I had no time to look for Christmas Trees.
Hi! It's that time---shopping time. Every year my plan is to finish all Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. That way I can relax and enjoy the fun of Christmas, the decorating, the baking, the excitement and joy.
Ho Ho Ho. ''Lizzy plans, Santa laughs," to paraphrase the old saying.
This year I did pretty good. But it's now December and of course everything is not bought, good intentions or not. And so today my friend and I decided we'd make the long scary trip to the big outlet mall! There must be hundreds of stores!
It's ''scary'' because it's one of those can't get there from here deals. Why it wasn't built near a major highway is a mystery. See my little island / village on the right?
We drove waaaay out along the lower shorelines of Long Island' south shore beaches,
[no traffic here! Lucky for us it's not July.]
The ocean is right behind the bittersweet bushes. The beach is still narrow here from H. Sandy.
then over the big long bridge....
and then we were lost. Saved by her SUV's good nav system--- it got us there. Because we had/ still have No Clue.
My friend wanted to go to Kate Spade, J. Crew, Saks and Neiman Marcus. Me? I wanted to go to The Christmas Tree Shop.
For one thing, the price is right, though prices are much higher there suddenly---but mostly it's a Cape Cod thing. CTS started as a small souvenir shop in Cape Cod in the 70s. Now it's grown in size and popularity with stores all around the northeast.
Usually it doesn't actually have Christmas stuff. On Cape Cod it has great summery treasures for beach rentals and vacationers---beach chairs, beach towels, candles, plates and cheap silverware. Good stuff! But today it was thronged with shoppers buying, well, Christmas things. Tons of Christmas things.
Going to CTS is, for me, a nostalgia trip---my parents adored shopping there. My mother would point to our shopping bags and smile, read out: "Don't you just LOVE a Bargain?"
And so, at the holidays when I am missing my family so much, a visit to this bustly, tacky store gives me a special lift, as if Bob and Liz [mother and daddy] are in the next aisle, bickering over the need for yet another set of wine glasses, cocktail napkins, ginger snap cookies, not ashes buried in the old Pilgrim churchyard a few miles away.
When I'd visit it was a big deal to spend an afternoon at the store in Orleans. I'd buy, as mentioned above, cool beachy items [lobster bibs! Paper lanterns, a jigsaw puzzle, a tote or two. Floats for the kids, new beach towels. A new CC baseball cap. All cheap-cheap-cheap. And delightful.]
My dad would pack everything up and mail me the box, because we'd have flown up on the teeny tiny Cape Cod airplane.
So anyway, good stuff to be had today!
Fun small stocking stuffers and gifts for friends, like flower bulbs in sparkly jars,
and shortbread cookies, in case mine are a flop.
Pretty holiday paper napkins, a dollar a set.
Neat totes, with initials. [that I edited out because they're for Xmas.] Fun to fill with little gifts for a special someone!
Look at the prices!
Special doggy treats and bargain poo baggies...
Comfy fake Crocs for running out into the snow or rain with Mo.
A new, fresh and un-rusty cooky tin, in case my cookies are a success.
These pretty folkloric dish towels, I think made in India.
I will make them into a table runner, for Christmas, festive with the soft green, but not so Xmas-Xmas-y! I want to back them in a red check gingham and machine quilt, but maybe I'll just get them sewed together for this year. The birds are appliqued and embroidered, with faded red pompoms on their collars. So cute! They were expensive, 5.99 each.
Epsom salt for my tired bones.
I didn't find the candles! Or any Christmas cards [usually they have neat seashelly beach Xmas cards for writing notes to friends]. No fake Nantucket basket trays, no shower curtains, to protect our beds from Mo's unfortunate visits....
Maybe we can go back? Soon?
And this cutie, below, a Swedish Gotland Horse cake mold, is from IKEA. But he wanted to join in. I want to try to make a cake with him this year. He sits on my stove every Christmas and I kinda don't want to ruin him with burned on drips.
I also did some shopping on etsy. Look at these adorable Mo hats! here He can't read yet so this won't spoil the surprise. I hope he'll wear them.
Only a few things more on my list! Then I am done.
How about you guys? Planners aheaders? Or "Panic-stricken-on-Christmas Eve-ers" ? LOL.
lizzy gone to the beach....
|mainland ahead in distance|
Here is Mo helping design the new table runner:
He wants everyone to know he was a very good boy, home alone all day!
He even put his green ball up on the shelf, in the basket of stripey napkins.
"I am soo smart, mommy.!" And that he enjoyed Dr Phil and Judge Judy.
I suppose I should point out that I was in no way paid to talk about Christmas Tree Shops.
Or the Outlets.
Or the loooong bridge. :-)