Monday, November 14, 2011

Shopping early to avoid Christmas insanity

Yesterday James and I braved the crowds of Metrotown Mall to get an early start on Christmas shopping.  There have been years where I was close to finished my shopping by this time of November, but this year the middle of the month feels early to get started.  I think if we go about it right, we’ll be done before December when it starts getting really crazy out there – although even yesterday was pretty insane.

Our original plan was to take Andrew with us to the mall, and then my parents were going to take him for a few hours afterwards so we could have a little break.  But when it came time to going to the mall, we realized that our shopping would be much more efficient if he didn’t go with us.  He would be really good in the sense that he never expects to get anything when we’re at the mall – we could take him to Toys R Us and tell him he could have ANYTHING in the store that he wanted, and we’d leave empty handed!  He’s awesome that way.  But he would be BORED if we were in a store that didn’t hold his attention like Toys R Us would, and our plan was to do shopping for other people, not so much for him.  So it made sense to call on his grandparents to take him for our shopping trip (AND we were lucky enough to also get some break time afterwards!)

I tried not to get my hopes up that the trip would go well.  First of all, I HATE Metrotown.  I recall several years ago (probably 7 or 8ish years ago) we went just before Christmas (within a week or so) and I was SO angered by the place that I vowed to NEVER step foot in that mall EVER AGAIN!!  It’s just so crowded and the layout boggles my mind.  I really only go into a very small selection of the stores there, so it seems ridiculous to go there when I could probably find the same stores in a smaller, easier mall to navigate.

BUT it’s relatively easy for us to get to Metrotown so it needed to be done.  However, the other issue I was concerned about is how much James usually HATES going shopping.  Taking him to the mall, I might as well have slipped him a sleeping pill.  He gets exhausted, complains of his feet hurting, doesn’t want to go into any of the stores with me, or if he does he just wants us to immediately pick up what we went in there for and leave and not look at other stuff.

I was pleasantly surprised on this trip, though.  While it WAS crazy busy and I still don’t like Metrotown over all, knowing it would be crowded we were already in the ‘zone’ to just let it go and do our own thing without letting other people get to us.  We went into the mall a different way than we usually do, and I think that was a good thing right off the bat, because we started off in a quieter area than the main bus loop entrance.

We went with a list, although a lot of our list was still fairly open since we didn’t know for sure what we wanted for everyone yet.  And we still don’t – but we ended up getting quite a few things.  And we did a lot of our shopping for Andrew already!  It was just too tempting, and it’s so fun to shop for things for the boy.  We got him some really cool things and we can hardly wait to see his face when he opens them!  Christmas is going to be so much fun.

We got something for my brother and my sil, something for my bil and sil, something for my fil’s significant other.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it really did feel like a good start.  I know a few other things we’re going to get, it’ll just be easier to do at a different mall during the week when it’s not so busy.  We could only carry so much around with us yesterday.  But I’m happy with the start we made!

James actually seemed to have more stamina than I did – near the end of our trip I was complaining about my legs being sore and I felt like I had twisted one of my knees!  LOL  Whereas he seemed to have endless energy and was just going along with whatever.  He didn’t mind browsing through stores – in fact, at one point he told me he was having a great time!  And when we got home he said he enjoyed our trip to the mall.  Neither of us really loves shopping at malls over all, but our outing yesterday was a success!  It did, however, get crazy busy toward the end of our trip.  We were burning out, but it was just insane - I tried going into The Body Shop for something and knew exactly what I was going in for, but there were at least 20 people in line, it was almost out the door!  Totally not worth it, even for the 50% off I could have got!

In some ways I still can’t believe Christmas is coming up so quickly, it just seems crazy to me how ridiculously fast time goes by.  It feels like summer just ended, and now Christmas?!  But I really do feel like embracing it and getting into the spirit of it.  It’s just going to be so magical to see it all through Andrew’s eyes, this year more than his previous two since he’s more aware than ever of what’s going on!

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