Saturday, December 25, 2010

The $7 Present Pile

Oliver has been tossing and turning all night. I wonder if it's the excitement in the air or the glow of the tree from downstairs. His last little wake up was at 3:45am. He went back to sleep; I didn't. My mind wandered, so I decided to get up and brew some coffee to wait for Christmas festivities to begin.

I got home from visiting my parents and sister very late last night. Andrew and Oliver had gone home hours earlier for Oliver's bed time. Once home, I was excited to set up gifts for Oliver, and I pulled his wrapped packages from the closet. A few fell with a bang and woke him. From upstairs, I heard, "Ma. Ma. Ma." That little guy melts my heart. I waited a few minutes, and he went back to sleep. I arranged his packages under the tree and felt so proud of myself for being able to prepare such a wonderful Christmas for our little man.

As most people know, we don't have much money. I was very fortunate this year to come across enough deals, contests, and giveaways to win a large pile of presents for almost no money. Black Friday, I stood in line at Sports Authority at 4am and got a free $10 gift card. With that, Oliver got a padded bat & ball set. They also gave me another $10 gift card, which I used later to get a kick ball and a gift for next year (I paid $2 for those items). With Jingle Cash at Walgreen's, I picked out a fireman toy that was on sale to stow away for next year. A website called GILT gave away $20 for a limited time for joining their site. Andrew joined and got a bead toy (like the kind you see in the waiting rooms at doctors' offices) for Oliver, completely free. I joined and got a soft, monster bowling set for Oliver, which cost me $3 after the $20 discount. From a blog giveaway, I won $15 to a website called Ecomom and got Oliver a dinosaur puzzle for free. From a giveaway on another blog, I won a gift card to a website called Slimy Bookworm, and so I got Oliver three books and paid just $2 in shipping. I won a gift card from Amazon and used it to get Oliver a few more free books. I'd also won a gift card to a website called Jasmere, which works (sort of) similarly to Groupon. One day, a natural toy vender (Natura Toys) was featured on Jasmere, and so I got Oliver a toy for this year and a toy for next year for absolutely no cost. In addition to the toys listed here, I had a few stowed away for today from earlier (just in case I couldn't afford anything), including a wooden train and an animal puzzle.

I'm anxious for him to wake up so we can open all these gifts! I can't wait for next year, too, when he'll be (almost) as excited as I am.


colleen.shattuck said...

I'm so proud of you and all your hard work to provide a great home and loving environment for our boys. You do an amazing job finding such great deals. I wish I had your knack!

Linda Kush said...

Becky, I really enjoyed following your treasure hunt, and I'm very impressed. Instead of feeling deprived, you used ingenuity and fully enjoyed the challenge. You literally made something out of nothing. Well, out of $7.