The boys' wish lists this year are tres boring and consist primarily of LEGOs, LEGOs and more LEGOs. However, I am pleased to announce that, over the last few days, I have made that boring LEGO-centric list my beyotch. As soon as I saw the TV ad for Toys R Us's "buy one, get one 50% off" LEGO sale, I was online, with three tabs opened in my browser: TRU, Target and The Wal-Mart. Question number one: which items were exclusives to one store or the other? Question number two: of the items that were not exclusives, who had the best price, and what ordering strategy would allow me to take advantage of all three store's loss leaders plus TRU's BOGO gimmick? Took me forty five minutes, but I soon had four items locked and loaded with TRU (WITH free shipping, thank you very much) and three more items en route to my local Wal-Mart via "site to store." Total spent on seven LEGO items (including two big-ticket sets): $300. Total saved: close to $100, not counting Upromise savings. (One of my goals this year is to do all of my online ordering via Upromise links, because I think that there's poetry in saving money for my kids' college education IN THE SAME TRANSACTION in which I spend money that could be going to their college education. Thus far, between JC Penney (new barstools for the kitchen, identical to Pottery Barn's at half the price, with free shipping to boot), TRU and Shutterfly (EIGHT PERCENT contribution to the kids' 529 plans - killer!), I believe that I have squirreled away $15, and it's only the beginning of the shopping season.)
I am wrapping gifts this year using way-cool retro wrapping paper that I got at Tuesday Morning. The kids are getting sock monkey wrapping paper, Spouse has a Santa motif and I have Christmas trees:
I created a little gift-wrap station for myself, utilizing the extra (rented) end table that doesn't fit in the living room:
Gift wrap station doubles as holiday linen storage - that's the happy-accident holiday tablecloth folded under the polka-dotted bowl o' gift tags. And, yes, that's a polka-dotted BATH MAT under the tablecloth. I bought two of them at The Wal-Mart because they were $4 each, they were festive, and I thought that they would make good camouflage for and/or help to protect rental furniture items.
Rolls of gift wrap are in a bucket that will eventually be a gift - but, for now, it's my gift wrap bucket, yo.
(Photo taken as the Thanksgiving decorations were being boxed up to be returned to storage - hence the "Harvest Queen" guarding the wrapping paper rolls.)
The Small One walked by several times as I was affixing gift tags to gift boxes, and. He. Did. Not. Say. A. Word. Barely even broke his stride. Finally, I had to say something:
"PJ, aren't you curious about what I'm doing?"
"Nope, AND I haven't noticed that so far you have wrapped 8 gifts, and 5 have my name on them, and only 3 have my brother's name on them."
Wow. Kid's got eyes in the back of his head. Santa had better be careful.