Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spend Reports #14 and #15: Christmas blackout

With the Christmas crazy season, I have fallen behind in both writing for and thinking about my blog. Predictably, with Christmas approaching, my spending is up. I'm not expecting the January credit card hangover to be too bad since I have been using debit a lot.

I've been dreading writing about what I'm buying for Christmas and how much I'm spending. Itemizing every single present I've bought and posting about it doesn't seem very Christmas-y. Saying how much I'm spending on presents doesn't seem very Christmas-y either.

Theoretically, someone could do the math and figure out roughly how much I'm spending per person. Theoretically, you might say, but who on earth would actually do such a thing? Bear in mind the kind of family I'm from. My dad once counted every single carrot, pea, green bean and piece of corn in a bag of frozen mixed vegetables because he felt the photo showed more carrots than were actually in the bag. He then wrote a letter to the vegetable company complaining that the photo was false advertising since there were far more carrots on the bag than in the bag.

So, for the month of December, I've decided to do a truncated version of my usual spend report. I've named all the locations where I shopped, but I haven't named any presents and the amount doesn't include the price of any Christmas presents.

Overall, shopping only in New West for Christmas has been a relief. One night early in December an Old Navy commercial came on blasting away about some great deal on jeans or sweaters and I was glad when I realized I didn't have to pay one moment of attention to it. I didn't have to go to the Old Navy Website to figure out if the deal was being offered in Canada. I didn't have to drive to Metrotown to fight my way through crowds to see if I could get a stripey sweater or whatever the heck they're selling this season for $10. I haven't had to pay attention to the stacks and stacks of Christmas flyers in the paper either.

I do feel though my Christmas shopping in New West has been somewhat of a failure. I had every intention of checking out every cute-sy store in New Westminster and I did check out some (as I wrote in this post for 10th to the Fraser). I found lots of things I liked for myself and I bought stuff for myself. But in terms of finding stuff that fit the people on my Christmas list, I did not do so well and ended up sticking mainly to chain stores, including Wal-mart, for many of my gifts.

Still, I did buy Christmas presents at places I have never considered before, like the Van Dop Gallery and the Fraser River Discovery Centre's gift shop. And I haven't been tempted to go shopping outside of New West. (We did buy our Christmas tree in Richmond as that's a family tradition to go to the same place every year. We also went to a Vancouver Giants game as we got discounted tickets through a reading program at my son's school.)

From Dec. 3 to 9, I spent about $550 in New Westminster (excluding Christmas presents) on/at: 

From Dec. 10 to Dec. 16, I spent about $370 in New Westminster (excluding Christmas presents) on:

  • Groceries at Safeway and Kin's
  • Christmas cards at London Drugs
  • Baking supplies at Galloway's
  • Lunch at Graze
  • Stamps at Queensborough postal outlet

 Also bought items at: