Posted by: Hannah | 11/11/2012

spendy spendy

This afternoon we went to a Christmas craft show.

I like to go to at least one every year. I get decorating or crafting ideas, sample local wines, the kids buy fudge… it’s nice.

(This year I was also doing some market research for my father’s furniture business, Heart’s Inspired Furniture. I always suspected that his pieces were second-to-none in terms of quality and craftsmanship, and nothing I saw today changed my mind. There are some very nice folks selling some not-so-nice stuff out there.)

 

Craft shows are for me the Land of Impulse Purchases. We are currently instituting a ‘money jar’ system a la Gail Vaz-Oxlade from ‘Til Debt Do Us Part. Every week we take a certain sum of money and divvy it up among jars:

  • Home – basic home repairs & maintenance, water system maintenance, major appliance repair / replacement, lawnmower & snowblower maintenance
  • Car – car repairs, tire purchases, oil changes
  • Christmas – any & all items purchased for Christmas, including presents, tree, food
  • Vacation – our vacation fund!
  • Pets/Other – Salty’s glucosamine supplements, vet visits, dog registration, flea meds
  • Meat – we purchase either a quarter or half share of beef once a year, plus we’ll be buying half a pig once we free up some room in the freezer

This isn’t exactly Vaz-Oxlade’s system – we don’t have a ‘food’ jar, for example, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t suggest a ‘Christmas’ jar – but it is inspired by her, and it’s working well for us so far.

And thank god for the jars, because otherwise I would have bought the following Utterly Useless If Charming items this afternoon:

  • a paint-your-own-pillowcase kit with professional-grade fabric paint (so soft! so bright!)
  • a hideous ceramic table-top Christmas tree because my Nanny had one when I was a kid
  • a magic wand made of real wood that was all polished and lovely, and would give JK Rowling fits if she saw it because it was advertised as a “Magic Academy” wand
  • a British china tea set patterned with primary-coloured polka dots
  • men’s all-in-one long johns, complete with trap door, tie-dyed & smelling faintly of patchouli
  • a hooked rug
  • a working clock made of beach sand
  • a six-pack of gourmet hot sauces
  • hand-knitted mittens
  • more jams, pickles, and preserves than I could possibly eat in one season
  • and a $26 wheel of gouda

As it was, I bought two bottles of wine at a show discount, the kids spent their allowance on fudge, and Michael bought one bottle of hot sauce because it is delicious and also diabetic-friendly.

I am not now sitting on the couch surrounded by stuff and feeling buyers’ remorse.

I’ll be working at a show in two weeks’ time, with my dad. Glad for the jars! They should keep me out of trouble.

 

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Responses

  1. You’d get on well with my husband. He loves going to craft shows. Also: farmers’ markets, antique fairs and bookstores. I do not.

    • I’m with you on bookstores – I get so banjaxed in bookstores. But I do love farmers’ markets and craft shows. Antique fairs would just put me into deep, deep debt. BUT IT WOULD BE FUN.

      • “All of these are free at the library” I say to him we go to bookstores. “These are cheaper at the thrift store” I say when we go antiquing. “There are so many dirty hippies here” I say when we are farmer’s markets.

        • Everything smells like patchouli and self-righteousness. 😉

          • I love this comment.

  2. If that cheese is from the cheese guy in NS, it’s WORTH IT. BF takes the odd trip there for cheese 😀

    • I may buy a gouda wheel come December. I will definitely be buying his dragon’s breath blue, which is the Most Delicious Cheese, Ever.

  3. We would need a food jar. Most of our overexpenditures are from ordering out on nights when we’re too lazy to cook.

  4. I am in desperate need of a jar system. I am going to a Christmas craft show on Wednesday. I am not even going near the whole bookstore thing.


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