shopping

Christmas is too Fast

The worst part about Christmas is that it goes by too quickly. Everything is one big blur.

You spend an entire month preparing for this one holiday.

You make sure the family can come over, or you figure out how many houses you need to visit. You make sure you can fly into a certain town the night before, or if you can drive all the way to so-and-so’s house to make it in time for dinner.

You decorate your house with garland and goofy knick knacks that only show their faces every December. You select the perfect pine, or maybe you drag one up from the basement, and fill it with every ornament that was packed away.

You watch your dad balance a stapler in his mouth as he climbs a ladder, all to string some lights that will sparkle when the sun goes down.

You make your lists and check them twice as you enter the stores, trying to find that perfect gift for your loved one. Then you go ask your boss for more hours because how the heck are you going to afford that…

You whip out every cookbook you own, call up your mom and frantically try and figure out what you should make for the eve and the day of Christmas.

Then finally, Christmas morning arrives. I don’t care how old you are, there is no way you can sleep in on Christmas morning. As you slug down the stairs (where’s the coffee?) and watch the young kids bounce into the room filled with goodies, you realize this is the moment you have been waiting for, and it doesn’t even matter that the sun isn’t up.

Soon everyone is done unwrapping and hugging, and there is still much to do on Christmas day. But the worst part is when everything winds down, and you realize the day is over. You realize the much anticipated day has arrived and left, just like that. It’s another Christmas to remember. Thankfully, everything was worth it, and now you can just start thinking about next Christmas!

 

The Forgotten Holiday

Every month there is some sort of holiday or special event that we celebrate.  You could live in the United States, England, or even on Mars, I don’t care where I just know that you celebrate something (be it a national holiday, a local celebration, or maybe your friend’s birthday).  Each of the twelve months has something to offer.

Except in November.

What’s that you say?  There is a holiday in November?  Oh, that’s right, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday in my book.  You may think I am crazy, but let me explain.

First, when kids start heading back to school, the stores start packing their items with superhero costumes, gore makeup, leaf decorations, pumpkin figurines, and big family size packages of candy.  We all groan and say, “But it’s only August!”  Yet we all stock up on the goodies and prepare for the festive holiday of Halloween.  Not long after Halloween merchandise comes out do we begin to see tinsel, jingle-bell cards, fake pine trees, shiny ornaments, dreidels, and Jolly ol’ Saint Nick.  Again, we groan, “But it’s only the end of October!”  Pretty soon everyone starts getting excited about December, and all the fun things that come with it.  Ah, just hear those sleigh bells ringing and jing ting tingaling.

Hold the one-horse open sleigh, we just skipped a holiday!

But I thought Christmas comes after Halloween?

We are forgetting a holiday!  Now, I don’t mean we are directly forgetting Thanksgiving, but unless you are in elementary school making pilgrim hats and hand-traced turkeys, you don’t really care too much about this holiday.  Maybe your mom made you go pick up some canned cranberry sauce and that made you remember that Thanksgiving is approaching.  You probably care more about Black Friday (that iPad is $100 cheaper…).  We are forgetting what the holiday is about.  We are too busy thinking of the vacation we get in December or the snow or the gifts.  Calm it down folks, it ain’t Christmas just yet.

It’s not our fault that we want the Christmahanakwanza spirit to come a little early.  With the stores packing their shelves with all of December’s favorite things it’s hard not to get ahead of yourself.  And that darn radio…

Whatever happened to listening to winter jingles when it is actually the time of the year?  I don’t want to hear how mommy kissed Santa and that you want a hippopotamus for Christmas, or that you want me for Christmas.  I don’t want to hear about chestnuts roasting on some open flame, or how some reindeer had a deformed nose that glowed.  I will listen to all of these perhaps the week before Christmas.

Call me crazy, but I would like to enjoy my November.

To all of you who rushed to put out your Christmas lights, and light-up reindeer and hanging stars and other gaudy ornaments of the winter season, shame on you!  It isn’t even December!  I would say a fair time for hanging up the decorations is  after Thanksgiving.  No earlier than that.

