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Monday, December 15, 2008

50% Decorated

I dread putting the tree and its lights up every year. That is my least favorite thing about Christmas in the history of all Christmases. Our tree is one we got for free, so it's not an easy 3-piece one. Ours has 300 pieces like Heidi's. This year, David said he'd help me, and then, he ACTUALLY HELPED ME. It was a superbly magical event! Angels sang, branches got fluffed, spouses still loved each other afterward.

I almost left the tree bare for another day or three in my procrastination of putting on the lights, but I decided to bite the bullet rather than gnaw on the electrical cord any longer. Fortunately, this year I had 2 boxes of garland lights and that made the lighting go much faster. I just had to fill in the bare spots with regular lights. (Poo, lights! You're just regular strands. I spit on you!) I didn't bother with creating any tinkling twinkling effects. Everything is just on. Once I got past the crappy stuff, the ornaments and ribbon went on fairly quick.

OK. I know that all of you come to my blog for home decorating ideas, so here is another installment for your crafting pleasure. (/sarcasm)

I don't like paying full price for stuff unless it's something I'm going to use regularly. Christmas decor does not fall into the "regularly" category.

7.5ft tree= free (on freecycle.org)
Bows= $1, day after Christmas
Garland lights= $5, day after Christmas
Tree skirt= $10, day after Christmas
Glass ornaments= $2.50-3.50, day after Christmas
Ceramic ornaments= free (on freecycle.org)
100yds wired holiday Ribbon= $2, day after Christmas


16" wreath= $1.50, day after Christmas
Brass and crystal Hurricane= $5, day after Christmas
Small glass ornaments= price forgotten (bought 7+ years ago)
Candle= 25¢ at D.I. thrift store






Bows and glass ornaments= leftover from tree
Plastic Glittered Snowflakes= $1, day after Christmas


Pure-bred yappy Cairn Terrier= free (on freecycle.org)
Dog costume= $3.50, day after Christmas
Annoying the dog= PRICELESS

You may have noticed a pattern in my spending. Avoid the mistake I made the first year I shopped the day after the holy celebration; I came home with a couple hundred dollars worth of "50% off" Christmas stuff and completely fried my husband's "trying to understand women" circuit board. I ended up returning more than half my stash a few hours later. No sale saves you money if you're buying things you don't need or really really want.

Be warned: Shopping the day after Christmas bears a little resemblance to Black Friday, the main difference being that the crowds are comprised mostly of estrogen. Don't let the excuse-me's, pardon's, and oh-you-first's throw you into a false sense of safety. They may be smiling as they jam their carts up and down aisles, but the desperate crazed look in those women's eyes clearly flash "don't even THINK about grabbing that last lighted holly garland!" The whole thing feels like a polite, yet manic, Enrichment night.

Last year, I stepped away from my cart and when I turned back to it, I realized someone had taken the last of a particular wired ribbon out of my cart. Gone. Along with that person's integrity. You bet I'll be back this year though, perhaps, with Sarah's pitbull in tow.

See you in the seasonal aisles on the 26th! And keep your hands off my cart!

8 comments:

Heidi said...

In my family, the day AFTER a holiday is sometimes more exciting than the holiday. My parents love the sales. We usually meet up and shop like crazy buying "stuff we don't need" but this year I'm hunting for a tree skirt. Never had one, so if you see a good one, pick it up and run for me!

Heidi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi said...

In my family, the day AFTER a holiday is sometimes more exciting than the holiday. My parents love the sales. We usually meet up and shop like crazy buying "stuff we don't need" but this year I'm hunting for a tree skirt. Never had one, so if you see a good one, pick it up and run for me!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

I do love a good bargain! I am SO much more impressed with someone who finds something fabulous for 75% off than I am with someone who brags about how much she spent.

And Freecycle is brilliant! I love the idea that I can decide to get rid of something, post an ad, set it outside and it just disappears - presto!

Kristen said...

I bought most of our stuff this way over the years - although not until a week or so after Christmas when I just come upon it. "Oh cool! 75% off!" Of course that means I didn't get the first pickins.

I didn't realize there's a day-after frenzy to it. Makes sense! And you just added probably 30 more women to the craziness. Good luck ladies!

Utah_Dave said...

Hey! I ALWAYS help you put up the tree!

I love that picture of the dog!

caitlin said...

Okay, so be prepared to feel stalked.

You don't know me. Not even a little. I know Heather, and I see your (incredibly funny) comments and always laugh.

So I snuck a peek at your blog just now, and laughed my.. I laughed really hard.

Just wanted to let you know you are being suffiently stalked and admired.

(Don't worry I will refrain from stalking you in person.. I am not that productive) (thanks for the laughs)

Kikibug said...

I missed reading your post while I was away. You made me lol as usual. I have heard of freecycle, just never visited the site. I will have to check it out.