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Holiday Traditions- A Gift for Her

2009 Swarovski Ornament
Good morning all! It’s me again, Laurie. Your very likeable gadget Gandhi! – LOL

Well, last night, since nobody was home, I decided to venture into my basement and pull out the holiday décor. After a very grueling 30 minutes of hauling boxes up the basement stairs, I was finally ready to sit down and begin the ritual of sorting through the holiday decorations.

It’s amazing how many happy memories that floods you when you’re sorting through items you haven’t seen in at least a year. I found many homemade gifts that were made for my husband and me by our children. Shells painted with holiday cheer, paper Mache decorations with loving notes and I can never forget, the infamous spaghetti necklace. Now that was a long, long time ago.

As I was taking out the last of the homemade gifts and decorating them around my house, I finally came to my box of special ornaments. This particular group of ornaments has a very sentimental meaning to me. It is my collection of Swarovski Special Edition Holiday Ornaments. There is a new ornament made for each passing year.

Many years ago, when our children were small, my husband and I decided it would be best not to buy each other gifts at the holidays. We were already strained trying to raise 3 children and most of our money went to living expenses, or the children. My husband has always been a very proud man. He has always done his part to ensure that our children had the best holiday they could possibly have. He would work many; many extra hours to make sure each of his children got that one special gift they had asked for. I have to admit, he never once failed in his quest.

On one particular year, after the children had opened their presents, I noticed there was another small gift stuffed between the branches of our tree. Puzzled, I walked over to see whom it was for. To my surprise, it was for me! As my husband looked up at me sheepishly, I opened the box. It had to be the most beautiful crystal I had ever seen. It was a 2000 Swarovski Special Edition Holiday Ornament. I could tell from looking at it, it was expensive. I asked him, “Why would you buy something so expensive for me?” He said, “ To see the happiness on your face when you opened the box.” I was beyond surprised and amazed that he purchased such a beautiful, thoughtful gift. Feeling a little less than thoughtful myself, I said, “But I didn’t get anything for you.” He looked at me in surprise and said “Yes you did. The happiness on your face is the best present you could ever give me”. (I got to admit, he really is a great guy).

Every year since that day, there has been a box with a new Swarovski Special Edition Ornament for me under our tree. He has bought me one every year since that day. (And I make sure I have a present for him too.) It always makes me smile and has become my most favored tradition.

Please feel free to leave me a comment.

The 2009 Swarovski Special Edition Holiday Ornament can be purchased at Merchants Overseas, Amazon.com as well as many other online retailers or department stores. (The best buy I have seen has been Amazon.com)

Well, that’s all for now. Until next time.

What’s up with the Holiday Gift?

3 Pc Plug Extender


Good morning all! It’s me again, Laurie.

The holiday season is again upon us. I have been listening to people chatter about their expected holiday celebrations, gift giving, family traditions and the infamous “shopping trips”. Regardless of what holiday you are celebrating (Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa), each holiday has its tradition of “gift giving”.

For the past few days, I have been pondering in my own mind “Why do I do this “holiday hustle” every year?” All this time, money, effort and work? Is it worth it? Does anyone care?

As a child I could not wait for the holiday celebration to begin. I would take my saved up allowance and joyously go out and buy all my family and friends what I considered the perfect gift. (At least as best as my allowance would allow.) Ahh, the joys of being a child. The month of December would move by at a snails pace and finally would come the time to start all the cleaning and preparation of the traditional family dishes. The work was always abundant, but I truly enjoyed every minute of it. Then finally, our big holiday would arrive and be over in a blink of an eye, reminding me that I would have to wait another year before we could do it again.

Time eventually passed and I became an adult with my own family. When the children were small, I basked in the traditions of our holiday celebration. I would cook for hours, clean for days, buy and wrap presents and decorate our house in the traditional holiday décor. The happy little faces of my 3 children (and even my husband) filled with anticipation for our holiday celebration reminded me of my own childhood. Knowing how happy they all were, made it all worth it for me. My grandmother, god rest her soul, would be so proud that I carried on all the family traditions passed down by her.

Then something I can’t explain happened. For the past few years, I have drudgingly followed through with our family traditions. Something that used to fill me with absolute joy has now been reduced to an interrupting annoyance in my life. The holidays have become too commercialize. Everyone is in a hurry. I now feel overwhelmed rather than happy and joyous. Gifts have been replaced with impersonal gift cards or gift certificates. What happened to the happiness that the holiday celebrations use to bring?

Then the strangest thing happened to me yesterday. I was looking through an old wooden box that I keep paperwork and personal memorabilia in. I was looking for some paperwork when I came across a holiday card from my grandmother. Stunned, because I haven’t seen it in over 15 years, I opened the card. Inside she wrote, “ I hope you love the coat. You are important to me and I want you to always be warm. I love you always, never forget that.” She passed on that year. I still have the coat and card. My grandmother always had the best sound advise. After reading that card, it occurred to me. She purchased that gift for me because I was important to her. I never once asked for a coat but it is something I use from time to time until this day. I think of her every time I wear it.

