The Gimme’s and the Getitforem’s

by Abby on December 16, 2011

Woman with shopping bagsI realized something yesterday in the middle of the mall: I have a problem. It’s not that my kids have a rabid case of “the gimme’s” and are begging for mass quantities of Christmas presents. Aside from a zoologically ambitious but fairly modest Christmas list, my 5yo has not asked for much. My 2yo would probably be happy with a stocking full of candy and nothing more. No, I am the problem: I have a bad case of the “getitforem’s.”

“This Olivia book is ADORABLE. The kids love the TV show. And it’s on sale! I should get it for them.”

“Oh, look at that little Corduroy bear and book gift set! Riley would LOVE that.”

“These Christmas pajamas are so darn CUTE. You can never have too many PJs, right?”

“OMG, this a great price for Thomas trains. Maybe I should get a couple for the neighbor boy.”

“Just look at these gorgeous, handmade cordial glasses imported from Italy! Who WOULDN’T love those?”

The fact that I am a shopaholic in denial is never more clear than at Christmastime. I start out strong, with a list, a budget, and some free shipping codes. I do as much as I can online. Amazon and Snapfish help me complete at least 75% of my gift list; Target takes me up to 90%. But inevitably, I decide I need “just one more thing” for somebody, or I can’t pass up the sale fliers and savings cards that jam my mailbox as Christmas approaches. I find myself at the mall and then… the “gotta getitforem’s” strike in full force.

Partly, I blame TJ Maxx. All their stores are not created equal, though. Oh, no. The one closest to me is paltry and picked-over. But if you find a GOOD one…watch out. You will not be able to pass up the deals. The gourmet food aisle ALONE… People, they had chocolate racecars. Chocolate crayons. Chocolate soccer balls and power tools and puppies. And not the cheap, waxy, drugstore chocolate, either. Imported Swiss chocolate in gorgeous packaging! How could you NOT snatch those up for stocking stuffers?

BTW, I love The Land of Nod, but I had to laugh at their latest catalogue filled with $15+ “stocking stuffers.” Anything in the double digits is not a stocking stuffer, it’s a regular present. Our kids’ stockings are approximately the same size they are – at $15 a pop I’d have to be a Trump to stuff those things!

Anyway, I not only go overboard with my own family, I start thinking of additional people to buy for. We’ve already done the giving tree at our church and Toys for Tots, but I STILL will see great deals and rack my brain to think who I can buy them for. Especially baby gifts. Even if I don’t know anyone who wears a size 12 mos., that penguin sweater on sale at Gymboree was so freaking adorable I had to restrain myself from buying it anyway. To give to the next infant I passed on the street, I guess. “Here! TAKE it! It was 40% off, PLUS I used Gymbucks!”

I’m telling you, it’s a sickness. I need to call it quits on the Christmas shopping and step away from the sale rack. Just let me take a quick look at the scented candles first…

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali December 16, 2011 at 8:15 am

Nothing wrong with being a giver. I’ve learned the value of “limits” from my nieces who tear through mountains of presents on Christmas and their birthdays. At the end of it all, they don’t even know who gave them which gift, even after all the thought I put into them. So I’ve learned my lesson: one really nice gift. That’s it. And research apparently supports me on this one:

“Gift-Giving Surprise: More Isn’t Always Better – Adding a cheaper “stocking stuffer” to an expensive present actually diminishes the perceived value of the overall package in the recipient’s eyes, a new study shows.”



Abby December 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

That’s really interesting, Ali. Thanks for the link!


Kathleen Basi December 16, 2011 at 9:12 am

Oooh, Ali, I like that. 🙂

My husband comes from a family that is IN-SANE about Christmas. I come from a family that barely kept the farm in the ’80s, and never had very much under the tree–at least, compared to other people. So we counterbalance each other pretty well, and keep all that in check. Of course, it also helps that we are the world’s cheapest cheapsakes. Except for my grandmother, of course. 😉


Lou Mello December 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I solved the last minute shopping bug many years ago. I find out the one or two BIG THINGS that the lovely Miss TK is interested in, buy them and the I am done. Only other gifts are for groups that we help thru my Rotary Club. Just bought 10 outfits for a liitle 18 month old girl.


Christine December 17, 2011 at 7:19 am

I am exactly the same way!! I also start buying stuff throughout the year when I see it (for Christmas) and than by the time Christmas comes around I don’t even know I bought it already and I can’t find it anymore. It’s actually pretty ridiculous. Hope that I will get it under conrol soon!


Angie December 17, 2011 at 8:00 am

I don’t enjoy shopping nearly as much as you do, but I can relate to the thrill of discovering items you think someone might like. That’s the whole fun of it, I think. This was the first year my 5-year-old wanted specific things and it took some of the joy out of it for me. I had more fun shopping for Blake…


Lisa December 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

I sent a link to this post to my mom, because she is the ultimate when it comes to stuff like that. Then again, she’s one of the most generous people I know, so maybe its not so bad. I am pretty good at holding back, except when it comes to books at the thrift store. Funny that you mention Olivia, because I can never pass on that book when I see it. I even wrote about it.


Rachel December 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm

very relatable!!
I am trying to strike a balance with pajamas in our house… the ones with buttons are favorites, but the buttons in bed make me nervous!?!? the zip-up footie pjs are also great, but make midnight bathroom visits more difficult, i think i’ve convinced myself to go get another cotton pair with the long sleeves/pants, hmmmm


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