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Mm-hmm, I love fall.

October 27, 2008

There are caramel apples, falling leaves, and beautiful blue skies. I can finally pull out my scarves and warm boots, and the number of blankets on my bed is ever-increasing. Warm cider becomes standard fare, and there’s a feeling of family in the air, no matter where I am.

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of October already. At the same time, I can’t believe that it’s only October. I feel as though it’s almost time for Thanksgiving. Which, of course, means that it is probably getting close to time to start Christmas shopping. I’m not sure how that’s going to go this year. I’m not quite sure how it went last year, actually, but it certainly went. Things just seem to work themselves out.

I think that this year, there’s going to be a lot more in the way of homemade gifts. People’s pockets just aren’t that deep this year, and no matter how much we say that Christmas is about the spirit of giving, families who are worried about feeding themselves are just not going to shell out what little money they have left on pocketknives and battery-operated trains for cousins and acquaintances. I’m predicting that economists will be worried (as if they’re not already) as soon as the Christmas spending numbers start to come in. They keep telling us to “spend, spend!”, and I don’t think that anyone will be taking their advice this year. Luckily, I don’t think that spending is the way to create a Christmas spirit.

Not to say that I’m some kind of anti-materialistic hippy. I’m as bad as anyone else about spending more than I probably should. I’ll even buy presents for people that I don’t really like, just because I found something perfect for them (maybe I should market myself as a personal shopper). However – and I’m well aware of the cliched overtones of what I’m about to say – I really feel as though I’d rather spend a couple of hours of time with my family members than receive a new CD.

I’ve been thinking of going on thrift-store shopping sprees with loved ones as Christmas approaches. Erika and I can go shopping for Josef, and Mike and I can go shopping for Erika, and so on and so forth. Not that I’m cheap, and not that I’m planning on buying everyone used shoes or romance novels. It’s just that shopping secondhand is so much darned FUN! And, also, I’ve noticed that many of Josef’s favorite presents from me were gotten secondhand. This may be due in part to the fact that I can’t afford to spontaneously go out and buy him a new wok and bowling ball (recent purchases at a Goodwill in Louisville). It might also be that he knows that I put a lot of thought and energy into finding these items for him among all of the other interesting and sometimes bizarre things to be found at Goodwill.

Obviously, if your niece or nephew will just die without Economy Elmo, then you’ll have to look at Toys-R-Us. But don’t feel like you’re being tacky or shorting someone if you buy secondhand this Christmas. Secondhand gifts, if in good condition and well-chosen, can be some of the best gifts that you can give. Another bonus is that most secondhand shops support good causes, so you’ll be indirectly helping someone else in the season of giving.

“Good Lord,” some of you are saying, “It’s not even HALLOWEEN yet! What are you, the Walmart of bloggers?” No, not really. These are just the things that I’m thinking about as the fall days slip by.

Enjoy your trick or treating, folks.

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