Rant & Rave

Just trying to balance out the good & evil in the world while looking out for the little guy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Christmas orange

Phew! I am definitely glad that the frenzy of Christmas is over for yet another year. With all of it's seizure-inducing flashing lights, over-the-top inflatable lawn decorations and endless displays of plastic Santas, it was about all I could take this year not to run screaming into the night! Hearing about grandma gettin run over by a reindeer was starting to sound like a good way out!

My rant today is about the extreme high level of commercialization surrounding this holy holiday. This is where I have a huge problem. It's the hoopla and the tinsel and the Las Vegas strip atmosphere. Even the school Christmas program has jumped on the bandwagon with their version of "surfin' Santa." What?? Really? Ugh

Personally, I believe that Christmas should (somehow) remain more dignified and respected. I am a simple person who needs things to be streamlined and less flashy. I recently came across a wonderfully basic template for buying presents;
something to want
something to need
something to wear
and something to read.
I absolutely love this mantra and may put this to good use next year.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy singing Jingle Bells and watching our 3 kids open presents on Christmas morning, but it's the small quiet times that I cherish. Listening to Silent Night as it softly snows out my window is priceless. So it is in this same simple thought pattern that I started to place an orange at the toe of our children's stockings. To encourage humility and to remind them that some children may only receive an orange as a present on Christmas morning. This is my way of keeping things in balance. It is the Christmas orange that keeps me from going over the edge!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GameStop to the rescue!!

Like almost every other American around the country these days, my family is experiencing a 'financial down-turn'. With that being said, we had to downsize our Christmas this year. No more frivolous stocking stuffers (just the chocolate please!) and the Christmas present budget was also dramatically cut. This left just $100 per child. Now, I know perfectly well that there are many wonderful gifts to be cherished with this amount of money...but this is my story.

We have three great (most of the time lol) children. Our daughter is 20 years old and our boys are 9 and 12. The oldest kid just got the cash as this seemed to be both to easiest and most logical thing to do. The youngest son was pretty simple to shop for and his presents proved to be a huge success by his usual jaw-drop expression. He was rendered speechless by unwrapping the newest thing in NERF weaponry. It was the 12 year old son that I was having problems finding that perfect gift. This is where GameStop comes into the story.

I have shopped at GameStop over the past few years and was in the store this day to buy a video game for my youngest. I was browsing trying to think of some ideas for my oldest son when I was approached by the most polite and sociable (I'm not joking) store associate named Stephen. He asked if he could help me with anything, and I found myself confessing to him that I was like a fish out of water alone in this video game store without my kids. (I never was one to play video games even as a kid.) I explained to Stephen that I was shopping for my oldest son and that I had a small budget. He asked me some questions and we discussed what I had in mind and could afford. In the end, I purchased a pre-owed Wii system and a Lego Harry Potter video game.

As I walked out of the store with my sons Christmas present in hand, I knew that I had scored a homerun with this gift and that he was gonna love it! Even though the store was packed with customers, this store associate took the time to really listen to me and helped me score the perfect gift. Kudos to GameStop and Stephen!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Verizon sucks!

Verizon Wireless sucks! In August we switched from Alltel to Verizon. 5 days a week for the last 3 freakin months I get a voicemail from them telling me it's an 'urgent message' and to call them. Why you ask?? The early-termination fee on 3 phones which was waived thru the promotion. The problem I'm having is the TAX on that termination which we agree I do not owe but they cannot override the system to issue me the credit ($45.37!!) to stop these damn voicemails. I've called them 3 times now and the supervisor can't even tell me WHEN they will stop. THERFORE VERIZON SUCKS!!!!! Good day!