Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas is cancelled

Okay, not really. Just toned down a bit. Maybe more than I would like.

I'll get back to that later.

In the last post I mentioned being worried about my husband's job. Really worried. But now all seems back to normal, or at least, as normal as it has been for the past few months. The middle management of the old company went to a meeting with the new company, and we all sort of thought that these managers would be told that most of them would no longer be needed. But instead they went to this meeting and mostly heard "welcome to the family" type stuff. The week after that my husband went to a meeting of the new company, which was run by the managers of the old company, and he didn't meet anyone from the new company that wasn't already working for the old one. So he signed the papers and such, and then went back to work as usual the next day.

We're still being told that nothing will change until 2012. We believe that, as there is only a few weeks left of 2011.

There is now a rumour that major changes are coming in March or April. We will see.

Anyway, while I was getting out cookbooks wondering what I could make with beans and rice and such as that, everything seems to be back to normal, and we have mostly returned to our previous spending habits.

While I was in the stage of really worrying about money, I asked to be less involved in gift exchanges than I was last year. This seemed to upset my mom a bit, but everyone else seemed okay with it.

In fact, my friends went so far as to say that we shouldn't exchange gifts at all, which was not what I was trying to do. I wanted to limit the gifts to small things, hopefully small things that I had bought earlier. Or maybe I would knit them all hats, or make them soap or baked goods. The person I thought would be most in favor of the soap or baked goods plan wasn't there for the discussion. The person who is most into the whole Christmas exchange thing wasn't there either. That left a couple who only wants to exchange cards, a guy who said he was going to be out of town the weekend we normally exchange gifts, and a girl who says she'd rather do the cards this year just because she's running out of ideas of what to get people.

So the gift exchange that I usually enjoy the most has become a card exchange, which wasn't what I meant to do at all. I hope that the other guy speaks up and says that he's already got something for me, so I would at least exchange gifts with one of them.

I've said that I would not do the charity thing this year. And I probably won't, even if the money situation is better. I'm just not that into it.

And that leaves my family, and my mom doesn't seem as upset as she did. We usually draw names and get one person something that's about thirty dollars. And then we also bring a five dollar gift for something that is usually called the Chinese gift exchange. (That's when someone opens a gift, and then maybe someone else "steals" it, and then the first person opens another gift.) The "stealing" bit is a lot of fun, but there are only six of us. My brother and I think that instead of drawing names for the thirty dollar gifts, we should each bring two of the five dollar gifts for the "stealing" bit. So that would save us all about twenty-five dollars and be more fun anyway. My brother thinks that we are all adults, and we don't really need the thirty dollars gifts, cause if those are things we really want we've probably already got them.

I think that he's right.

Anyway, when Black Friday came, I didn't have as much money as I would have liked to spend, but I didn't think that I had as much to buy either. I was only spending twenty or so on my family, and almost none on my friends, and none on the charity.

Still, for the past few years, I've been going to Walmart early on Black Friday to buy jeans (two or three three for myself), a small appliance (for myself), and several DVDs (some for the charity, some for friends and family, and some for myself). Except for the DVDs, there usually isn't that much on my Christmas list that is worth getting out at four or five in the morning for. But I've long had the tradition of buying stuff I needed for myself, like underwear and a crock pot.

Except for the toys, I wonder if anyone is actually buying the Black Friday stuff for other people. I mean, who gives away giant TVs for Christmas? And, if your family has enough money to give away giant TVs, is saving a hundred dollars or so worth standing in that really long line, possibly all night?

I do not have enough money for a giant TV, and on Black Friday I always wait at least an hour for the really crazy people to get done shopping. But if I ever did have the money for a giant TV and cared enough about it to wait in that long line to get it, the giant TV is going in my living room, and it's going to stay in my living room. I'm certainly not buying three or four TVs to give to friends and family.

Anyway, this year, I went to Walmart at five or so in the morning and found a mostly empty parking lot. I didn't need a small appliance, I couldn't find the jeans I wanted, so that only left looking through the DVDs.

I wish I'd had the money. I hadn't seen anything that interesting in the ad, but once I got there I found complete seasons of Supernatural, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe, Fringe, and The Big Bang Theory. If I had bought everything I wanted, that would have been about two hundred dollars, and that's before buying extras for friends. I didn't have two hundred dollars. I ended up spending about twenty, and I haven't yet decided if I will keep them or give them away.

Next I stood in line at Half Price Books, not quite an hour early, so that I could get a five dollar gift card and have a chance at getting $100. I didn't get the $100, but with the $5 and a coupon I got one of the Chinese exchange gifts.

Next, I bought calendars with coupons in them, a few dollar DVDs at Best Buy, and then headed to another Walmart. I found the jeans there and bought two. Again I looked at the DVDs, but didn't buy more. I had a bit of money left, but I just couldn't decide how to spend it. Which season of Supernatural is the best? Season two maybe? Is that better than any seasons of Stargate Atlantis? Or Fringe? I just couldn't choose.

I think that might be it for the Christmas shopping, except for one or two more Chinese exchange gifts, a gift card, some candy and other food, and maybe some yarn if I knit a few more things. I think I'm done.

This year is probably going to be dull.


silly rabbit said...

Randy was laid off before Thanksgiving. He's still off, but we are hoping that changes soon. We are only doing the grand kids this year for Christmas.

I think you are right, most Black Friday is for the people buying not for gifts.

dmarks said...

I have a similar "company bought out by someone else" situation. And the changes aren't supposed to take place until 2012 also.

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