I hate shopping. Especially for clothes. Shopping is very time consuming and if I’m not in the right mood, shopping can be downright excruciating. The second next thing I detest about shopping is doing it for Christmas. How many times have you placed a lot of thought and care into buying someone a present only to find out they hate it in the end? They secretly return your gift and get themselves something else. Like a cash refund!

My family and I decided a few years ago to forgo Christmas shopping for each other because primarily none of us could afford it. You could literally hear a massive sigh of relief as we exhaled our breath on the day we all decided to stop buying each other holiday gifts. It was a slow process towards other friends and family members but as the years progressed we bought and gave out less and less and less. Till the only presents we buy now are for the grandkids. (two: with a budget of $25 each)

Last year, however, hubby and I felt a bit slighted that for the previous five years we have bought each other nothing for Christmas. It finally got to us, after watching every body else open up presents for the holiday. So we decided that this year we would buy each other a “little” something. With the pandemic raging outside our comfort zone, we decided to give each other a health-related gift. Hubby bought me a treadmill and I bought hubby an iWatch Series 6 from Apple Inc.

Since we will probably be on some form of a lockdown till April or May 2021, hubby thought getting me a treadmill would be a good idea. We have to stay home more and with the cold winter weather fast approaching, utilizing an indoor treadmill would be an ideal solution for me. Treadmills are expensive and neither one of us want to lean too far away from our frugal lifestyle. So, a careful search online revealed that trusty WalMart has a certain selection of treadmills on clearance with many models at 50% off!

Just a few samples of the many, many treadmill choices at reduced pricing at WalMart.

Not pictured above, hubby settled on a model that originally sold for $600 at a now clearance price of $299. It’s suitable for apartments and folds easily which is perfect in our smallish home. Rather than keep it in the basement with hubby’s exercise equipment AND it’s very cold down there, I can store it in a corner of my office and have it available for my use at any time of the day. Or night!

For my husband, however, I did not go cheaply. He has a very serious heart condition and I thought the latest and greatest iWatch Series 6 model would be perfect for him. The Series 6 has the capability of properly monitoring his heart, blood pressure, activity, and with a touch of a button can perform an EKG on the spot. His pressure sometimes dips to dangerous levels and the iWatch can give him an early warning sign so he can adjust his meds ASAP. There are no bargains when it comes to the latest Apple devices. I could get $50 off at B&H but I would lose the zero interest buying directly from Apple Inc affords me. Hubby’s watch came to $399.

I bought hubby the blue model. He looks good in blue.

This holiday season, with so many people out of work and victim to food insecurity, hubby and I made a generous donation to a local food bank. We usually don’t make donations but this is a special year and we need to help as many others as financially possible. We also decided to buy small gifts for all of our neighbors since we all need each other more and more every day. Aldi sells a special, inexpensive box of Belgian chocolates for $3.99. We purchased 10 of those boxes to give to our neighbors.

Lastly, we are giving our UPS, Fed Ex and postal delivery person a cash gift each of $25. It’s not much but it’s the best we can do for these three dedicated people who have put their lives on the line to deliver the many, many packages that hubby and I have ordered online and through the mail over the past year. We’re also baking a large lasagna for the post office employees for one of their lunches in December. And to our local church (which we are not a part of BUT have worshiped there in times of trouble) we are making a generous cash donation also.

Those massive, hectic, insane Black Friday shopping frenzies will probably become a thing of the past. I don’t think they will be coming back any time soon. We need to be more mindful this season and think about all the others who are facing insurmountable hardships this coming new year. We also need to be kind to ourselves.

Let’s hope that scenes like these come to an end very soon: