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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Assignment #346 Holiday Shopper



"I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my closet."

-Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) Sex And The City

Weekend Assignment #346: Holiday Shopper

Ack! The holiday shopping season is upon us! What is your shopping strategy for this time of year?Do you spread out your shopping over weeks and months, or try to get it all done at once? Do you mostly shop online or in person? How heavily, if at all, do you rely on gift cards, gift certificates or plain old fashioned cash and checks?

Extra Credit: Do you enjoy shopping Friday and after-Christmas sales?

-Karen Funk Blocher (Mavarin)

Holiday shopping... all I can say is... YES, YES, YES! But let me explain. Alan and I have a lot of traditions around the holidays. We begin the "Holiday Season" in September, as the first day of autumn starts our holiday season. We have lots of stuff going on, most of which includes some form of shopping. October has our wedding anniversary, the seasonal opening of Apple Hill, The turning of the leaves in Plumas County, Family Day, which is our own made up holiday, and of course, Halloween. If it is an election year, you can find us, at some point, buying campaign buttons to add to our collections. November is a bit more laid back, but then Thanksgiving quickly comes upon us, and with it comes... BEAUTIFUL... MAGNIFICENT... CHILLY... SPARKLY... EXCITING... BLACK FRIDAY! Not really a holiday, but celebrated in our house as if it were Christmas itself.

Shopping plays a role in all these events, but only to a small degree. We have little traditions when it comes to shopping that keeps it all fun, but doesn't take away from the meaning of the season. Take Apple Hill for instance. You could spend a fortune there, between all the different farms and specialty goods they have. YIKES! Alan and I have discovered the very best of the place, such as Rainbow Orchards and their AMAZING Apple Cider donuts. We go there for the donuts, and maybe some fresh apple cider, but keep our heads when it comes to buying all the crafts and goods. It's an amazing time of year, and if you don't keep your wits about you, it could get crazy.

Black Friday, which I believe is the "official" shopping start of the holiday season is a big deal in our house. We don't do much shopping that day, but we do people watch! We begin the day in Union Square, in San Francisco, and after enjoying a Mocha for Alan and a Hot Chocolate for me, we walk the square, then its down to Maiden Lane. It's gorgeous this time of year, from the decorations, to the wonderful street performers singing opera. It's a unique time to be in San Francisco, and something we don't miss, come rain or come shine. After we enjoy the square, we head home for Thanksgiving dinner... part 2... then it's up the hill into Tilden Park to the carousel, to enjoy the Christmas Fantasy in the Woods.

The Carousel has a dozen or so lighted Christmas trees, with amazingly beautiful Christmas ornaments for sale. All of them more than reasonable, and all of them sweet and sentimental. Alan and I always give each other an ornament from the carousel each year for Christmas. It's one of our main gifts. Our little tree is now covered in Christmas memories. All bought from the Tilden Carousel Christmas In The Woods. Each one of those ornaments remind us of the fun we have there, or the fun of watching a child laughing or a little old couple cuddle, while holiday music plays and lights twinkle. It's special. It's the only time I really enjoy holiday music. I always balk when some dismal person insists that the holidays have become too commercial. They are only as commercial as you allow them to be. You know? It's pretty much up to you how you want to feel about things! You can choose to walk around cynical, or you can start your own holiday traditions and take a walk in the light! It's up to you!

The only other shopping tradition we have, is to purchase an Advent calender on Black Friday. We usually get that in Union Square.With the exception of the Advent calender and the special ornaments, I don't schedule my shopping, but I do look for bargains for what I plan to buy. It just makes life simpler. I do love to go out and walk around the crazy shoppers, while feeling perfectly at ease with my shopping style. It's fun to feel like the sane one once in a while! ;)

Karen, I hope you don't mind if I make this WA a bit of a pictorial. I just think the pictures complete the story...

Union Square Christmas Tree...


Mocha and Hot Chocolate...



Maiden Lane...


Maiden Lane Performer...


Xanadu Gallery (Building Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright)


Tilden Park Christmas Tree...


Tilden Carousel...


A Really Lovely Ornament...


Extra Credit: Yep... but then you already read that didn't you! LOL :)

Happy Holidays Everyone!

-Carly

2 comments:

Karen Funk Blocher said...

You, my friend, along with that remarkable place you live, take a potentially drab and stressful season and make it magical! Well done!

Jama said...

I'm not much of an online shopper as we have lots of shopping centers near us and there's always a sale somewhere!