Even though most of us have been picking up holiday gifts whenever we see anything appropriate and affordable, today is the official begin to the holiday shopping season, at least as far as capitalist society is concerned.
I’ve done the 5am shopping thing once or twice, and we treated it like a day out: we did our shopping, finished by 9 or so, and went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then home for some hot chocolate and naps. It was fun. Kind of.
I tend to look online for some items that are unique and hard to find locally even though I do like to shop at my local businesses.
There are many great shops and now there is access to those small shops through online shopping. I love fandom gifts, from clothes to Pops! to jewelry to journals, pins of course, and other unique things in my various fandoms.
Apart from Amazon, here are a few places, both online and brick and mortar stores that I like to check out for my friends and family that are looking for the perfect fandom gift.
Hot Topic – great store for a variety of fandoms, and they get it. They’re knowledgable about the fandoms, know their merchandise, can and will direct you to other places if they don’t carry something, etc. It’s a good store to visit. If you’re looking for Plus Sizes, they generally don’t carry them in the stores, but you can find them online.
DC Universe – this is a new app that offers original programming and other DC programs. It is a subscription service, so that in itself might be a nice gift for the DC fan in your life.
Target – They have a fandom section (although they don’t call it that) on the back wall between books/DVDs and electronics. They rotate pop culture shows and books and often have Harry Potter, Stranger Things, Marvel and DC Comics & Movies, Star Wars, The Walking Dead, and more.
Stands – Partial proceeds go to charity. There is a limited shopping time for each campaign and each sponsor actor chooses their own charity to support. Previous (and some current) charitable causes have included: Random Acts, Jacmel Children’s Center, ACLU, Raices, Chicago Foundation for Women, Lydia’s Place, My Hope Chest, New Leash on Life, National Stroke Association, Canadian Women’s Foundation, Feeding America, Rainbow House, TrapKing Humane, Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, and others.
They start getting birthday presents that are perfect for you!
When I was a kid growing up in Queens, we lived in a two bedroom apartment. There was a tiny vestibule where you could either go upstairs to our neightbors or turn left and walk into our place. There was a window and a radiator (where on Passover we would put a wine glass for Elijah). The living room had a sofa, a television on a wheeled TV cart, a dresser, my baby dresser that my daughter now uses, and possibly a chair, but I don’t recall that detail. It flowed into the dining room which had a doorway to the kitchen.
At Chanukah, we never had an electric menorah when we lived here. It was a brass one with a lion at the back and the shamas way up on top with a row of eight candle holders below. We would set this menorah up on the dining room table on a piece of tin foil for the wax to melt onto. Each day, we’d add another candle and watch them burn brightly until they flickered out.
We’d eat latkes and play dreidl with pennies for the pot.
Along the bottom of my baby dresser, my parents set up three piles of wrapped presents, eight gifts in each pile, and every night after we lit the candles we could choose a gift. Just one.
There was a lot of shaking and feeling of shapes going on every night. I have a very clear memory of wondering if I should open the Barbie doll or her clothes first, so distinctive was their packaging.
For our interfaith family now, we usually have done one large gift for the first night of Chanukah. Only once did we do eight gifts. It just gets too expensive. We do light the candles and use an electric menorah, the candle menorah in the dining room and the electric menorah in the living room. I always get my kids a new dreidl and a mesh baggie of gelt which they devour pretty quickly.
These are the traditions that make a holiday memorable and worth celebrating year after year.
I’m posting this a bit early because Chanukah isn’t until Christmas Eve this year, but that just gives us more to celebrate all throughout the month from Thanksgiving to the New Year.
Happy Chanukah to all.
My son collaborated with his Dad (at least his Dad’s debit card) to make me a mini Lego figure of Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. He designed it himself. Then they both made the poncho on our home printer without letting me see. It’s a superb job. He used mgfcustoms for the construction.
Standing behind mini Daryl is a cup designed by my daughter. My family got me Lindt chocolate truffles and as it turns out, two bags of those fit perfectly into a Trenta sized Starbucks cup that my daughter saved, washed, and decorated.
Chocolate Caramel and White Chocolate; my favorites.