Random Weekend Happenings and Thoughts On Buying

1) On Friday night the Mr and I watched Interstellar.  Several friends and acquaintances had told me to watch it because they enjoyed it and thought I would too.  While it is a long movie (just under 3 hours long) I loved it and did not want it to end.  Interstellar is one of those rare gems in that a) the ending is unexpectedly positive b) the cast and acting (and excuse the pun) is stellar and c) it explores the issue of climate change and the probable outcome for humanity if we continue along the same path.

Interstellar is not for everyone in fact I am delighted but surprised that it is doing as well as it is.  Four people walked out of the theater midway through the movie – a pity really because the last hour and half is the best.  I suspect those people were struggling with the whole ‘Theory of Relativity’ and ‘space-time continuum’ bit but if you are willing to suspend belief or accept that Physics just isn’t your forte then you will be completely gobsmacked as I was, by the spectacular visual effects.    This movie is a lot more than a story about exploring uncharted territory, it is primarily a story about a man who makes the heartbreaking decision to leave his children behind so he can ultimately save them.  There are scenes played out between Matthew McConaughey’s character and his daughter that are heartbreaking to watch.  If you thought Gravity was good then you will really enjoy this movie because in my opinion it is the better movie.

2) We experienced our first sub-zero temperatures this weekend and our first snowfall.  So Winter is (unofficially but undeniably) upon us.  While all our neighbours have strung up lights, decorated their trees (inside and out) and crowded their front gardens with fake reindeer, giant inflatable snowmen and Santas we have yet to decide on a tree.  In our family it has long been a tradition to put up the tree on the 15th December so I am still ok (although my neighbours are looking at me askew).

3) One of my fondest and earliest memories is of riding a carousel with my grandfather standing by (in case I slipped off). He would take me to the Christmas Fair and I would go on every ride – my favourite for a really long time was The Octopus.  I felt really brave holding onto my swivel chair at the end of that octopus’ long arms.

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Carousel Ride

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The Mr surprised me this year by taking me to the Christmas Fair early because he will be away for work until just a few days before Christmas.  I hauled myself up and onto the prettiest pony I could find and prayed I could stay on and keep the mulled wine I had imbibed earlier in my stomach.  I succeeded on both counts and was very proud of myself.

Did you have a favourite ride?  

I love markets and fairs especially at this time of the year.  I go to them not so much for the buying experience (although I do support artists and creators) but mostly for ideas and inspiration.  I also know that if I am going to find that ‘special gift’ it will probably be found in a craft market.

At this time of year, most of us tend to overspend (yes, guilty as charged) so in an effort to become more mindful of how and where I spend money I started considering the following before buying gifts:

Will the receiver find my gift useful or will it improve the quality of his/her life in some way?

Would the gift of my time, service or expertise be more helpful to the receiver and therefore a greater reflection of my love and appreciation?

How much of my gift (and wrapping) will end up in the landfill?

Does the company I buy from share my values and ethics?  For example I love supporting The Body Shop because they support Community Fair Trade and their products are ethically produced.

Do you follow any rules or guidelines when buying gifts or do you just run after the sales (I can’t fault you if you do) 😀

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33 thoughts on “Random Weekend Happenings and Thoughts On Buying

  1. In our family we haven’t exchanged gifts in decades except for children. I am working to get my husband to limit gifts to one or two. It seems silly to buy him socks when he can buy his own. I’d rather meet up with friends or have a day trip but I’m of an age where I have the things I need or want.

    • Kate I had to laugh at the socks 😀 every year without fail the men in our extended family get socks but as you point out it is an absurd gift because they can (and should) buy their own 😀 Like you I really enjoy outings or experiences that create and make memories.

  2. Two complete different topics in one blog hahaha
    I just happened to read about Interstellar yesterday and wondered if it was a good movie as the reviews were not so much in favour. Maybe now I will. Thks for your thoughts.
    Since we’re all alone here in the States..no more shopping!! Glad I’m not part of that crazyness anymore. However, when I still lived in Belgium our family had decided a couple of years ago, on new tradition. Instead of buying for everybody we would draw lots (or how do you say that in english) for whom we should buy a present. A lot cheaper and you get to focus only on one person. We would do this during the fall break so we’d have plenty of time to shop. One year we also decided on making things for each other which gave the exchange an more personal touch 🙂
    Shop locally from small businesses is my motto!
    Love love love carrousels – I would always sit on the horse! Nice pics!

