December is full swing, so I’m going to jump right in with a gift giving tip for you and your friends that is guaranteed to make Christmas shopping more fun. I’ve shared this before, but it bears repeating. You can read it here, or watch a video of it by clicking this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j88VQCFzvVk
The Women Who Run With the Moose (that’s me and my friends, Celeste, Rita, Betty, Dot and Shirley) have known each other since God was in diapers, so it may surprise you to learn that we do not exchange gifts at Christmas.
Us girls take a more practical approach to gift giving. We call it the “Not-So-Secret Santa.” This is based on the Secret Santa routine, which a lot of people do at work. You’ve heard of Secret Santa, haven’t you? That’s when you draw names, and then you buy someone you don’t know very well (or it could be someone you don’t even like), something they don’t want. That, in our opinion, is a waste of time and money.
So we invented the Not-So-Secret Santa. Here’s how it works. First, we decide on a dollar amount. This is based on how much we would spend on the average gift for each other: say, $30. Then we multiply it by 5, which is how many gifts we would each have to buy. Like if I were to spend $30 each on Celeste, Rita, Betty, Dot and Shirley, that’s $150. So we agree on that as the total dollar amount.
Then we all go to Bangor for a day of shopping. The deal being, we each have to spend $150, on ourselves! That way we get exactly what we want, and instead of getting five little things, you can get one or two big things. Plus, we have the fun of a spending the day together, shopping. See? It’s a win/win.
The rules are: You have to spend it all to within $5, give or take. You have to spend it on yourself, not something for the house (like a mop or a dust buster). And you have to wrap it up and put it under the tree, to open Christmas morning. There are exceptions to that last one. If there’s a special Christmas party, or a December wedding, and you bought something that would be perfect for it, you’re allowed to wear your new outfit. But after the shindig, you have to wrap it up and put it under the tree. On Christmas morning, when you unwrap the present, you’re supposed to act surprised and say something like, “Oh my God! This is just what I wanted. How did the girls know?”
I highly recommend the Not-So-Secret Santa plan. Do it with your group of friends. And if they make you do the Secret Santa at work, for God’s sake, suggest it to your boss. If your boss won’t go for it, maybe you can all chip in your Secret Santa money and chose a charity to send it to. This makes a lot more sense than the alternative. Listen, I have a re-gifting shelf in my catch-all closet that is just plumb chuck-a-full of Secret Santa gifts I don’t want, like a battery operated personal fan for instance, or a patchouli scented candle. (Well, to be honest, I put the candle directly into a box in the shed that we have going for our next yard sale. It just stinks up the house too much.)
This year, for my Not So Secret Santa, the girls give me the cutest black velour pantsuit with rhinestone buttons. I wore it to Charlie’s Christmas party up to Sky Lodge, and it was just perfect! The jacket is cut kind of different, with nice detailing around the neck. It really camouflages the old barrel beautifully! Between the cut of the jacket and my new spanky, I almost looked svelte.
You’ve heard of those spankys, haven’t you? I just like saying the word: “spanky!” It’s like an old fashioned girdle, but made out of spandex. I have one that goes from top of my knees right up to my bra. Holds everything in, smoothes it out. I only wear it on special occasions though, because after while, it kind of makes me feel like a sausage. That’s something I couldn’t face on a daily basis. But with certain outfits, it really makes a difference.
Of course, between you and me, what with all the candy at work and customers bringing us baked goods, I’ve been porking out something fierce. So at Sky Lodge, I felt like I was spankied to within an inch of my life. I told Charlie, “If I pass out, just cut this spanky off me. Then, get one of them fried mozzarella sticks. Wave it under my nose. That should bring me around.”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Upcoming Performances and Book Events 2018
March 7: Book Reading, Cumston Public Library, 6:30pm, Monmouth, ME
March 10: Book Reading, South Portland Public Library, https://southportlandlibrary.com/ 2:00pm, South Portland, ME
March 27: A Visit With Ida, South Berwick Public Library https://www.southberwicklibrary.org/ 7:00pm, South Berwick, ME
April 10: Book Reading, Goodall Memorial Library, https://lbgoodall.org/#&panel1-1 6:30pm, Sanford, ME
May 1: Book Reading, Berwick Public Library, https://www.berwick.lib.me.us/ 6:00pm, Berwick, ME
Check out my full schedule here: https://www.idaswebsite.com/schedule/