Confessions of a Christmas Shopping Scrooge

This is not a post about how the economy is cutting into my Christmas spirit. It’s not the crowds at the mall giving me the bah-humbugs either; although, they certainly don’t help any. No, my shopping grumpiness comes more from all the uncertainty and uneasiness around who all we have to buy for these days.

Dinner with some friends brings panic as I wonder if they’ll be bringing a gift. Then a rush of trying to find something to take with us we can give them that’s not too big in case they don’t bring anything, but doesn’t leave us totally empty-handed if they do.

Teachers, counselors, assistants to teachers, gymnastics instructors … just how many of the mulitude of people that interact with our children are we obligated to give some sort of token this year? Do you buy for your manager at work? What if they buy for you?

Luckily I don’t live somewhere like New York because the whole holiday tipping thing would really stress me out. It’s easy for me to see how a little extra something for our cleaning lady is appropriate, but would you believe the guy who delivers our daily paper spent money for offset printing on glossy paper cards trolling for tips that he tucked into our paper not just once, but three times?!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a total holiday Scrooge. I love the Christmas season for its decorations and music, the way it brings friends and family together, the old and new traditions. One of my favorite new traditions is decorating a gingerbread house with my girl. This is our third year to do it and I’m happy to say we improve each year.

Gingerbread House

I honor Christmas because God gave us the gift of his Son; and while Santa is a fun way to celebrate that ultimate gift with our children, I do wonder if the wise men were really so wise? Did they have any foresight into the fact that their gold, frankincense and myrrha would these thousands of years later morph into iTunes gift cards, Bath and Body Works sets and hastily filled tins of cookies? 

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Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me

I got tagged by fellow This Mommy Gig contributor Lauren Vargas with a blog meme to tell you seven things you don’t know about me. Looks like most people make these rather short, but I have a hard time not explaining some of the things I’ve listed. Or maybe I’m just “chatty” as @DellServerGeeks noted on Twitter.

  1. I drowned when I was three years old – this one’s a standard I pull out every time I’m forced to do some “ice breaker” with a new group. It was at my grandfather’s Moose Lodge pool, my big brother saw me floating in the deep end and rolled me out. Lifeguard realized I wasn’t moving and first thing I recall is waking up in the back of an emergency vehicle with an oxygen mask over my face in the laps of my mom and an EMT.
  2. I was the West Carroll Parish Farm Bureau Queen and Miss West Carroll Parish – what can I say? There wasn’t a whole lot of competition where I grew up. When I later tried my hand at the Miss LSU pageant, I got a non-finalist talent award, which I interpreted to mean I had talent, but not looks. hehe
  3. I worked one summer at a TV news station, even though I was in a newspaper journalism degree program at the time – it was pretty fun, except when I had to cover a wreak where a Miata hit head-on with a Blazer. The great guys I worked with tried to get me to switch degree programs, but I had already had all the beauty queen competition I wanted.
  4. Another interesting summer job I had was tour guide at the Poverty Point State Historic Site – most likely you’ve never heard of it, but you should have. I always say I grew up in the middle of nowhere, but it would have been the middle of several key trade routes if I’d only been born about 1500 B.C.
  5. As a child (in the 1970s, not B.C.), I slept with a wooden cross by my bedside to ward off vampires – also slept in fear of ghosts, werewolves, demons and other such monsters. Honestly, I still can’t really watch horror movies, but I fearlessly devoured every novel in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.
  6. Original image Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA) available under Creative Commons at
    I once climbed up a piling of the I-10 bridge that crosses the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge
    (photo above by bluepoint951) – it was during my college days, a six pack of beer and a couple of cute frat guys were also involved. It was rated PG, but I’ll leave it at that.
  7. I’ve had pizza for breakfast – doesn’t sound that unusual maybe, but it was a personal pan pizza made just for me at 8am in a Dallas-area Pizza Hut after I’d spent the evening riding around with the food & supplies delivery driver. I did employee communications at PepsiCo Food Systems and was learning more about the jobs our employees did by shadowing.

Now it’s my turn to tag seven others to blog their seven things:
Marcel Korner, Alexander Hill, Barbara Gibson, ABC, Ian Hughes, Christine Perkett, Kate Olson, and John McElhenney

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Twit Links: December 1-7

I had plans for something more substantial to post here last week, but with all the holiday activity kicking into full-speed, I’m afraid posts may be light here this month.

Twitter remains an easy way to share thoughts, though, and I had several interesting links to share there last week:

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Twit-Links: November 24-30

I’ve been torn for a while now trying to decide whether or not to do link posts here. After all, I finally broke down and created this blog (after IABC was terrific enough to make it drop-dead easy for their members to do so) as a place to expound on topics that needed more than the 140 characters I’ve been tossing out on Twitter for the past couple of years.

A post of nothing more than links in my opinion was nothing more than 1) lazy or 2) a blatant attempt at SEO (search engine optimization). But, I’m giving in for a totally selfish reason – it will give me an easier way to dig into an archive of interesting things I’ve tweeted.

You see, Twitter has come to replace my RSS reader. There are simply tons of interesting blog posts and news stories being tweeted. These keep me up-to-date and often ahead of the crowd. So, I try to return the favor by retweeting interesting things and tweeting links of my own that point to interesting reading.

Sometimes I want to go back and find something that I remember I tweeted, but forgot to bookmark. Maybe one day @tzangms will add a feature to TwitThat! that would save my tweeted links to my Delicious account; but, until then, I must wade through page after page of old tweets in search of them.

So, I’m going to try to make myself take the time to compile them here once a week – just so I can find them again later. And, maybe someone else will venture by here and find them of some use.

Tweets with links from November 24 – 30, 2008:

  • Reading: “When Twitter Met Facebook: The Acquisition Deal That Fail-Whaled | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD” ( )
  • Good One: “WordPress Direct, Have You Lost Your Mind?? | Real Estate Magazine – Real Estate Opinion Column – AgentGenius” ( )
  • Commented on: “Retweet: The Infectious Power of Word of Mouth” –
  • Reading: “A Second Life for Virtual Worlds?” in >
  • Good One: “You could say that IF you were one of us « Shannon Paul’s Very Official Blog” ( )
  • Thinking About: “Linking to Wikipedia is lazy and a disservice to someone else who really deserves the link!” ( )
  • Reading: “Virtual Goods News: 7-Eleven Carrying 20 Prepaid Cards, Emphasizing in Growth for Next Year” ( )
  • RT @bobbyllew: “Just have a look at this, no idea what I’d use it for but it’s so puritty” [oooh, that is purty]

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