    • Aren’t carousels the best! 😀 SO much fun! Do share your thoughts with me on Interstellar if you go watch it Karin. I really enjoyed it but like I say it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Several companies that I worked for used to draw straws in the Fall – it is a good system, and when I was a child, in our family it was common to receive gifts of homemade baked goods or chocolates for Christmas.

  3. I have been hanging out to see Interstellar for months. Going this weekend 🙂
    I love the photos of the carousel. [You look totally gorgeous.] There is something just a little magical about them I always feel – perhaps its a long ago memory. We are not ‘doing’ Christmas this year. We try to have every second Christmas together and in between the focus is different. For several years now I have made all my gifts – it can take months – but I enjoy doing it and thinking of my recipients for an extended period of time.

    • Do let me know what you think of Interstellar Pauline 🙂 You are so right, there is something magical and whimsical about carousels. Sadly it is not me in the picture. All pictures of me are a blur! (hubby had the camera) 😀 I am sure your gifts are spectacular Pauline and I love the way you personalize each one – gifts like that are blessings.

  4. I’m sorry to hear you’re in the deep freeze, Yolanda. We’re going to be near 70 degrees today, but then the temperatures will fall. Our weather is much like a roller coaster ride. Speaking of, I used to love riding roller coasters until 1995 when I rode one that went upside down. On the first loop I felt something rip in my neck and two days later I had a ruptured disc in my back. These days, I stick to the carousel. As far as shopping during for Christmas, I don’t do nearly as much as I used to, which is good for my wallet! 🙂

    • Usually at this time of year we get a lot of rain so the sunshine is a nice alternative but it is very cold. The cold took hubby and I by surprise so we never got to go on our nature hike this past weekend. I expect I will be taking lots of photos soon of the snow 😉 Ouch! sorry to hear about your roller coaster ride! Hope your back is better now Jill.

  5. We’ve got Interstellar in our Netflix queue. Thanks for the review.

    If that is you on the M-G-R . . . you look radiantly HAPPY! Whee . . .
    I like most rides from roller coasters to carousels to Ferris wheels to the octopus.

    Your shopping questions are great. We don’t exchange presents much ~ checks to our nieces and nephews (often added to their college fund) add quality to their life with adding packaging to the landfill. For others, we give food gifts for the most part. We sent Omaha Steaks to my brothers this year and bought a bunch of sweet treats for mom to enjoy.

    For us, we buy what we need when we need it . . . often saying “Happy Birthday” or “Merry Christmas” to each other as we wait in line to pay. Right now, we need a sofa and/or loveseat since we gave ours to our niece in Tampa for her first apartment. But we may wait until after Christmas to furniture shop. Shopping holds little appeal.

    • Yes I too love Ferris wheels and none of the really fast and potentially dangerous rides (although there have been plenty of incidents on Ferris wheels)! Love your gift ideas Nancy – very similar to mine. My sons and nephews and niece (only have the one) all prefer money so that is what they get. It is incredibly difficult to buy gifts for the younger generations now because they tend to have too much ‘stuff’ already or are obsessed with gadgets. I hope you find the perfect sofa Nancy.

  6. I loved the carrousel while a child, too. I love the photo of your beautiful self, you need to change your gravatar to this whirl of a blonde beauty! Smiles!
    I like the idea of your questions about gifts and paper, too. I am always in a quandary over what would suit each member of my family and a few of my friends, too. I plan on gift cards to restaurants this year. I enjoy receiving them, so will give them… Less paper. I collect my gift bags and tissue from almost every party with grandkids, sometimes others will pass me theirs. My own children recycle, too….
    I am so glad you are in the cold, since I am, too! I enjoy Christmas in the winter. Whenever we went to Florida or warmer climates, it just didn’t seem ‘right,’ Yolanda! I will wish you a festive and wonderful Christmas and holiday season. I like to go to our county fair and watch the kids, along with petting the animals and eating the delicious sweet treats and all!

