Monday, December 15, 2014

~ Dear Santa..... ~

ATL ~  WAYYYYY Back in THA day .
We are TEN days from Christmas . Just typing that I have a small anxiety attack over all the things I haven't gotten done this Holiday season . A friend and I were just texting about how quickly time seems to be going by . In some aspects lightening fast and in others turtle slow . Anyway , back to the point of this children we have no problem making a list for Santa . We seem to know exactly what we want even at the ripe age of 5 . Barbie and her dream house , obviously . I wish I had retained that clarity of my own wants as I aged . Well , as adults we find ourselves stuttering and stumbling when asked or asking what one might like for Christmas . Also , the older we get , the more our families grow or our situations change the question changes to , " What do you NEED for Christmas ? " . Well, for those of you trying to answer those questions with something more than the expected , " more money " , " more time " . " better job ", etc . or for those of you needing some ideas of what to get here is a list to hopefully help .

~ Roll or Sheet of Stamps ~ I asked for these for my birthday in September knowing that it would help me to keep with one of my favorite Christmas traditions of mailing Christmas cards .

~ Gas Cards ~ With the ever fluctuating costs of fuel I feel like EVERYONE would appreciate a gas gift card in their stocking . Can't go wrong kind of gift....unless the person isn't old enough to drive . Then I point to the next gift listed .

~ iTunes Gift Card ~ Yes , a iTunes gift card is not a "necessity" nor will it help pay any bills , but it would provide some guilt free down loading to anyone on a budget or living pay check to pay check . I also see it as a can't go wrong kind of gift for teenagers .

~ Movie Tickets ~ Again , in the gift card isle of this shopping post a prepaid date night or even as a mom/dad night out prepaid ticket to a movie would be so unexpected . Life gets loud , chaotic , and overwhelming for ALL of us in a year , making "self care" so important . I have found that going to the movies on your own , not having to debate what to see , what snacks to get , who pays for what can seriously be so refreshing . I was surprised at how much it helped me on a particularly stressful weekend .

~ Netflix Subscription ~ Cable is EXPENSIVE !!!! It also at times is useless . I don't know how many times I have flipped through hundreds of channels just to end up putting a DVD on . For folks trimming their budget by subtracting cable a Netflix subscription would be a wonderful substitute . Not only do they stream movies , but they stream T. V. Shows and in case you haven't heard starting in 2015 " FRIENDS " will be added to their offerings . So . I vote it is a can't go wrong kind of gift . A year of Netflix , if I have done my math properly is less than or very close to a month of cable/internet .

~ Restaurant/Coffee Shop/Fast Food Gift Cards ~ See description above . Add to it the thought that for a college student away from home , tired of 3 meals a day in the dinning hall and ramen in the dorm this is the equivalent of a gold bar . This would also be helpful to any friends who have brought a new baby home over the holiday season or who might be spending the holidays in a hospital .

~ Subscriptions ~ Magazines , News Papers or are all cool subscription ideas . I often use Reward Points from varied companies customer rewards programs to get magazine subscriptions as gifts . Last Christmas two of my friends (a married couple) had just graduated with their PhD and Masters degrees . In celebration of these amazing accomplishments (along with a family bday celebration) they planned an overseas trip . So , to help them plan and dream , as their Grad gift I got them a subscription to Traveler by Conde Nast by using points I had earned through My Coke Rewards via the Coca~Cola Company . To learn more about how you can use MyCokeRewards and what other companies that offer customer rewards you can read my past post here .

Ginormous tree that tried to kill me
while I tried to set it up . #workerscomp Do you
think they would've believed me ?!
~ Spa Day ~ If you know someone in the category that most " gifts " are usually things that they " need " instead of things they want , then giving a gift certificate for a mani/pedi , facial , massage , or total spa day would be such a fun gift . I know that not everyone understands or agrees that even a partial spa day can relieve so much stress . If even for just the day you walk away feeling a little lighter and a lot pampered . I have zero friends who are anti spa . If they are they are closeted spa haters . Guys !!!! ALL WOMEN WANT TO BE PAMPERED , at some point at least . New mom , crazy season at work , just hosted or is about to spend an overwhelming about of time with family , has 4 kids with one more on the way, cooks three meals a day , grocery shops , cleans the house , keeps the children from being awful people no one wants to be around.........SHE IS MAGIC AND YOU NEED TO TREAT HER AS SUCH !!!!!! If you are reading this and are the husband of one of any of my friends or family.......just assume that yes , I am talking to you .

~ MAN TIME ~ Fella's I would never leave you out . As I posted in " Girlfriends and Wives "  a post from Februarys Valentines Series , guys are really not that difficult to please....for the most part . Gift cards to their man stores (i.e. lowes , best buy , sporting goods sores) , making sure their favorite food is offered at a dinner or making them a special dinner , subscriptions to a magazine they love, but never would get for them self because they just are that sacrificial , or getting them tickets to a concert , lecture or car show . Food , Sports and Lovin' is really about all most of them ask for from what I have been told and observed . So , I would encourage you to find your mans love language or most favorite thing ( yes , you can count as his most favorite thing  ) wrap it (for married folks...or yourself) in a bow and the man in your life can be marked off the to buy for list this Christmas season . You may be surprised at how much he enjoys a date night . Guys like Rom-Com movies too . They just aren't allowed to admit it in the locker room . Guy Code .

