Because I have to work the day of the walking tour every year, I try to get out and do some Christmas shopping early and say hello to my business neighbours. Its particularly nice to be able to recommend other businesses to clients who may be looking for just that something. I will share with you some of what I found but you have to promise to not divulge any of my secrets to a) any one in my family or b) my staff; as some of these things are potential Christmas presents.
I was working from I list I had written based on ideas for creating an advent calendar for my kids and my staff. Advent is not about Chocolate. Contrary to what my children or Freda may think. Although chocolate should definitely be involved.
Advent is about the waiting, the anticipation of Christ, and the recognising our need for what he brings. Based on my experience of growing up in a traditional Christ centered home I decided to try to create my own version of Advent.
If you are familiar with the tradition of advent you will know that there are four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Each week you light one candle starting with the candle of HOPE. Hope is followed by Peace Joy and Love and then the final candle is the Christmas Candle. The first three candles are traditional Blue, the fourth candle for Love is usually pink or rose, and the Christmas candle is white. This is where the ideas for what I had on my list came from.
I will admit that although I am not usually an impulse shopper I was surprised at how many things I found that I quickly added to the list. (shh, don’t tell Shawn)
WE (two 10 year old girls and myself) started at the thrift store at aprox 10 am. One of my silly ideas is to have a day that everyone has to wear red, which would be during the
Joy week. So I found a little red dress a couple of red sweaters and some Santa hats.
I also found some fabulous fleece to make some mitts or slippers (peace)… its an idea, no promises, as well as some DVDs. I view the thrift store as really just like paying a borrowing or storing fee. If I don’t need it, don’t use it, finished with it, I send it back, and pay for it again next year when I need one. WE made a great haul and immediately dropped our goodies back out the house before setting out on foot again.
Sandpipers for forced bulbs (hope), Soap factory for amazing beer soap and cabernet body scrub (haven’t decided if it is peace love or joy), 49th for chocolate letters, twisted sisters for tea, and then the dollar store for felt, Christmas stickers and poster board, all items on the list. I had hoped to find fabric ribbon there and maybe taper candles. She was just unpacking the boxes for Christmas and only had silver candles. What did I find that I
didn’t expect? Angels with the words Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love written on them.
Very tempting, but I resisted. Next was the British allsorts.
The girls had asked to go ahead so I let them and they came running back to the dollar store to get me because they had found SMURF TINS. Just what everyone needs for an advent calendar. SO I bought two, as well as some Christmas music and of course Allsorts, which was on the list.
Rexall was next, and other than toothpaste (not for the advent calendar but on the list) I had hoped to find ribbon, candles or cardstock. They did have some ribbon but I decided against it. It was very nice, 9 foot lengths with led lights and you could buy gold or silver, and yes they connect so you could do a stairway or a tree, but not what I wanted it for. If I write a new list I may go back for them.
Gifts and things, does have candles. Lots of them. But mostly pillars, but other than purple pillar candles most of them are scented and I have allergies. The purple candles though are inspiring, you may need to just go look at them.
Well after all that shopping we needed to take a break so we stopped at the little town market for lattes and snacks. WE were running out of time, so I sent the girls ahead to check the candy store, while I bought a few gifts at the market. Then it was off to the Christmas store to see if THEY had blue tapered candles and to ooo and aahh at the new store. Ward was very helpful, they possibly had some in storage and he would look. I particularly loved the Chemainus mural Christmas ornaments, that were hand painted, it was hard to leave without one.
The last two shops both had items on my list. In the theatre gift shop I found the long sought after Ken Lavigne CDs and local handmade gifts. I was supposed to pick up rice pasta from the health food store but when I walked in the door what do you think I saw? BLUE unscented taper candles, and purple and red and wow I was thrilled and forgot all about the pasta.
So I have my candles. Still looking for ribbon, I might just have to go back to the thrift storeor maybe Top Hats will have something that will work. I also never made it to Wee Winkies consignment store with my food bank donation or to check for gym shorts for my son. All in all it was fairly successful and we were done by 12:30.
Sometimes I am amazed at just how perfect Chemainus is.