With the holidays fast approaching and Black Friday a few days away, I am going a little crazy. How about you? Once I get through preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinner for family and the cleanup is all down, then the fun begins - shopping! :-) Ever since I was little I have been a fan of shopping Black Friday sales with my mom. And, now that they have introduced pre-Black Friday sales and even online deals and doorbusters, shopaholics everywhere are ready to take advantage of amazing sales and deals, as they check each and every person off on their holiday shopping checklists.
While the turkey is cooking, my mom and I will go through all the sales flyers, making lists of stores we will hit and the times we need to be there to take advantage of special doorbusters, etc. In addition to our shopping lists for family and friends, we also have a list of boys and girls that we have adopted from our community's local paper angel giving tree, that we will shop for.
Ever since I was little, my parents have instilled in my brothers and I the true meaning of holidays, and how it is better to give than receive. I remember going through my old toys and clothing to donate prior to the holidays, not just to make room for new toys Santa was bringing, but to share our stuff with less fortunate children, who may not have a warm coat, hat and mittens to wear, or even a Barbie doll or toy truck to play with. It always felt good to fill a box our old toys, knowing that another boy or girl out there would feel the same joy when playing with them, as we did when we first received them.
Have you ever been a Secret Santa and shopped for families in your community at the holidays? If so, what did you think about it? Was it hard not knowing the families, trying to decide what to get them, based on age and gender? Luckily with the gift giving tree at our local community center, the families get specific in what they want, which takes the guesswork out of it when we are shopping for presents on Black Friday.
There are times that children will make you tear up, when they list things like "a hair brush and mirror" or "my own pair of socks or underwear (brand new)" as it reminds us at how some people are less fortunate and how they don't ask for much. You can't help but feel humbled as you browse through the Secret Santa or Paper Angel trees looking for families or children to adopt for the holidays.
I love to shop and surprise family and friends with gifts, and I get a rush when I can score a deal on wish list toys and gifts, as I know that the extra money I am saving from these Black Friday sales can go towards making the families I adopt for the holiday have a great Christmas, with gifts they had asked for under the tree on Christmas morning, as well as a few other goodies I was able to pick up as a result of my saving or doorbuster finds.
In addition to going through the sales flyers with my mom this year and planning our Black Friday strategies on who will go where and what stores to hit first, I will also be introducing my two girls to the giving tree, and letting them shop for a child, using their saved birthday and allowance money. I am hoping to instill the same values my parents did with me, with my girls, and teach them the true meaning of the holidays. Savannah chose a 4 yr. old girl (same age as her) who is asking for Cabbage Patch Kid, while Bella chose an 8 yr. old boy who wants a handheld video game or dinosaur collection. I can't wait to see what the girls find while out shopping with my mom and I this Friday, and then watch as they place their wrapped gifts for their Paper Angels under the giving tree. 'Tis the season for giving!
And, if by chance we can't find gifts for the families we have adopted, we will have another shot at finding the perfect gift when we shop the
http://mo-pro.co/8e8agK. I will be attending and sharing a toy review and photos of the in-store event in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.
Do you have any favorite gift giving traditions? Maybe you do a family grab bag, or swap. I would love to hear about your traditions and how they they got started, or if they were passed down. So, please share in the comments section below.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored holiday toy campaign through Sverve, where I will be compensated for my time in sharing and promoting posts and a toy review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.