were just plain Oreos. Wow. Move along quickly. I love Oreos. (Didn’t buy any)IMG_8671Moving to Sam’s Club…The Force is with us. Why didn’t I buy Disney stock? This is pretty cute actually.IMG_8639IMG_8640I can’t wait for the new movie! How fun. (Flashes of Star Wars throughout my children’s lives) Who can resist R2D2?IMG_8641‘Tis the season. Which season? Reminds me of my days in retail when I had Christmas merchandise stacking up before Halloween. (Smiled to myself)IMG_8648More Frozen merchandise. My granddaughter will be thrilled. What a goldmine that was for Disney…why didn’t I buy Disney stock?IMG_8644Wow! I thought I was cutting edge when I got my Apple Watch. Now there’s a kid’s version of smart watch and GoPro. Already. Amazing technology for these kids today.IMG_8642Oh! How many Star Wars toys and Legos have I picked up in my life? Wouldn’t my son love this one? Sigh.IMG_8643Here’s the Frozen/Star Wars mix yet again. I can’t believe my six year old granddaughter doesn’t like Star Wars. Where did her gene pool get mixed up on that one? How can I convince her you can like both? IMG_8649Books, books. Move along, Karen. You have so many books at home to read and not enough time. How in the world am I supposed to watch all the movies and TV, read all the books and keep moving more at the same time? Do I need a treadmill at home? Where would I put it? I should concentrate on traveling more. Really.IMG_8651What is this? I guess it would be the healthiest thing ever but how do you eat it? Do you cook it or add it to something? Sounds blah tasting. Too much.IMG_8645Interesting marketing choice here. Put the tempting holiday goodies across from the latest fit snacks. Should I try the popcorn? No, I like Skinny Pop. Leave it at that.IMG_8646IMG_8647Again with the marketing placement. Neither one grabs me, thank goodness.IMG_8653IMG_8654Good grief. Healthy or not? Actually looks good, but not today. IMG_8652When is our weather going to change so we can wear our fall stuff? It’s 80 degrees today. I’m ready for sweatshirts. But it is nice not to have to freeze at the football games. Wonder what the weather will be this weekend? What am I going to wear to the games? Will I be warm, cold or wet? It changes all the time. Bedlam’s coming soon. IMG_8650Amazing how much time I can kill in a store. Stopped to talk to three friends and ended up with a mixed cart of stuff I needed. At least I got some walking in. And so go my days…

In a conversation with some of my grandkids, I was surprised that they weren’t thinking about gifts for their parents or siblings. When I was little, I bought presents for my parents, brother and sister and my grandparents. I had a memory of going to the dime store with $5 to buy all the gifts and coming home with Evening in Paris perfume for my mother and I can remember buying a lot of handkerchiefs for everyone.

This past few days, I’ve taken a couple of the grandkids on shopping trips so they could buy gifts. My 12-year old granddaughter has been finished for weeks, everything perfectly selected and probably wrapped by now. She’s got the whole thing figured out. No need to help her.

I took my 4-year old granddaughter shopping for her mother the other day. Since it’s just the two of them, I thought she needed to have a surprise or two for her Momma. And she’s old enough to start learning the giving part. I asked her mother likes jewelry and she replied, “Yeah, she does.” I wish I could write the inflection she uses for that phrase, because it is way too cute. She had a bit of a time picking out things because a 4-year old doesn’t understand prices very well, but we found something appropriate and special. Then we went to Target for some fillers. That’s the true test, because it was hard to get her away from the toys and what SHE wanted. She picked out something, a little treat, and I asked her if her mother liked that. She said, “Well, I do.” I guess Mom will, too. That was harder than I thought it would be because I had to watch her all the time. They get away from you so fast at that age and we all know that panicky feeling of turning around and finding them gone. In a nanosecond. She’s pretty proud of herself and promised to keep it a secret. I think that will work since she’s already moved on to something else. The learning part will come when she presents her gifts to her Momma and sees the delight.

Today, I took my 12-year old grandson shopping. He had $20 to buy gifts for his parents, his brother, and three grandparents. I told him I could help out, but he quickly made it clear he wanted to stay in his budget. We started at the sporting goods store, which was having a store-wide sale. We circled the store as the reality of prices settled in. Up until now, he’d done his holiday shopping at the little store at his elementary school where kids could buy cheap gifts, really cheap gifts, things only a parent or grandparent could smile at. He had looked so stricken when his older cousin told him that they didn’t have those stores in the middle school that I offered to take him shopping.

I told him to watch for Clearance signs, which would have the best prices. We were about to give up when he found something on the sale table for his brother. He was trying to do the math and decided this was what he wanted. We walked around some more and he found something cheaper for his brother, so he chose that to have more money for his parents’ gifts. Smart thinking going on here. He found some things he knew his parents would use, one of his criteria, and handed over his $20 bill. With the discount, he had $3 and change left, so I suggested we go to the Dollar Store to buy presents for his grandparents, since he knew what he wanted for them.

The Dollar Store is a miracle of bargains for someone on a budget and he found what he wanted immediately. He also found something for me, but didn’t want me to see it, so I gave him some change to cover taxes and hid in the car. He was so proud of himself. He had done all his shopping in less than 45 minutes, even counting driving several miles in 5:00 traffic, and stayed basically within his budget.

His next concern was hiding the gift. . .like all of us would be tearing his room apart to see what we’re going to get. I was the same way because I was a gift snooper myself. Can’t wait to see what the perfect useful gift was for me!

There’s not much cuter than watching kids learning the joy of giving and giving from their heart. Whatever we end up with really doesn’t matter. I need to check the progress of a few more grandkids in their shopping, hoping a couple more need my help. It’s one of the sweetest things about the holidays.


This weekend, the weekend before Thanksgiving, I did some shopping here and there, getting ready for the holidays. Everywhere I went I left with a smile on my face because of how friendly and nice everyone was. The clerks were friendly and smiling. In the grocery store, people laughed when we bumped carts and made light conversation with strangers as we picked out or favorites for the upcoming feast. One lady and I almost collided as I left an aisle and she joked that she shouldn’t be texting while driving.

At one store, some lovely people were handing out papers asking shoppers to purchase goods on the list to help with Thanksgiving dinner for men at a shelter in town. I gladly did so and was greeted with smiles and genuine gratitude from the volunteers. People were talking to strangers about the big game that night and laughing about the cold outside while they went about their shopping. The people handing out samples of food were laughing with the customers. It was the same everywhere I went. When I picked up a prescription, the lady commented that our birthdays are both coming up in a week or so. We talked about that.

It shouldn’t seem strange or unusual, but it really kind of was. Nobody seemed in a hurry or annoyed or frustrated. Everything was moving smoothly in all places. People pointed to their cars so I could follow them to get a place, people thanked clerks, clerks thanked customers. It was nice out there, running routine errands.

I hope everyone stays this sane, this relaxed during the coming weeks. I’m going to try and do my part and make sure I shop with a smile on my face. Aren’t we supposed to enjoy the holidays? Aren’t we supposed to be shopping for people we care about and doing extra things for people who need us? Isn’t this season supposed to be fun?

Remember during the coming weeks, when you feel rushed or pressured, to slow down, relax, hum a holiday song, smile, and do what you can to make this season, no matter what holidays you celebrate, what it’s supposed to be. . .the nicest time of the year!