it never hurts to plan ahead

two more sleeps and advent calendar season begins!

my wooden board + pieces are ready to go!

and i have the advent calendars for little e and baby c set out on the table so that i don’t forget to take them to toronto tomorrow – that would be a shame!

when i was trying to round up the second advent calendar, i had left my name with shelley, the manager of write impressions – when they received their expected supply of calendars, she’d give me a call. shelley DID call me, but i had already made my calendar purchase at words worth books. this past saturday, i decided to pop into write impressions anyway, just to see their selection, the designs, and the prices. wow! they had an impressive array – about 8-10 different calendars were available.

i was just going to look and leave…but then i decided i might as well pick up a couple of calendars and put them away for next year. even paying full price – the total for two adorable calendars was a mere $11.87 (there was tax!). i’ve paid more than that for two birthday cards, so i thought this was a deal.

advent calendar #1...

advent calendar #2!

now to decide which one for which niece!

i actually debated buying FOUR advent calendars and having a little stash to cover christmas 2012 and 2013…but decided that was a little excessive in the planning department, even for me.

i did make my “note to self”…

all the details, just in case of a brain fart...

now: if, perchance, i can get into write impressions during their boxing week sale, i WILL pick up another two calendars for two years from now – just because i love a 50% off deal. however, shelley FYI’d me that the calendars are going fast, so i am doubtful that there will be any left by boxing day. no worries – at least i am set for next year!


last thursday was the first day that i really noticed an influx of christmas shoppers in the storeS. i think the impact of black friday is rubbing off on canadians [anyone else notice how many black friday sales we had this year? i don’t remember so many in other years??].

since i’m familiar with being on both sides of the sales counter, i thought i’d share four “insider tips” to keep in mind as you do your own holiday shopping:

  1. visit stores during off hours, if at all possible: if crowds make you antsy or twitchy (as lisa would say!) aim to do your shopping during the weekdays, preferably in the a.m. hours or afternoons (lunch times get a bit busier). obviously, saturdays all day and sunday afts are the times to avoid if packed stores put you on edge. (i had really good luck one year up at conestoga mall when i went on a saturday eve – they are open only for december with these hours – there were very few shoppers).
  2. inquire about refund and exchange policies when you make your purchase. for example, at the store, you are able to do a full refund if you have the original sales receipt; with a gift receipt, we can do exchanges, only. it’s best to avoid future frustration by asking for details when you check out. also, find out when you can do a return -> many stores do not deal with returns on boxing day or even during boxing week.
  3. come armed with as much detail as possible: it’s absolutely fabulous when i get customers who come in with someone’s wish list, and they have style numbers, size, price, colour all noted. i can run around and efficiently pull out options – we all save time!
  4. be patient. it’s a given that christmas shopping is a hectic time. as sales associates, we really want to help you find the perfect gifts. by being polite and friendly, everyone’s day is much more fun!

any shopping tips to share? grumpy christmas shopping is just oxy-moronic, no?!


november thankfulness:

(for monday, november 28): yesterday i was thankful that i genuinely love mondays! (actually, i look forward to all the days of the week). i’m glad i can go to bed each night and not dread the return-to-work cycle of the next day. that was not the case when i was a teacher – i’d get the blahs sunday, already, because i knew that monday was not that far off.


not me!

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  • Lisa  On November 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Yes, when the crowds make me twitchy…I shop mid-morning or around 2pm….OR I use Stephanie’s method of shopping at home with a drink (in my PJs!)….

    I love that you’re so into the advent calendars. I’d do one with matthew, but I just know it would not get followed through on in his house!

    I’m terrible at bargain shopping 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm

      there’s a store up here called winners that has mega deals on clothing etc…but you have to time it right, and then you’ll score a real bargain. i never time it right. 🙂 advent calendars – i think i am still as gleeful about them as when i was small!

  • Zo  On November 29, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I probably would have done the same thing you did and gone to check out the supply (and bought some) too.
    Thanks for the tips. I have a work schedule that basically only leaves busier hours free for shopping. I was out on Sunday afternoon and didn’t find it too bad!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

      yes, we’re still early enough in the season that saturdays and sundays are not bad – at least what i have seen. it’s the couple of weekends before christmas that get zany! and with the 24th on a saturday this year -> it’s going to be craaa-zzzzy!! glad to hear you’ve started your shopping!

  • Stephanie  On November 29, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Ha! I hated Sunday nights when I was a teacher. Even though I enjoyed my job, I NEVER felt ready. Someday – hopefully – I’ll get a job again. And I kind of hope that it’s a job-job, not one that I have to spend my weekends getting reading for.

    My shopping tip is to shop online with a drink and wearing a pair of flannel PJs. Wait, that’s not what you were talking about, right? 😉

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 29, 2011 at 9:20 am

      oh, i think your shopping tip is just PERFECT! see, i never shop online, so i kinda forget about that whole opportunity. a drink + comfy clothes + your home, with stores at your fingertips – awesome? (did you do any cyber shopping and score awesome deals yesterday? i did not!). yes, i know you can relate to the sunday feeling of teaching. it will be interesting to see what your next venture will be!

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