Gift Giving "Style"

"Hey, ya ready for Christmas yet?"

It's the most popular question on the streets these days. 

I'm almost ready.  I have a few things to buy.  So, as I prepare to go shopping I thought I might look on-line to see what's trending this year and I found a most entertaining piece from GiftAdvisor.com.  They're telling me, before I go shopping I might consider deciding what "gift giving style" I have.  They have seven categories.

For example, if you like to buy gag gifts or novelties, you're a "Quirk-ster".  If you like to make gifts or buy things that are handmade, you are "The Artisan".

If "what you bought is something hot", you're a "Trendster" and if you're a show off, if you like to "knock people off their feet" with a lavish gift, you are in the "Gilded Giver" category.  

"The Customizer", "The Memory Maker" and "The Logician" round out the seven gift giver categories.

Toy Days

Take a moment and think about it.  Think about some of the toys you received when you were a kid at Christmas.

Oh, I remember.  In fact, I still have a few of them - packed away in boxes.  I kept them because I treasure them.

It's Christmas time and we all get a little sentimental. 

The Salvation Army will serve hundreds of local families in the coming days and we're asking you to help us help them make sure that each and every child from those families gets a gift this Christmas.  

"Toy Days"...are on today and tomorrow at Canadian Tire.  Hundreds of children from local, less fortunate families, will all get a gift this Christmas if we all chip in.

Take your pick

Search your conscience

Then choose your cause,

And the miracle

Will be yours.

Do you recognize those lyrics?  Luba - Giving Away a Miracle.  Merry Christmas.

Christmas Shopping

So, have you started your Christmas shopping?  Do you have a budget?  How do you and your spending habits compare to the average Canadian?  We have some numbers.

PwC Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers, did the work.  They surveyed more than 1000 Canadian consumers and found spending is up and people in their 20s and 30s are "driving consumer holiday shopping trends around omni-channel retailing, mobile payments and click-and-collect shopping."   Did you follow that?  Me neither.

So, some numbers.  83% of us say we'll spend the same or more this Holiday Season.  Millennial parents will be the top spenders - driving up the average spending mark to over $1500 per person this month.  Those numbers break down to $625 on gifts, $720 on travel and $198 on entertainment.

Pet owners will spend an average of $65 on their animals at Christmas.

It sounds to me like we're going to have a Merry Christmas and deal with the debt next month!

Power Outage

It was the longest power outage we've had in quite some time.  A large percentage of the Saskatchewan population was without power yesterday - almost six hours in Moose Jaw.

Most of our big box stores and grocery markets had to close their doors, most restaurants had to lock up and all of us had to make adjustments.  

A drive downtown was eerie yesterday.  Everything was dark.  Some were driving around aimlessly, looking for signs of life.  

A number of things crossed my mind as I sat in the silence in my cool home.  I wondered, what if it was -40 outside and we had no power for an extended period?  Am I ready for that?  Are we ready for that?  

As I was thinking about warming up some food on my propane Coleman stove, outdoors on the picnic table, the power came back on.  Back in business we were.

And then, I wondered, why do so few of our homes not have wood burning fireplaces?  We live in Canada.  We should all have a fireplace.  But we don't.

Oh, Christmas Tree

Yesterday I was reminded of a conversation I had last summer which had me referencing a conversation I had over 40 years ago.  

I have this big tree, a blue spruce - probably planted about 65 years ago.  The top is full of pine cones which are now weighed down with heavy frost.  I think the top's gonna break off that tree.  It's happened before.  It'll be OK.

Last summer I was telling a friend about the hours of work I had ahead of me, raking and picking up an unusually large crop of pine cones around that tree and another blue spruce beside it.  He questioned how pine cones could come from a spruce tree.  "I don't think they're called pine cones", he said.

I said "I know they're called pine cones 'cause my Dad told me that when I questioned him when I was a boy."

I didn't go look it up at the library back then - I just trusted my Dad.  But, making use of modern technology this summer, I looked it up on my cel phone.  Yep, my Dad was right.  That made me happy.

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