Christmas shopping made easy until retirement dropped a wrench

Christmas sale signWhen I had a full-time job, I worked to turn Christmas shopping into a joyous event. I hate buying for others. I always stress over whether the recipient will like or use what I chose. I have had my share of gifts that I passed on to Goodwill or wondered what on earth they were thinking. (For my friends and family who are reading this post, it wasn’t your gift which I truly valued!) 

The person I most enjoy buying for is me. Yeah, it makes me sound selfish and self-absorbed but who best to know what I like! So…to make Christmas shopping interesting I came up with this formula. For every gift I purchase, I buy something for me! This is the one time of year when I let loose. My birthday is in January so everyone including me is all broke and sick of shopping. That makes Christmas mean so much more (at least until I move my birthday to July).

It’s an event. When I worked, I took a day off. I shopped and then treated myself to a wonderful lunch at one of my favorite places. I enjoy my own company so being alone for lunch was never an issue. In fact, there was never an argument over where I would eat and no argument over the bill.

I anticipated something similar for this year. However, retirement has put a damper on my joyous event. I don’t need clothes, or shoes, or stuff. Damn! I don’t need anything – not even underwear. How boring is that?

I can be perfectly content trying on clothes and not buying them but knowing that even if I was tempted, I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear it made me almost wish for a part-time job. Almost.

My gift shopping is finished and I only bought one thing for me. I did try on a bunch of clothes – like skinny red jeans to go with the top I bought. Although they fit perfectly and looked great with the top, I don’t anticipate wearing them enough to justify the purchase. The top would look as good with regular jeans or black jeans and I have tons of both.

blow fish 2To save the day, I spent a good hour in the shoe department fondling shoes. Seriously, I can be happy just touching them and trying them on. I like funky shoes. I always did. I wore them until my feet rebelled. Now I try to find funky shoes that aren’t 4 inches high or totally unsupported. I found a new designer (at least to me) called Blow Fish. Eyowza! I loved everything they had. Beautiful colors and unusual designs. I had such a good time there that I treated myself to a wonderful hot dog for lunch.

Yes, I know. I really know how to have a good time!

The irony is that when you work you don’t have the time or sometimes the energy to shop but you do have the occasions to wear clothes. When you are retired, you have the time to shop but it just isn’t fun when you can’t wear it to work the next day.

Sale headline courtesy of Macy’s and shoes courtesy of Blow Fish.

25 thoughts on “Christmas shopping made easy until retirement dropped a wrench

  1. Kate, I have a January birthday too and would like to move it to July. Let’s move them to the same day. Then on that day I will buy myself something from you, and you can buy yourself something from me.


    • Sounds good to me. There are a few other bloggers born in January who may want to join this shopping marathon. It’ll be like Christmas in July! Now if we can find a mall with a mob chorus that would be great.


  2. Those Blow Fish shoes look great. I’ll have to check them out.
    When I lived about 3 miles from a mall in Syracuse, NY, I could be found there several times a week – mostly at the book store. Now, it’s all I can do to drag myself into one. But your philosophy, Kate, of “one for them, one for me,” puts a whole new approach on shopping that I’d be far more receptive to.:-)


  3. I loved this comment: I shopped and then treated myself to a wonderful lunch at one of my favorite places. I enjoy my own company so being alone for lunch was never an issue. In fact, there was never an argument over where I would eat and no argument over the bill.
    I agree, I always like what I order and never fight over the bill. Let’s do lunch!!
    Enjoy your holidays, always. Cheers, T


  4. There are times I think we are the same person. o.0
    This is one of them… AND my birthday is so early in January
    some people are still hungover from New Years… Many
    of my birthdays have been leaped over and forgotten.
    This is my justification for “self gifting”.

    (Always love reading your perspective on life.)


    • We don’t buy much either. My family gave up gift giving many years ago. Most of the gifts I used to buy were work gifts. Now it’s down to the husband, granddaughters and a very few friends…and me of course.


  5. I couldn’t agree more. Lotsa time, eager to buy something glamorous, but nowhere to go. The problem is I keep on buying those dressy things that just hang in the closet until they no longer fit! Isn’t Christmas shopping fun?


  6. I found Blow Fish shoes on a couple of shoe web sites. Love them but they are too wide for my dainty tootsies. I don’t mind buying for other people–actually like it. If they don’t like/want/need what I got them that’s their problem. If it goes to Goodwill or some such place it is a gift to someone I don’t know. Buying for myself is always a pleasure, of course.


  7. Gosh, I’m a loser on both counts…I don’t like buying for others because I’m always questioning the choice and I don’t like buying for myself because I hate trying stuff on. Maybe I should go shopping with you…I promise to be quiet over lunch!


    • That would be the first time you are ever quiet over lunch! Besides that you have that nifty personal shopper who pulls wonderful things together for you and I do remember you are an LL Bean chick!


  8. That’s always been my motto: “One for them; one for me.” Makes shopping so much more fun. And just because you are retired doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. Go to the supermarket in your fancy duds.


  9. I am not retired but I understand how you feel I really can, I really have no “needs” when asked to make a list for wants/needs for Christmas, I put on fire extinguisher and other home supplies, I was tempted to ask for skeins of yarn, but figured nobody would buy them anyway so why add to my list, that would make me the happiest though, to have skeins of yarn and plan to use them in all the different things I make, yes I am a knitter/crafter, and most everything is hand-made by me for presents.

    To my defense everyone tells me they love what they get, if they are lying to me its their fault tee hee, but I dont enjoy the “normal” things so I guess I will continue like you and just enjoy the things I do.


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