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Christmas Shopping & Lights

December 12th, 2017

Tis the season to spend money like it’s water!

Monday (12/04) I went on a little Christmas decor shopping spree and only managed to spend $100 which also included stocking stuffers for the family.

I put the North Pole sign in our cutout next to a snowman and our ornament tree. The Merry and Bright sign is above the laundry room door and the snowflake is hanging above the garbage can in the kitchen. Santa went above the front door and the Peace Love Cheer box is on the fireplace mantel. I ended up returning the No Humbugging sign to Michael’s because I didn’t like the way the teal looked on the red background.

Last week we ended up getting a bunch of gift cards to take advantage of the bonus deals this year:

  • $300 worth of Target gift cards since they were 10% off.
  • $102 at Culvers to get for $25 gift cards and a calendar of coupons since the cards each came with a coupon for a free basket (which is worth $8+). The cashier gave us an extra coupon since it took her awhile to ring us up.
  • $100 at Lou Malnatis to score a free $25 gift certificate which is basically a free large deep dish pizza.
  • $20 to reload our Dunkin Donuts balance for a $5 bonus gift card and another $10 via Masterpass to get a bonus $10.

We put up the tree about a week ago and attempted to decorate it Friday but half of our multi-colored lights weren’t working so that’s how we found ourselves at Walmart at 10 pm shopping for Christmas decor. Ours is open 24 hours but apparently they close everything but the self-checkouts after 10 pm so there was a bit of a line by the time we were finished shopping around midnight. I grabbed some cute battery operated mini lights for the mantel too only to learn the next day that one set was not the color listed on the package and the other one didn’t work at all!

Saturday (12/09) morning we headed to a different Walmart to return the unused multi-colored lights since we bought too many boxes and plan to go with white lights moving forward, and also to exchange the mini lights for working ones. I snagged a pair of Christmas leggings too. We went to At Home to look at decor and bought a new sign I plan to put over either the front door or laundry room once the Christmas stuff comes down. We also purchased a new clock but plan on returning it since the inner section is too dark at night and makes it hard to read. The hunt for a new wall clock continues!

On the way home we stopped at Dollar Tree which has been my obsession lately. I got cute Christmas tea towels there recently and have become addicted to watching YouTube videos of Dollar Tree hauls. Some stores have some really decent stuff! I got Christmas magnets there I put up on my file cabinets at work.

Saturday evening B & R came over and we went to look at Christmas lights together. We had dinner at Just Kabobs first and then went to Aurora’s Festival of Lights which is a drive-through the zoo with tons of lights set up. From there we hit two homes that had decorated nicely in the past. The first one was a bust and had nothing going on but the second one had music coordinated with lights which was fun to watch. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts to grab some hot chocolate and ended up having to go to a second location since the first one only had the regular stuff and not any of the special flavors advertised (Joe wanted Almond Joy and I wanted Mint).

With hot chocolate in hand we visited Lilacia Park and walked through their little winter wonderland. It was only 28 degrees but I did wear a lot of layers so other than my legs I was pretty warm. It was a lot of fun but we had to laugh at the fact that as we were heading home B remembered there was a house that would be really cool to see but it was way out west closer to where we were earlier in the evening. Oh well, something to check out next time we’re in the mood/neighborhood.

Sunday (12/10) we checked another Dollar Tree for some stuff I was on the hunt for because they do have some decent stuff. For instance, I got these tea towels at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago.

We also stopped at Menards where we ended up buying the cutest stockings!

I’ve been wanting nice stockings for awhile but haven’t seen anything I’ve liked. These are so cute and were only $5.60 each! The only complaint I have is it’s hard to stuff them without stretching them out. I guess you’re better off getting a stocking that has a felt inside with a stocking-like outside so you get the best of both worlds.

We also wrapped most of the gifts we got for the kids and my brothers and only have each other’s presents left to wrap. And by we I mean Joe since I only wrap his gifts because I’m not very good at it. We also sent out our Christmas cards so I feel like we’re ahead of schedule this year.

The house is pretty much done as far as decorations go other than the tree. I managed to throw some garland up the other day but it still doesn’t have any ornaments.

Monday (12/11) I went out for the last of the stocking stuffers and also returned some items to Walmart. My friend came over for lunch and we watched a movie together which was nice, other than Wookie annoying the shit out of her. She’s so wary of strangers but once she knows someone she wants to get right up in their face. Our dog is silly.

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