The holidays around December are always fun.  It’s all about having fun with friends and family, and being thankful for what you have (and maybe getting a gift or two…).  But that’s also what Thanksgiving is all about.  Sure, it’s a total American holiday (especially since it revolves around eating) but who is to say we don’t have a right to celebrate?  You should enjoy the time you get to spend with your friends and family, sit around the table and talk about what you are thankful for, and of course, eat delicious and fattening foods.  Let’s just put the pause on December shall we?  Then maybe you will hear me singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

Spring Cleaning is My Middle Name

Whenever I think of spring cleaning, I picture a mom with a bandanna on getting ready to let the sun shine in after a gloomy winter.  She pulls on her gloves, and pulls out the vaccuum and lets the spring lighten up everything.  Then she looks around and the house is all sunny and warm, and clean.

Well, that’s not really my image of spring cleaning anymore, because I don’t spring clean.  I clean all the time, not just in the spring.  The true definition of spring cleaning is a thorough cleaning of the house, typically undertaken during the spring.  Aha.  Why is it done in the spring?  Well, in the winter it is too cold to do anything.

I find that in the warm weather it is hard to do anything.  I find myself cleaning and then realize my time can be better spent outdoors.  And so the cycle begins.  The cycle of starting this said “spring cleaning,” and then never really finishing it.

I have found now that I am older, cleaning isn’t such a bore.  In fact, I often find myself stressing about the mess I leave.  Which is probably a good ting seeing as college kids get a reputation of being slobs.  I am quite the organizer, especially when it comes to all things clothes related.

So my tale begins.

Clothes are like a good friend to me.  They are actually like many good friends.  Each article of clothing reminds me of a moment in time, or brings back a memory of some sort.  That makes spring cleaning the clothes I have a very difficult task.  How can I throw away or donate my friends?!  That’s just barbaric.

I just found a bright orange tank top with a funky knot in the front.  I have had it since I was 15.  Three years later, I still have it, have barely worn it, and the strap is broken, tied back together by yours truly.  Why do I still have it?  It was one of the first nice tops I bought with my own money, from one of my favorite stores (Forever 21!).

But, I have thought of some tricks that help me have a successful spring cleaning, or summer cleaning, or any season cleaning that you may encounter!  To start, go through and find things first that you absolutely do not like.  Donation works well for those clothes.  Then go through and find which clothes you want to save but they are not fit for the season.  This allows you to have more room for new clothes that are in season.

As for clothes that you know either aren’t “in” anymore, or do not fit you but you still like them, or they are just plain old and tattered, there are a few things I have found that work.  For one, you can take them to consignment shops.  One popular shop is called Plato’s Closet, which takes name-brand clothes of a certain season and style.  This place is great for buying gently used clothes of top brands, all for affordable prices.  It is for guys, and girls.  They allow you to bring in your gently used clothes, and they pay you right on the spot.  That is, if they want to take any of your clothes.  I have brought trash bags filled with barely worn, name brand clothes (Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Hollister, American Eagle, and even a variety of designers) and have left with that same bag.  They are very selective, and it depends on what they want for that month.  Certain items I think they always want (Victoria’s Secret sweat pants, anything Hollister, Uggs), but yet I am always discouraged when I leave.  Maybe you can have more luck?

However, if consignment shops are not your thing, swap parties with friends are wonderful.  Bring over a bag of your clothes and dump on a table for your friends to go through.  You can trade your old items for something new, and you can see your “old friends” go to a new home.

One last thing I have found works is for those with the creative bone in their body.  Taking old clothes that you probably will never wear and turning them into something more fashionable is very fun.  My best friend and I took old, big men’s shirts that I had used for sleeping, and turned them into sexy crop-tops.  Forever 21 is selling them like crazy, for about $15 a pop!  The ones we created look exactly alike, and cost us a couple less hours of sleep instead of cash from our wallet.

These little tricks have worked for me.  I try to weed through my clothes every month.  It helps free up space, and gives me a great excuse to go shopping.  Whatever the season may be, a little organization is always a good idea.