Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Christmas Shopping At Age 11
Every Christmas and Mother's Day, I looked forward to the holiday sale and plant sale held at our school. Looking back now, I'm guessing these sales were run by "The Mother's Club" and benefited our church. Though, I could be wrong.
Both the plant and holiday sale always took place in our school/church cafeteria and allowed us kids to purchase inexpensive gifts for our entire family. I wonder if I actually asked my parents for the cash needed to purchase their gifts. Ouch.
The Mother's Day plant sale was easy, just hit Dad up for a few bucks. Then on the last school day prior to Mom's Day Weekend, my brother and I would pick up a few plants for Grandma and Mom. Makes sense. Talk about quick and easy shopping!
However, it must have gotten a bit tricky at Christmas time. I'm guessing, I'd ask Mom for a few bucks, then Dad for cash for Mom's gifts. However it was done, one thing's for sure, it was fun! Every year it was something I truly looked forward to. I never tired of the idea of "shopping at school."
I'm sure it wasn't simply called "The Holiday Sale" though. In catholic school, everything was referred to in antiquated terms. I can bet money it was coined, "Holiday Bazaar" ... Just like we didn't sing in chorus, we were in "Glee Club". And nope, we didn't ask to use the restroom, we visited the "lavatory". I even once remember my fifth grade teacher referring to a stereo as a "hi-fi". The only way I figured that one out, was by asking my Grandma on the ride home from school.
I totally embraced the "Holiday Bazaar" yet, can only vaguely recall the items exactly. There was always a perfect combination of Christmas crafts and cheap awesome crap similar to what you'd find in a Walter Drake catalog during the '70s and '80s.
I could spend all day looking at little leather manicure/pedicure sets, key chains, wallets, mugs, bookmarks, ornaments made from beads, yarn and felt neatly displayed on folding tables. Volunteer mothers helping me counting my singles and quarters, both of us hoping I had enough to cover gifts for everyone. Deciding whether to get Dad a mini tool kit or an orange to-go mug for his morning coffee. Keeping the purchases hidden in my school bag until I got to my bedroom. I couldn't wait to get the stash home and wrap it within the privacy of my room. What a feeling of accomplishment and maturity.
I swear, there was something empowering about being 11 and having money in your Snoopy wallet and picking out gifts for your relatives. Nobody there to tell you what to buy, the onus all on you. Sure I looked forward to giving my dad the pen cup we made in art class and Mom, the plastic plate or planter I decorated with her name on it. But this was different. These gifts were "real" - they looked like things you could buy in a store and not crap made with Crayolas and paint. Man, if only today Christmas shopping could be done that quick and easy and for such a small amount of money. Just kidding :)