I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend with family and friends. This was our first without our oldest daughter, who traveled several states away to be with her new in-laws. Still, we had a great time with the 10 who gathered around our table.
I wasn't planning to participate in Black Friday, but I woke up very early that morning and thought, why not? I had already gone through the flyers and marked specific items I wanted that were on sale. I got to Target at 6 a.m. In the past, that would have been a move of total insanity. However, this year, it seems everyone really did go shopping after Thanksgiving dinner. By morning, the parking spaces were plentiful and the stores not at all crowded. I hit several stores, got every item I wanted at the price I had planned and was home faster than if I had done my shopping during a regular afternoon! Christmas gifts are easier this year with all the kids older. The list is not long and no worries over hard-to-get toys.
The only person outside of my immediate family who I have continued to exchange with is my BFF, but I asked her this year if she would be interested in just getting together for a pot-luck dinner with my husband and her significant other as a gift to ourselves. She jumped right on that and so one less gift I have to worry about! I'm thankful DH doesn't do any exchanging at work - I think that's the dumbest thing we do. A bunch of little gifts no one really wants from people they may not even like. I do understand the problem if you're the only one who doesn't want to participate and am awfully glad we don't have to face that issue.
As much as I can, I think I've made this a fairly stress-free season. I've even already gotten our free tickets to a local church's Christmas pageant. All that's left is lots of baking, and I truly enjoy that.
I wish for all of you all of the wonders of the upcoming season, free from stress and filled with blessings!