Last weekend I made a lovely visit to Kansas City to see my dad, stepmom, brother, and grandmother. Saturday afternoon following an immensely satisfying Indian meal, all of us (minus my teenage brother; this was definitely not his cup of tea) met at a huge conference center for an event called 2012 Holiday Boutique: An Enchanted Shopping Experience. Upon entering, we were confronted with a ginormous array of booths with goods from hundreds of local boutiques and shops. I should have taken a picture. It was intense.
Having never been to such an event before, I was initially a bit overwhelmed at the sight of so much stuff. I don’t consider myself a big shopper and even the rare trip to the mall tends to give me a headache and a mild panic attack in which my only thought becomes get what you need and get the hell out. I believe similar thoughts overcame my dad and grandma; they bailed after an hour. We hadn’t even gotten through half the booths.
Then something happened. My stepmom and I entered a magical realm called Shop Or Die. Over the next three hours, we examined, we compared, we bought Christmas gifts for ourselves, each other, and others. We embraced the “enchanted shopping experience.” We didn’t buy very much, but what we did take home was selected with the greatest care and consideration, and our money went to support local small businesses. I like that. I came away with the perfect Christmas gifts for most of the women in my life, and it’s not even December. Bam.
Heather and I agreed that picking out your own presents might seriously be the way to go. This is how I ended up with early gifts for myself that included a travel tea press and loose leaf pomegranate green tea (thank you, Heather!), and a handpainted mug from Poland (thanks, me!), among other delightful goodies.I have a thing for really big mugs. This one is the size of a soup bowl.