Since I was on the subject of advertising in my last post……..Seriously, this was just pure coincidence. But it’s time for another, You want me to buy what? I received a gift catalog today, something I rarely get. After the children played with it, and much laughter from them, I had to take a look at it myself before deciding if it would get passed on, given to the children to craft with, or simply recycled. I hate to simply recycle things like this but I found some real gems to share with you. :-)
I know this might seem early to most of you, but this is a Christmas catalog. For anyone who waits until the end of November to do their shopping will notice prices are higher in the 6 weeks leading up to Christmas than any other time of the year, especially on toys! With that in mind, here are some items not to waste your money on.
First up, if you still use paper towels I am sure you have a designated spot for them. So why would you buy a holiday themed paper towel holder that will need to be stored for the rest of the year. At $9 each I’m sure you could think of a better gift to spend that money on.
This next one is a great craft idea for your children or grand children, but don’t buy it ready-made. This ornament uses a child’s hand print and then adds the details. You can pull out your old ornaments, some paint and make your own for next to nothing. I usually have the little ones make something here they can give to their parents on Christmas because I believe giving feels better than receiving and should be experienced as young as possible. That said just think what a treasured memory this could be. But don’t spend the $5 each on these.
I do have a brother and a son who collect knives. I won’t try to say I understand the lure of collecting knives but to each his own. Now these knives to me are tacky and I know even the two men in my life who collect knives would not be happy to receive one of these. At $10 this is just a waste of your money.
Who doesn’t love sock monkeys? I think they are cute and would gladly add one to the toy box, but to be a sock money, no thank you. If you spent your $10 on this lounge wear I promise you it won’t be worn.
What is more comfortable than a nice soft pillow and blanket? One thing that wouldn’t be relaxing to me is a pillow that lights up and a matching blanket. AT $13 and $33 dollars each respectively, think twice about a gift such as this. Sure it’s a novelty, but would you want to be lit up like a Christmas tree?
Everything we have seems to want a unique password, do you have a multiple passwords? I do, but I have found a small notebook to be the perfect way to keep them all organized. My notebook was found at a yard sale for free, but I have seen them in stores for .99 each. Since I don’t have that many passwords, I also use this notebook for other things such as my gift lists for the year. So why would you buy a notebook for $6 specifically for storing your passwords? This book comes with 66 pages and is organized to have 2 passwords per page. That’s 132 passwords, Do you need that much space? If you do, I’m sorry you must be really stressed out. Pass on this as a gift, I’m sure everyone on your list already has a workable solution for keeping their passwords organized and handy.
My intent isn’t to spoil your festivities but here is another $6 gift that makes no sense to me. This is a holiday themed cutting board. and matching knife. The problem with these type of gifts is they aren’t suitable to have out the rest of the year, which means they will take up valuable or needed storage space. Come next year chances are good it will have been misplaced and will spend next Christmas in a secret storage location.
Now the rest of these ideas are down-right strange to me. The first one is a set of 2 wine glasses. What makes them unique is that they are camouflage. That’s right, camouflage. When did it become popular to dress in Camo other than hunting or in times of war? I can see you laughing and shaking your head. You are ready to tell me this is a gag gift, but when did gag gifts cost $20 for 2 glasses?
We don’t just have an obsession with camouflage, we have an obsession with just about everything. I get shocked looks when people realize I don’t have a closet full of shoes nor do i care. But someone thinks we “girls’ love our shoes enough to use precious resources so we can have our closets full of shoes and collections of shoes on display, we can’t be parted from our shoes. We have our camo wine glasses, but now need something to hold that chilled bottle of wine we are serving. I know a shoe!! It only costs $15, why not
But wait, before I can start drinking my chilled wine from my camo glasses I need to put my phone on the charger, I can’t let the battery run down because I might miss an important call. But where to put it? I know you don’t want your loved ones to be frustrated not knowing where to store the phone while charging, but please pass this up and save yourself $9. (by the way the only extra I believe is necessary for a phone is a protective cover on the touch screen)
Speaking of cell phones, this next item has me shaking my head. Can we not wait until we are home or at least out of the cold to answer our phones? Why must we be attached to them ? I’d pass on these gloves which at $7 allow you to text without taking off your gloves. I know some people have to answer their phones for work, but if the people on your gift list aren’t one of them, please don’t encourage this behavior.
