Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Yard Sale Christmas with a Popcorn Observation

This morning my son and I hit the yard sales. That's after I took two of the girls yesterday and the other son. It's amazing weather here this time of year. Perfect for yard sales. I know, I should extend more sympathy to all you all who are toughing it out in the snow and cold. Apologies.

Anyhow, it's the tradition for the past couple of years that I take the kids to buy presents for each other at yard sales. It started in 2008 when everybody went through "austerity measures." Then, because it worked so well, we hung onto it.

There are quite a few things I love about it. One, I get to go to yard sales. I love to see other people's things and talk to new people and find a very fun bargain. Just today I found a classic children's book I'd been salivating over for a while. It was (drumroll, please)... TWENTY-FIVE CENTS. Yeah? Yeah.

Two, taking the kids gives me a chance to have one-on-one chats with them in the car while we drive around town. They're so funny and fun! Most of the time it's a five-on-one situation, so it's a good change. Yard sales are a good excuse. I say yard sale and they say, "Me, me, me!" How often are kids just dying to be the one on the errand?

Three, I like to see them be generous to each other, and yard sales make it possible. I used to take them to the store, and they'd want to get their siblings nice things, and I'd always cringe and apologize and say things they wanted to give were just too expensive. Well, they were. >shrug< At a yard sale, I almost never have to say no. (Early on we established a "no dirty stuffed animals rule" so the nays dissipated.) It's nice to have a time of year when I can take them shopping and say yes. Once my youngest got her brother a bean bag--something he has used almost every day since. They end up getting fancier things than they'd end up giving/receiving from the dollar store.

Four, and most of all, I noticed in 2008 that the duration of time a kid will enjoy a 50-cent toy is roughly the same he/she will enjoy a $50 toy. Why was I bothering spending much at all on Christmas when we could thoroughly enjoy something someone else was done with? It's my contribution to the universe of recycling.

Anyhow, the oldest son and I went out trolling for gifts around the valley before we went to work a charity booth. He had to work setting up the tables and chairs and hauling things for me so I let him go over and buy himself a treat at McDonald's. A few minutes later he reappeared with a huge bag of popcorn and a soda (the nectar of life, according to this child.) I loved his observation:

"Popcorn and a soda is a lot cheaper at McDonald's than it is at the movie theater."

Love that kid. Now, I think I'll go eat some of the rest of his bag of popcorn and see if I can get a few words on the page for my NaNo novel. I'm trying to break that 50K mark, but I'm only at 41K now. When I hit it, I'm going to read my novel--not the one I'm writing, the one that languishes on my nightstand calling to me with its tempting siren song. No, the 50K won't mean my story is done; but I'll take a break at that point and reward myself with a post-NaNo great read.

Here's a picture of turkey. The countdown could be measured in hours now.

Roast turkey. (ThinkStock)

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