~ Payment for Classes ~ Once again , a potentially higher priced item , but also a potentially unexpected and very thoughtful item . Know someone who is always saying they " wish I had learned to.... " ? Paying for a language or skill class could be a wonderful blessing !!!! Since I have left Chattanooga a flower shop there has started offering classes . Sometimes it is arrangements , others it is centerpieces and around each holiday there is a class specific to that . I am so sad that they started offering this AFTER I moved and have always thought if I ever moved back this was for sure going on my to - do list . Their are also classes such as Financial Freedom that a lot of local churches host that could be so wonderful for a newly wed couple , college graduate , or even for your high school senior that is planning  to or will have to pay for college on their own .

~ Child Care ~ Not everyone can afford to stay home with their babies and the monthly bill for child care can be almost as much if not more than a pay check . A young working couple or single parent would not know how to thank you enough for a gift such as this . A week , month or several months would be a huge relief to them . This thought sorda comes with the idea of a small group or Sunday school class looking to give to someone in their church , group , etc . If this is too BIG of a gift for your budget then you may wanna consider offering your services or paying for the services of a baby sitter for a day/night . Parents are always in need of some time to themselves . Between work , home upkeep , children , family , church ,  the kids sports or arts classes , parents find their date nights few and far between. If you have a small group or what not you could combine several of the items on this list to make a care package of sorts . Baby sitter, Movie & Meal gift card = relaxing night for a couple or single parent .

~ Grocery Gift Card ~ Wal-Mart , Target , Food City, Ingles , Food Lion , the list goes ON AND ON AND ON of grocery stores that offer gift cards . Milk depending on brand can cost close to $5.00 a gallon . For loved ones with a large family , growing teenage boys , or who host family dinners and parties through out the season this would make for a AMAZING and thoughtful gift . Along with the grocery idea for those looking to spend a little more on someone or a family , according to your location , co-op programs are available .They deliver to the home fresh veggies , fruit , (depending on company) meat , and dairy . I have several friends in varied cities that have used these programs and LOVE them .
Adult version of a box of crayons .
This week (12/15/14) there is a coupon in the
Walgreens sales paper there is a coupon $0.39 per
sharpie up to 4 per visit/coupon/customer .
~ Silly Things ~ I go back to the people in your life , maybe even yourself that gets/asks for gifts that are more so needs than wants . Asking for or giving a "silly" gift is helpful to the "needers" mental health . It may , now that I think of it , even be helpful to the " givers " mental health . Living on a budget or pay check to pay check you don't realize how much those silly things we use to or would like to purchase " just cause " help our mental health . Sometimes even our physical . I have actually had a doctor tell me that going to get a Starbucks , ice cream or to stop into a store for a little something would better my health . Our mental health dictates much of our physical health . So, anytime I want a Starbucks it is now my belief that it is doctor ordered . I mean , if the doctor says I need it , who am I to argue ?! I may be apart of a rare group of people who LOVES them a sharpie marker . I do . I love having all sorts of colors for writing letters , addressing envelopes , and the occasional Sharpie Art project . At Christmas time Walgreens sales papers will usually have a coupon for $0.39 per sharpie , limit of 4 per person/coupon/visit . I recently got 4 brightly colored sharpies for just over $1.50 !!! WAHOOOO!!!!! Sharpies are the adult version of a box of crayons . Don't judge us . Another silly thing that coincidently is often a coupon in the Walgreens Christmas ads is boxed chocolates . Chocolates aren't just for Valentines day ! When making sure everyone gets a well balanced meal a person can overlook the joy that comes from a variety box of chocolates that are placed in those fun gold wrapping papers in a beautiful box . It is nearly decadent ! This list of silly things literally could go on forever . So , I would like to invite you to add to this list as you see fit .

~ Fur Babies ~ Fur parents are just as touched when you give a gift to their pet as they are when you give a gift to them . The Dollar Tree as you know is my new spot for unexpected yet awesome supplies and gifts . You can read here about my current baby shower gift of choice with items from the Dollar Tree . Pets love toys , ropes and squeakers , but they show their love of these items in a unusual tearing them up , taking them apart , taking out the squeaker , burying them in the yard or hiding them through out your home . Making spending $5 on a toy a total waste ! The Dollar Tree has had some great varieties in my experience . I recently got Jack a fun stuffed squeaky monkey that has rope on either side . A can't go wrong kind of gift for this pup !  Not to sound like a broken record , BBUUTTTT a gift certificate for a grooming , obedience classes or  a check up is also a great gift ! I personally can NOT cut Jacks nails . Which means that I take him to have a groomer cut them ever so often .
Jacks gift from Aunt Ashleigh last year . Surprisingly
he has not torn it apart or gotten the squeaker out . It is one
of his most favorite of toys !!
All of this is just a beginning , a thought , a suggestion , something to spark your imagination this gift giving season . I hope that it helps as you make your list for Santa and as you purchase gifts for those you love . If you have anything that needs to be added PLEASE feel free to add it in the comment section . We are all in this together . We might as well share survival tips .

Merry Christmas
The Faith Journals
& Jack Davis !

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