I have one son who as a teen had to leave his shoes outside because they smelled so bad in the summer months. Luckily he outgrew that problem. I did treat his shoes with baking soda that he simply shook around then dumped to kill odors. I understand how truly awful smelly shoes can be, but this item while it would seem to be a good idea has inherent flaws. First it must be activated by setting it out in the sun from time to time. Yes, this is supposed to ‘eat’ odors in the air, but it will do nothing for the items actually causing the problem. And around here, counting on the sun is a bit iffy. The active ingredient is Zeolite which is controversial in itself. Zeolite is a mineral which attracts toxic elements and holds them. Some say they are safe others say because they are found in nature and absorb any toxin they are exposed to they are full of toxins. Judge for yourself
This next item I have no idea what someone would do with it. It is a 100 oz wine glass, and holds 4 full bottles of wine. This one reads “Mommy’s sippy cup” the ad says it can be used as a centerpiece, ice bucket or goodie dish. I’m sorry it’s just tacky! Save your $20 and skip this one.
I mentioned last week how I felt about all the gadgets available on cars. Auto manufacturers aren’t the only ones trying to make money off of us by selling us products we need to have in our cars. For $5 you can buy 3 non slip dash mats. They are advertised as a must have car accessory You simply attach these to the dashboard or console and your phone, glasses or music player won’t move. It will be within easy reach at all times,
This next item is just strange. When did we begin to dress our children up in strange things? It wasn’t all that long ago when we wanted our children to look neat and appropriate. When you squeeze the tassel these animal hats are said to “come alive” what that means is that the ears will flop, the tails will wag and the mouth will open. Let’s think about what this is….it’s a hat….you wear it on your head. How is this so fun for children, they can’t see what happens, we see it. Spare your self the annoyance and the $16.
This next winter item is again one that is functional with stupid added to it…just because they can. These black winter gloves have a Led flashing skull and bones display. The black is said to disappear from view at night so all you see are the bones, don’t forget you can wave them around for a cool rainbow effect. At $12 I think this is way too much to pay for a gag gift.
If you are related to a hunter you will know they take their hunting very seriously, but we can take that too far when selecting gifts for them. A set of 3 rolls of toilet paper for $10 seems excessive to me, but when you see this picture realize that there is nothing special about this toilet paper, it is biodegradable, septic safe, oh and soft. the only difference is the design on the sheets. Just say no to this one.
This is the first installment from this catalog, all total the cost of one of each of these came to $212. I will make a mini-series from this catalog. Next Monday I will share the remaining pictures, the following Monday I will share with you the items my grandchildren picked out and let you decide how they did (this doesn’t mean they are getting any of it), and finally I will share ideas on special or practical gifts your loved ones will really enjoy and cherish.
From now until Christmas, each Monday I will share ideas on quality useful gift ideas, and crafts which won’t break the bank to make your home feel festive without a lot of time or money. I hope you will enjoy this series. I would like to showcase your handmade items you have made for gifts or around the home, you can send me pictures of your designs to loisfield12 at yahoo dot com. If you have a blog I will be happy to link to you on Mondays. If you have a shop I would love to hear from you and see if I can’t send some business your way.
I would like to present you with a challenge: For each item you see this holiday season that you are tempted to buy, whether a gag gift or maybe something over your budget, save that money and after Christmas come back and tell us in the comments what you plan to do with the money. Maybe you can save enough for a special weekend away with your family over New Year’s or you give it to charity or a needy friend or relative. Maybe you will pay down your mortgage or debts.
I am not immune, this challenge will help me stay on budget. While I hate shopping I am often tempted to buy more for the little ones than I have budgeted for.
Will you join me and accept the challenge to stay on budget this year?