Wednesday, December 30, 2009

christmas money: endless possibilities?

Every year I get Christmas money from my Papaw, and occasionally from other folks as well.  And I always intend to pick out something and buy it specifically as my present from Papaw.  It almost never works out that way.  A few years ago, I specifically bought myself two pairs of shoes, but I can't think of an instance before or since that I actually spent my Christmas money on something memorable.  I usually end up breaking the $50 bill on gas or Kroger or something equally boring, and once it's broken, it's gone, and I never get around to doing anything self-indulgent with it--which, in the grand scheme of my self-indulgent life, is probably for the best.

This year, in addition to the gifted money I received from Papaw and an aunt and uncle, I've got a $75 amazon gift card burning a hole in my inbox.  I've mentioned this before, though at that time, I was leaning towards spending it on an external hard-drive.  Now that I've got right at $150 to frivolously spend and that I've gone through another holiday season dealing with my irritatingly unreliable camera, I'm leaning much more towards a digital camera that is less than five years old and hasn't spent a day and a night in my dad's recliner.
My plan is to go to a real-live store and look at some and handle them before ordering one online, but tonight I started to look around on amazon and found one that I hope is going to live up to my expectations when I see it in person.  The Nikon Coolpix L20 has gotten mostly good customer reviews on amazon.  It's got twice the megapixels as my old camera (but really pretty much anything does at this point), and it's red.  Plus the viewing screen on the back is huge, which is what I'm most excited about.  And here's the best part:  right now on amazon it's on sale for $79.  Of course, once I get a memory card and battery charger and such, it'll cost me a bit more than that.  Well, actually it's not costing me anything, but I still feel a responsibility to get a good deal.

So that's the plan for my Christmas money this year.  What about you, imaginary reader?  Do you get cold, hard cash for a holiday gift?  Do you earmark for a specific indulgence?  Or do you find that it's spent on the humdrum and mundane?  Or if you don't have holiday cash of your own to spend, let's play pretend.  If you had $150 to spend, mostly guilt-free, on yourself, what would you buy?


  1. Connie has this camera. It takes good pictures, and you're right - the big screen is really nice. It's also got a nice ergonomic design that fits nicely in your hand, but is still small enough to fit in your purse or a big pocket. The only problem that I've ever had using it is that the recovery time is pretty slow so you can't take a whole lot of pictures quickly.

    Jenni's dad always gives us cash, and, like you, we rarely spend it on any specific item. This year we decided to use it to help pay off the large credit card bill accumulated in December from Christmas presents, my PhD application fees, special food, etc.

    If I were going to spend it on something special for myself (assuming that I got half and Jenni got half), I'd buy myself some books and movies. Probably I'd buy whichever movies were highest on my top 100 of the decade list that I don't already own. I got a lot of great clothes for Christmas this year, including a really nice suit that Momma found on big sale at Dillards and a lot of games and stuff for the new Nintendo, so there weren't as many books and movies as usual. It was a good trade off and I'm VERY pleased with my haul this year. If I didn't do books/movies, I'd probably get a pocket knife or a pair of casual brown shoes; maybe both if the shoes were on sale. I might use part of it to do another KIVA loan. I'm really excited about starting the one that Robyn got me. I'd definitely buy R. Crumb's The Book of Genesis. I've more than spent my 150 at this point.

  2. If I had $150 to spend any way I chose, I think I might buy enough really nice yarn to make a pretty afghan. I'm guessing it would take a chunk of change for that much yarn. You should see what Susan has been up to since you've been gone! She is knitting some fancy stuff! She has inspired me. I finally finished the purple scarf I started last Christmas.

    BTW, I love your camera decision, for all the reasons you listed plus I love the commercials with Ashton what's his name who married Demi what's her name.

    Peace, happy new year, and have a safe drive home.



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