After finding that card, I had an epiphany. For many years, I purchased gifts for people that showed I was thinking of them in my own way. For the past few years, I have purchased gifts based on peoples wants. And yes, I have bought gift certificates and gift cards. I’ve never put a personal note with a gift. (Need to change that) Now thinking about it, it seems foolish that I didn’t. Isn’t the message what it’s all about? My grandmother’s message said it best, she purchased the coat because I was important to her and she wanted me to be warm. Simple. (Maybe that is why I can’t part with the coat, it makes me think of her.)

Feeling a ton better after finding that card, I began to look for things that I wanted to get the people I most care about. My gifts are going to be what I want to give. Honestly, I feel a lot better about it. Believe it or not, much less stressed. My gift should reflect how I feel about my loved ones. I am also determined to include a card with a personal note for each of my loved ones.

So I began my search and came across an interesting item for my husband. My husband is always looking for additional surge protectors because he covers up the extra plugs with the large transformers from his devices. I found 3 Pc. Plug Extenders for him. A plug extender is a mini cord that you can plug into the end of the transformer and the opposite end into the surge protector. Should solve the problem. I will get him other things but I think he will be surprised that I noticed his dilemma and that his problem mattered enough to me to try and fix it.

The same goes for my 3 kids and their battery obsessions. I am planning on getting each one of them a Battery Rack 40. For my two college going children, I plan on getting each one of them a Power Station Traveller. This way they can make sure their cell phones are always charged and have a case to carry all their small electronics to class rather than leave them in the car.

Nobody has asked for these items but I can see how it will make their lives easier and I want them all to be happy.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you all enjoy your holidays. I plan on getting my holiday spirit back this year. Remember to buy a gift that says what you want to say. A personal short note will make all the difference in the world.

Please feel free to leave me a comment.

You can find any of the products mentioned above at most online retailers. (Amazon.com, Cable Organizers, Batteries Plus Stores, The Container Store, Lillian Vernon Catalog, Herrington Catalog to name a few)

The Best Jewelry Deal on the Web!

Domaine Ltd. Amazing Fashion Jewelry

Good morning World!  It’s me again, Laurie, the Gandhi of Consumer Products.  (I’m really starting to like that name.)   Today’s blog is dedicated to all the girls out there who like to look their best.  OK girls, your going to love this one.

As I was randomly browsing the web, looking for something to help accessories my new outfit, I found this fantastic new website.  The website is www.domaineltd.com.  This site has great costume jewelry at unbeatable prices!  Now, we all know that I believe in getting the best value for my money.  Like all of you, I work very hard for every dollar.  I want to look good but I can’t afford to spend a fortune.  I know we all secretly dream of winning the Powerball so we can go out on that elaborate shopping spree.  Unfortunately, for most of us, it will never happen.  I too am under funded to fulfill my full shopping potential.  I live the “True American Experience”.  I bargain hunt.

When I first viewed this site, being the skeptic that I am, I said to myself “This stuff must be JUNK. Why else would the items be so cheap?”  To appease my own curiosity, I ordered a piece.  I have to admit, I was surprised when I received a very nice piece of jewelry.  Not at all what I expected.

Bewildered by the idea of buying a really nice necklace for under $10.00 when I know very well it should have cost between $20-$30, I made a point of calling the company to obtain more information about them.  I was pleasantly surprised with the information they provided.  This company is a manufacturer of costume jewelry located in Providence, RI.  They sell primarily to the retailers and catalogs in the USA.  All their costume jewelry is designed and manufactured by them.  Their website was set up recently to sell the remainder of their discontinued items.  They have small amounts of stock of each item shown on the site (varies per style). This means it’s first come, first serve. They are leftovers pieces from a large customer who has discontinued the item or a sample item they chose not to go forward with.  Items are put on their web site once they have been discontinued.   So, I asked, “What is wrong with it?  Why is it discontinued?”  The girl told me, “Nothing”.  She explained that the fashion industry has forever changing trends and styles.  Jewelry styles change season to season just like clothes.  To remain a leader in the Jewelry industry, it is important that they continually design and develop new pieces that correlate with upcoming seasonal trend.  The website is regularly updated every season with new items that have been discontinued from past seasons.

After speaking with their representative, I felt like I hit the JACKPOT!   Now, I am a big clearance rack shopper.  You can get the best deals by buying items between seasons.  Can you believe it?  Now we have access to the CLEARANCE RACK for jewelry. This is a website where I can find a great Christmas presents for my girlfriends.  Who doesn’t like jewelry?   The best part is I don’t have to spend a ton of money to do it.  (But it will look like I did- LOL)

Feel free to send me a comment.

Bye for now!

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