Sunday, December 22, 2013

What NOT to buy: A guide to last-minute Christmas shopping

We're almost to the home stretch, just a few days until Christmas and not many shopping hours left. I know a lot of people have probably procrastinated and still have a few last-minute gifts to pick up (Shane and I finished our list this morning) and this guide will help you see what NOT to buy for Christmas this year, unless you're a VERY strong believer in "It's the thought that counts!" You could buy pretty much anything else at the store and be good to go. The only people I would suggest buying these for are people you really hate but are still obligated to buy a gift for...then it would be hilarious. 

Walmart put out an interesting display of cookware this year, featuring a now-disgraced chef and a "Limited Time Only" sticker. This I wouldn't buy for the principle of it. And no, I'm not talking about the recent scandal with the Queen of Butter and the n-word, because that dead horse has been beaten enough and cookware is cookware, y'all. Heck, I have a set of this myself. The sole reason why I wouldn't buy this is because IT'S STILL FULL PRICE.  I know I'm not the only one who scoured the clearance section after the news broke just waiting for those super marked down items to roll through. Walmart obviously had a bunch of stock left just sitting around, waiting, until the story cooled enough to put this back out. 

Pre-packaged gift sets are hit or miss anyways, but this one is definitely a miss. First it comes with an odd number of jar mugs, which I'm guessing they did three because only putting two would look too dinky but putting four would cost too much. Next, what's with the off-brand koolaid? Do they even sell this knockoff brand in the grocery aisles? If you are crazy and just think this is the most adorable idea ever, please please just walk two aisles over to the holiday section, grab some of those mason jar cups with lids and straws and buy REAL KOOLAID. Everyone will thank you. 

These skirts and capris look awful enough before I tell you I found them in the HOSIERY section of Macy's with the leggings and jeggings. I wish everyone reading this could reach out and touch their computer screen and feel the texture of these, because it was just awful. We're talking the stretchiest, softest, thinnest material ever, which translates to looking terrible on anyone and everyone who would ever put these on. I mean if you're buying a seafoam green "denim-look" pencil skirt pair of skeggings (the word I just made up for skirt-leggings), you probably don't have the best fashion sense anyways, but still. 

This Macy's disaster was found on the rack right next to that lovely skirt. There are two types of socks in this picture. One is an acceptable gift. The other should die in a fiery explosion. Can you guess which is which? If you guessed the LEFT is the acceptable gift, you should probably just get everyone gift cards this year. What person over the age of four wears ruffled socks? And those ribbons would be a serious tripping hazard. Plus they're just awful. 

Miley and her twerking have made a huge splash this year but not even she would look good in these sweatpants at Spencer's, nor does their photo model. I don't even remember when sweatpants with words on the butt became popular but it has to have been nearly ten years ago now. Look how  high up the message is printed. Is that so in case you get embarrassed you're wearing lime green "twerk queen" pants you can conveniently cover it with your t-shirt? The model even has VPLs (visible panty lines), so just do yourself and humanity a favor and don't buy them. 

Shane and I are huge fans of board games but I wouldn't even waste my money on this, unless it was as a gag gift. I may be biased because I think the show is super boring anyways but the fact that Walmart has already added this to the clearance section suggests I'm not alone. What's next? A "Pawn Stars" game where someone tries to sell you a $20,000 painting and you haggle down to $20? Or how about a "Toddlers and Tiaras" game where you have to make tough choices like "Should I make my mortgage/water/gas bill payment this month or pay for 1/8th of Little Susie Mae's glitz dress?" 

For those who LOVE the Christmas Shoes song, do I have a movie for you! Perfect for anyone who loves to feel weepy and sad around the holidays for absolutely no reason. If you look really closely, you'll see at the bottom the caption says "The Christmas Shoes finds humor in an emotional story." I don't know what could possibly be funny about a kid buying shoes for his dying mother unless Rob Lowe brings a little Chris from Parks and Rec into the movie and says "literally" about a hundred times. 

Last on this year's guide is anything you wrap like this. Just wrap a bow around that big guy's neck and be done with it, no sense in wasting $2.50 on a not quite big enough plastic bag. If your kid is too stupid to figure out there's a teddy bear in that bag, then they need to be getting some books for Christmas. 

See my 2012 and 2011 guides to awful gifts for more ideas on what NOT to buy this holiday season :) 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas time is here again!

Only one week until Christmas and our halls are decked to the max! It's our first Christmas in our new home and it has been so fun decorating for the first time. 

A brand new 7.5' tree joined the family this year along with a colorful new tree topper. 

I'm in love!

Of course, our old tree looked so lonely sitting there in that box so it had to join the party too. And don't you love our little Eiffel Tower wrapped in lights?

This wall hanging is my most magical thrift store find, it was only $3 last year! And who knew Walmart would have super cute NOEL tealights?

I know, I know, you're all thinking it..."why aren't the stockings on the mantle?" We actually have our couch pushed up in front of the fireplace and every time we sat down, we knocked the stockings off their hangers. The stair railing made for a great compromise though and I actually kinda like them there better anyways. 

The Christmas flamingo, bought at a Kmart closing sale, is there to guard the stockings against early peekers.

Another compromise this year, wreath on the inside of the door. Our storm door is about an inch away from our front door and no amount of slamming would squeeze that wreath in there.

I finally pulled out our wedding table runner for the first time in five years :) 

And something else we've totally been putting off, dog paw print ornaments! I don't care if anyone thinks we're crazy dog people because we totally are, and I love our new ornaments. Charlie and Sheldon didn't enjoy making them too much but they were mostly cooperative. 

I'm not sure if Sheldon's in the Christmas spirit, but Charlie sure is!

He's even found a favorite new place to hang out. He only has to climb over all the presents and knock off most of the ornaments to get there. 

Happy Holidays from our  home to yours!