'Tis the Season To Be Merry*
I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping. Not trying to gloat here, it's just that I have to start really early or else the holiday goes whooshing past in a tumbleweed of gift receipts, postage stamps and curling ribbon. I like to reserve the week before Christmas to bake, watch Christmas Vacation* repeatedly, and check out neighborhood light displays. Doesn't always work out that way, but this year I'm ahead of the game.
Online shopping has made it much easier for me. I worked retail for years and have grown to hate the frantic and desperate last minute shoppers. They shop less with "the spirit of giving" and more with the spirit of "Holy crap I have to drop a whole bunch of money RIGHT NOW or else Christmas is ruined for everyone!" I started online shopping to avoid the teeming hoards of mall zombies, but now I shop online because I can spend more time finding things that I think people will actually use / like / not return on Boxing Day.
I've hit Etsy up pretty hard this year. Etsy's a great site where you can buy unique, crafty items instead of trying to make them yourself and failing miserably. And it's set up with shops that make sense to me, like "Geekery", where you can pick up this "not right" Nativity scene. A lot of the vendors at the recent Handmade Arcade also sell on Etsy, including this talented soap maker. I recommend the oatmeal bars. Smell good enough to eat. And since they are organic, they probably won't give you SOAP POISONING. (This blogger is not liable for any ailments caused by soap ingesting.)
Another great site for the quirky, one-of-a-kind gift items you won't find at the mall is Archie McPhee. It is the premier establishment for procuring all your meat product-related gift items and religious action figures. I personally hope to find a yodeling pickle in my stocking this year.
This article on MSN Money introduced me to the Purseket, which I think must be the best gift idea ever for the organizationally challenged like myself. I caused a small flurry when I forwarded the link to the women in my office, and my mom was all over it like reindeer poop on Santa's boot. It's so awesome I'm surprised it's not on Etsy. Oh, wait. It is.