My Black Friday, 2011.

I'm not doin' it this year. No Black Friday shoppin' for this girl. And, I might add, I'm pretty proud of myself. Instead of spending 1/3 of my November paycheck on frivolous gifts (that were made in China) that my family and friends will forget about three weeks after Christmas, I decided to spend the day at home. This year will be a 'lean' Christmas - I'm giving gifts, but they are much more practical and meaningful. Many of them are handmade or are purchased from local businesses. Anyhow - here's my Black Friday run-down:

7:30 to 9 a.m. - Woke up to the sound of the garbage and recycling trucks down the block. Raced outside to put our bins on the curb. Putzed around the house, eventually making my way to the computer to blog-surf and check Facebook. Found a cool blog I think my mom will love: a few 11th grade creative short stories. These kids are morbid. Not kidding. I'm grossed out. Made some phone calls to my primary and secondary insurance companies. Ugh. This sucked. Big time. 

9 a.m. to noon - Blogged, cleaned, laundry, and drug out Christmas decorations. Took Manny for a walk around our neighborhood (we were looking for Christmas decoration ideas). Washed my car - inside and out. Swept and organized the attached garage - which included prepping our humidifier for our bedroom and cleaning up our charcoal smoker for tomorrow. 

Noon - 3 p.m. - Spent longer than I would have liked putting up the Christmas tree and rearranging our living room. Graded more papers (and got weird vibes from these juniors. Man, they must watch too many scary movies or play wicked video games. These kids are nuts.)

I am currently working on a bunch of crafty projects (three, to be exact) that will be gifted for Christmas to my family. One of the main reasons I didn't shop on Black Friday was because of a desire to buy locally or make each gift I gave. There is no sense of pride in giving a gift from a big-box store, especially one that was manufactured on an assembly line with no care or passion. Out of curiosity, I tallied up how much I spent (total) on these gifts/projects. Wanna know how much?

Less that $20, baby!

Yep. I am gifting for my immediate family and spent less than 20 bucks, total. For all four of them! I used a lot of stuff I had on hand, and others I obtained through clever means. I'm a super star.

John and I are keeping our Christmas pretty simple this year - I bought him Packers/Bears tickets, and he bought me a 2-night stay in a Green Bay B&B. Love.

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