    • I do prefer a Winter Christmas and am happy that I like you, can say I have experienced both! Sadly the beautiful lady in the pic is not me 😀 My hubby took photos and I came out looking like a black and white ball of blurred fun (I was wearing my HUGE winter jacket). I think when we gift others with things we ourselves love we can’t go wrong Robin so I am sure everyone will appreciate your gift cards.

      • Here I had thought you had gone blonde, ha ha! I like your brunette colored hair, Yolanda. I am brunette, thanks to hair dye which is really a dark ash blonde. I have tried golden brown but it turns it kind of orange-like…
        Anyway, sorry about the mentioning about the woman in the photo… I may have followed another one’s lead, too.
        I like the idea of a huge winter coat, mine is filled with down, red with a gray lining. I have about four coats but the warmest of all is red. Smiles and talk to you soon.
        I just saw, “Gravity,” which my brother wants me to write a post about it soon. I appreciated all the details you gave us, especially warning us to have “Our brains turned on,” so to speak and be prepared to Think! I also appreciate any time I learn a movie is long, so I use the bathroom 2 x before entering. Not sure why I have to try twice, but this has happened since I turned 50+

      • Gravity is a great movie and I really thought Sandra Bullock and George Clooney were great in it. I hope you line up Interstellar and get to see it with your brain turned on 😀 I forgot to mention it has to be vanilla ice cream on the waffles…divine. Have a wonder-full week Robin.

  7. I always loved the Carousel too, Yolanda. I used to enjoy the Big Dipper until I bashed my new teeth on the hand rail while riding one of the dips when I was about nine. Blood everywhere – quite put me off and Dad was mortified as he was supposed to be looking after me. Teeth survived but I never went on one of the rides since!

  8. Yolanda the movie sounds good, will have to check it out. I like to buy hand crafted gifts. I love the idea that someone worked hard to bring their vision into this life. Christmas paper is a waste isn’t it? Maybe this year I might just tie a bow around my gifts or use brown paper bags and the kids can decorate them. It is good to think of the environment in such a wasteful time as xmas. Kath.

    • For many years when my boys were younger (and still appreciated toys) I would only ever wrap their gifts in brown paper and drew stars and trees etc on them to make it pretty.

  9. Oh, I loved hearing about (and seeing) the carousel. I used to love it when I was really young. And it always seemed so romantic–out of old movies. My favorite ride, though, was the Scrambler or TiltaWhirl. I allways think of it as Scrambler, but maybe it was actually Tiltawhirl. Is Interstellar a new movie? I’m so ignorant of movies that I don’t even know!

  10. Excellent post, Yolanda. My mother-in-law collected Carousel horses, and when she was in hospice, she took great joy when six of the music boxes were wound up in a row next to her bed and the jumble of music and motion took over.

  11. We enjoyed Gravity and so now I’m looking forward to watching Interstellar thanks to you Yolanda! As for snow, I wish we had some, I love it 🙂 Such a lovely surprise for you by the Mr and happy memories of your grandfather. I used to love the Twizzler, those suspended chairs that go faster and faster spinning in and out and seem that they are going to crash into each other. Not sure I would enjoy that now though! Sorry I’m so late coming to this post Yolanda, I seem to have missed it for some strange reason. Hope your run up to Christmas is as stress free as possible and your tree is now happily twinkling away 🙂

    • Oh yes I remember that Twizzler (forget what it was called in South Africa – very scary) LOL I don’t enjoy fair rides anymore – except for the carousel, can’t resist those painted ponies 🙂 I hope to get all my Christmas shopping done this weekend… am soooo behind this year (the tree’s not up yet either) ah well ..:-)

      • Oh I know that feeling Yolanda. I hope you are successful in your Christmas shopping. I’ve got to get the fresh veggies and then that’s it for the shopping but still lots left to do…and the days are flying as we both know. But..we can only do what we can do…and really hoping you are feeling much better now 🙂

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