When do you start holiday shopping?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am sort of picking up little stuff here abd there to decorate our new house. I know its stupidly early lol. This year my precious kiddos from Chicago are coming up here rather than us going there, which we used to do. But both us and Jumper/Hunter have homes now so there are places for Princess and Baby to stay when they come up. Jumpers house is larger in anticipation of having kid so they will probably stay there, but they will come here too and I want it to look cozy and grandmaish :)

    We havent done any presents yet. Halloween...we dont do it anymore. Not until Jumper has kids .our other grand isnt close enough for us to do it.

    You?
     
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I love to decorate our home. I always put up the fall decorations in late Sept. Lots of fall colors using leaves, flowers and pumpkins (the styrofoam kind that look real) I have different floral arrangements for spring/summer and fall. I have several lanterns that I burn scented candles in. My house always smells like something is baking in the oven. Love my pumpkin pie candles.
    I start decorating for Christmas after Thanksgiving. My house explodes with Christmas! It usually takes me a few days to get everything done.
    As for the holiday shopping, it's never too early to start. If I see things I think my grands will like I will go ahead and buy them. I do not go out on Black Friday. I did a few years ago and while you might save some money, I would rather save my sanity!

    :thanksgiving11::1010fall::1010pumpkin::christmasgift::lights::elf:
     
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Your house sounds amazing!

    I have gone out on Black Friday in recent years but NOT at 4am. Nope. I think it was less busy at least later in the day than in past years, maybe due to online shopping.

    I only have two grands and Barts son has everything (its ridiculous) so that even Bart cant tell me what he would like so I let Bart pick out a few things and he sends me the links and I buy them. My little granddaughter is so much fun to shop for. I send her stuff all year lol. But Christmas I bring bags full of presents. So much fun to see her eyes light up! I am very excited that this year, because we have a house and Jumper and Hunter do too, my girls are coming up here for the holidays! In the past we both lived in apartments and there wasnt enough room.
     
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Cyber Monday shopper all the way here! No way you’re catching me in a big store between now and the end of the year! :roflmao:

    R does all the decorating around here. I can’t quite get my head around spending a bunch of time putting things up just to spend a bunch of time taking them down later. I swear I’m not a grinch! I love to spend time with the people I love. And I love holiday food (too much).
     
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm so excited for you!
    Something I do when we have family staying with us is to make breakfast casseroles. These are really great on holiday mornings, such a time saver and easy clean up. I make them up a day or two in advance and keep them in the fridge. I do one that has hashbrowns, sausage, cheese and eggs and I also do a baked french toast one.
     
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  6. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Now via Amazon (mostly), but not always.

    However, I ordered two toys and the delivery people lost one of them.
    Since we moved, we’ve had crazy problems. The delivery people lose things a lot. Hmmm. I better order early as perhaps 30% of my stuff disappears before it ever reaches my door. I like to order because (usually) it’s much easier.
    A lot of stuff even on-line is on sale Black Friday. Then there is Cyber Monday.

    Re decorations..I have stuff from years and years of collecting. But I just ordered a few more kid oriented things (grandsons etc) from oriental Trading for T. Giving. Adorable!
     
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have seen these recipes and I have wondered if they were good. They sure sound good. I will look on allrecipes. Thank you, Tanya.
     
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I mostly order online.

    When I feel like it, I pretend its cyber Monday any day ;)
     
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Quite a few of the recipes I've found use bread in the egg casserole. I don't use the bread. Here's one that I use and it's easy to vary it.
    Following this one is the baked french toast.

    Prep Time 20 min. (including cooking sausage)
    Cook Time 60-70 min. (plus cooling) for baking
    Total Time
    Serves About 12-20 pieces
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound breakfast sausage
    • 1 1/2 cups diced sweet onion (from about half a large onion)
    • 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (sometimes labeled "country style")
    • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
    • 1 cup diced green pepper (from about 1 small-medium pepper)
    • 2-3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (to equal about 1 - 1 1/4 cups)
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (from about 6 onions)
    • 12 eggs
    • 1 3/4 cup milk
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    Directions
    1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, onions, mushrooms, and garlic until sausage is no longer pink and mushrooms have given off some of their liquid, about 10 minutes. Throughout cooking, stir to crumble sausage and break up mushrooms. (You can leave the mushrooms in larger slices or break them into almost unnoticeable little pieces as you crumble the sausage.) Drain the liquid.
    2. In a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray, layer potatoes (there is no need to thaw them), sausage mixture, 1 cup cheese, green peppers, tomatoes, and green onions.
    3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, parsley, salt, basil, and pepper. Whisk thoroughly to combine, then add remaining 1 cup of cheese and whisk again. Pour egg mixture evenly over other ingredients in baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Alternately, you can bake this casserole immediately.)
    4. In the morning, preheat the oven to 375°F.
    5. Bake casserole, uncovered, for about 60-70 minutes, or until egg in middle is just set and edges are lightly golden brown.
    6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
    Recipe Notes

    Make-Ahead Options:
    If you need to start on this recipe even earlier than the evening before your brunch, you can cook the sausage, onions, mushrooms, and garlic earlier in the day or a day ahead, and also chop the green peppers and green onions. Refrigerate the sausage mixture and the chopped peppers and onions in separate containers until assembling the casserole.

