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DEBBIE NORRELL

No comments about how fast the year went, I don’t think that time is speeding up, it’s just that a lot of us are on the downside of the mountain and time seems to be flying by. I don’t want to hear any comments about Christmas “sneaking up” on you. It comes at the same time each year so there isn’t an excuse.

If you are still running around buying presents you may want to think about some places that are off the beaten path of your local mall. There is always the go-to gift for the uncreative shopper—the gift card. Don’t get me wrong. I love a gift card if it’s right and what do I mean by right? Here are a few examples: you tell your friends, the ones who asked you what you want for Christmas that you are trying to buy something from Home Depot and if each of them would buy you a gift card from that store you can probably buy the item. So what do these friends do? They show up with gift cards from the Olive Garden. Hello?? How am I going to combine these cards and get my new chandelier?

If you are buying gift cards make sure you are getting them something they can use, especially if the card is being mailed out of town. Is the restaurant or movie theater even in their town? I have had good luck finding unique gifts at museum gift shops. There are no cookie cutter items there. One year I bought my brother in law a wonderful umbrella at the Carnegie Museum; it had the head of a putter on the top of the umbrella. He is an avid golfer and gets a lot of compliments on the umbrella.

Since shopping is a hobby for me I am always shopping and thinking of what will make a good gift. I’m sending copies of “Becoming” to both my sister and niece. I informed them before mailing the books to be sure they had not purchased the book already or perhaps someone already gave it to them.

A few weeks ago someone put a challenge on Facebook for people to spend at least $100 with a Black merchant in that month. When the challenge was placed I had already done that. If you are going to shop Black you will probably not run into crowds. Which is unfortunate. There is a Black-owned store in East Liberty that I have wanted to visit. I have driven there on three occasions and I finally noticed a sign that said if I wanted to come into the store that I need to go to the store next door. I need regular hours and a phone number. So I guess I’m not buying what they are selling.

A gift may not be necessary for everyone that you exchange gifts with, maybe going out to a special restaurant or helping that person clean their house or organize their closet could be a better gift. Think outside the big box store.

 

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