Friday, December 18, 2009

Secret Santa, Part One

I am kind of excited about the mail, because I'm participating in a T.J. Maxx/Marshalls Secret Santa thingie, and my Secret Santa's present to me could be arriving any day now. Each participant got a $25 gift card to either T.J. Maxx or to Marshalls to use for the Secret Santa gift (my card was to T.J. Maxx), plus we each got an additional gift card to buy ourselves something in case we got Gift Envy while shopping.

I love shopping. Er, as you know. And it was surprisingly fun to be buying a gift for someone I knew nothing about and who wouldn't be expecting me to hit the mark exactly: I could browse around the store and consider ANYTHING. I started out taking photos of all the gifts I was considering, but then the very polite security guard told me I wasn't allowed to do that so we will just have to use our imaginations.

There were a lot of good holiday decorations in the right price range: a very pretty Christmas tree I wanted for myself, a really nice wreath, a menorah my mom wanted to convert to Judaism for.

I also considered holiday dishes, like maybe a Spode serving dish (I love the Spode Christmas pattern), or they had these cute little candy/nut dishes shaped like Christmas trees, and they had a four-pack of dessert plates shaped like ornaments. I came close to choosing a two-pack of Norman Rockwell Christmas mugs, maybe with a bag of coffee.

There were Yankee Candle's jarred candles and I love the green/pine scents, and there was a long strip of votive candles that seemed striking and also practical. And pretty candle holders, too.

I would have considered a holiday tablecloth if I'd known the recipient's table size. I very nearly chose some holiday cloth napkins with some reindeer napkin holders. Or Christmas towels, or Christmas handtowels.

Oh, and they had super-pretty ornaments and ornament sets.

They had a whole bunch of fingerless gloves, and I spent half of my own gift card on a pair of those for myself. Steve Madden! And striped! And $12.99!

I looked carefully at the gourmet food. They had Lindt truffles in a golden tin or in a bag, and they had Jelly Belly jellybean boxes (the kind where each flavor is in its own little compartment), and they had fancy cocoa mixes, and they had fancy jam (I like the Favorit cherry), and they had fancy coffee, and they had a ton of Harry & David stuff, and they had dried fruit and nut assortments, and they had the Dilettante chocolate-covered dried fruit I like. There were also a lot of good SETS, like a set containing a bunch of Starbucks stuff, and another containing a bunch of Ghirardelli stuff.

I thought about doing a journal and some stationery. Or maybe a pile of reusable shopping bags. Or maybe some jewelry. Or maybe some bath stuff. Or maybe some knee socks. Or a nice snuggly throw blanket. And this is where my mom reminded me that we really did need to decide at SOME point.

I can't tell you what I chose, because we're supposed to keep the Secret part intact for awhile. There are two points to this post:

1. I do hope you come away with the impression that there were a HOLY HECKLOAD of good gift options there, because there WERE. One reason I keep doing these T.J. Maxx/Marshalls dealies is that I shop at both places ANYWAY about once a week, so it's super-easy for me to say nice things about places I DO IN FACT LIKE. And, in this particular instance, it was an excellent place to shop for a gift for someone I didn't know but wanted to please---and so it would also be a good place to shop for someone you didn't know WELL but wanted to please: a boss, a co-worker, the in-law whose name you drew, a friend who lives far away, a teacher.

2. I told them there was NOT ENOUGH BOOZE IN THE UNITED STATES for me to participate, but they are also doing a Carol-oke program: you sing a carol, you post it on YouTube, and you're entered to win a five! thousand! dollar! shopping trip, or one of 15 hundred-dollar trips. Here's where to find more info: The Carol-oke Program. And hurry, because there are only 2 days left to get a video in!


Nowheymama said...

That sounds like fun!

Livinia Redlips said...

I've never understood why you cannot take photos in retail shops???