    Here's one for the baked french toast (warning: this can be addictive)
    Makes 8 servings

    3 hours 45 minutes (includes soaking time)
    French toast:
      • 1 1-pound loaf challah, sliced 1" thick
      • Unsalted butter, room temperature (for baking dish)
      • 4 large eggs
      • 4 large egg yolks
      • 2 cups heavy cream
      • 2 cups whole milk
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      • 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
      • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1. Pecan crumble and assembly:
      • 1/2 cup pecans
      • 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
      • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    Preparation
    1. For french toast:
      1. Spread out bread on a rimmed baking sheet; let stand overnight.
      2. Butter a 13x9" baking dish. Cut bread so slices are similar in size. Arrange, overlapping, in rows in prepared dish.
      3. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour over bread, pressing bread to help it soak up custard. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
      4. DO AHEAD: Bread can be soaked 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
    2. For pecan crumble and assembly:
      1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Pulse pecans, butter, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor until nuts are coarsely chopped.
      2. Scatter pecan crumble over soaked bread. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake until warmed through (a knife inserted into the center should feel warm to the touch), 25–30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until deeply browned, 35–40 minutes longer. Let cool slightly before serving
     
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    OMG, Tanya. Those sound delicious. Thank you.

    How many people, more or less, do you serve with the French toast casserole?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  11. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    The French toast casserole looks amazing.
     
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  12. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I have already started Christmas shopping. When I see something that calls out a person's name to me I buy it. I already have my daughter's main gift.
    I love to decorate for Christmas. Usually I decorate for Halloween. This year I didn't. We just redecorated (carpet, paint etc) a lot of our home and I didn't feel like taking it apart for seasonal decor. I will decorate for Christmas after Thanksgiving.
     
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Already started! Have the gifts for son in law and my mom, and one present for Miss KT. Will get a few more things next payday. I do most of my shopping online now, though I love the Black Friday energy. Miss KT and I used to go out at crazy hours, but since she moved, no one else will go with me, and it's not as much fun alone.
     
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I really have no idea what to get for anyone but my granddaughter. At Thanksgiving we do pulling a name from a hat to make it less complicated and expensive. But as Mom I usually get something for everyone. Still...I am not sure at what to get! If I ask everyone says "I dont know" or "you dont have to get anything."

    Especially hard is Hunter and Princesses SO. Men! For the ladies I can always fall back on clothes, gift cards for nail salons, etc.

    Barts birthdat is coming up. Money.
     
  15. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Pretty much never. LOL Now that there's no kid at home, Jabber and I do pretty much nothing for the holiday. His family stopped exchanging gifts among the adults, so I haven't done that in a bit. I don't have family to speak of, except a brother and we haven't exchanged gifts in years. I will have a couple holiday get-togethers with gift exchanges and I'll shop for those right before they occur. Jabber and I have quit exchanging gifts really. Though, I have a thought this year for him so I may buy something. We'll see.

    Until last year I had even stopped putting up a tree. Last year I bought a little 4' pre-lit tree and I did put it up. I need to pare down my ornaments to just those for that tree.

    So yeah...bah humbug.

    I actually have a friend who said on her Facebook page that she'd finished wrapping her Christmas gifts and only had two left to buy. I hate her. It's not even fricken Halloween yet! Give the ghosties and ghoulies their time in the sun! ...well, maybe not the vampires.
     
  16. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Lil I'm with you! I do my shopping online all in one fell swoop and get it done. I bought one of those little pre-decorated trees one year and it was plenty for me! R loves holiday decorating, through, especially all of the outdoor lights. And last year we had THREE TREES! But hey, if she's doing it, I just let her have at it. ;)
     
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The last time we put out terrific outside devorations, it snowed until really late into spring and we ended up getting lazy and didnt take the decorations down until July. No exaggeration.

    We never put outside decorations on our house since.
     
  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well we've never had them up until July...but they've been up a while into the spring! Really, I don't do much to the outside. The roof is too high for me to help Jabber - ladders scare me and I'm always terrified he'll fall off! So we usually put some lights around the doors wreaths and that's about it.

    I used to always put up a big tree. But, I'm just a tad anal-retentive about decorations on the tree. Like...when DS was 2, I video taped us decorating and when I watched it, it was a half hour of me saying, "Don't put two red ones together. That one doesn't look right there. You need to put big ones on the bottom. Don't put that one there."

    I erased the tape.

    Jabber helped me decorate - ONCE. (Seriously, I've been known to sneak into the church sanctuary and rearrange the ornaments the kids put on the trees during the Hanging of the Greens service. I'm that bad.)

    Really the last several years that DS was home, he kind of ruined the holiday for me so I'm not really excited about it anymore. I guess if I had people to really buy for, that would be different.
     
  19. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    LOL! It's just not on my radar at all. I used to just let the kids do what they wanted with it, which meant a few years when all the ornaments on the tree were bunched all together waist high and below.

    R and I don't really do gifts for each other either. Usually, if we do anything, we each buy a set of tickets for something we'd both like to see in the spring, so we have two fun events to look forward to. Although last year, we bought each other a furnace for Christmas.

    Lil, I'm sorry to hear that you've lost your holiday spirit though - I hope you can find ways to get it back and find things you can enjoy together! I do think the holidays feel a little emptier without little ones around, even if our adult kids aren't difficult.

    I'm hoping N and his family will make it out this year. We are doing a big family thing at our place with all the nieces and nephews and cousins and their kids, so we'll have to make the house festive for that!
     
  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    That was why I bought the little tree last year. I missed it. I missed the holiday spirit. The first year our son was gone, 2015, we actually went to Vegas for Christmas! Actually, that was a blast. We had a great time and even did a couple Christmassy things - like going to see the displays in the big casinos. 2016 we did nothing at all. I'm not even sure I put out a wreath. 2017 I was missing it, so bought the little tree and put it on a table and hung up wreaths.

    I'm sure I'll do something this year too.