Today we went to Macy's old preschool for their annual Secret Shop. This is the fourth year we have taken the kids to do their holiday shopping. They LOVE it. They get a present for Trent, me and each of their siblings. This is the first year Ben and Macy used their own money (it's amazing how frugal they can be when Mom isn't writing the check). This was the first year Claire was old enough to participate. (She went way over budget!)
In addition to family presents, the kids are allowed to get one present for themselves. Most of the items are either gently used, new-but previously owned, hand crafted (and there are varying levels of talent represented believe me) and what I will call "other". Items cost anywhere from .50 to 17.00. I usually give the kids a budget of 10.00.
Here are Eleanor and Claire with their gifts to themselves. You are wishing you were getting these lovely items for yourself aren't you? Let's take a closer look.
Here we have a lovely little Christmas tree. Not only is the tree decorated, but it comes in a lovely ceramic Santa boot. I know this will surprise you, but it only cost $2.00. Eleanor just wanted you to know that. She feels it was a steal and thinks she may have may the best purchase of the day. Lucky her. I wish I had a small decorated Christmas tree tucked in a ceramic Santa boot. She is quite the shopper.
Claire purchased a tin full of candy for herself. Remember I said some of the presents were hand crafted or "other"? Well apparently the people who put on the Secret Shop get together about once a week for a couple of months and during this time they put together the hand crafted gifts and "other". Claire's tin falls in the "other" category. Apparently they get these empty tins and they fill them with candy and sell them at the secret shop. Here is what was in Claire's tin:
That's right for the amazing price of $1.00, Claire bought a tin filled with one small bag of Curious George fruit bites, one largish Tootsie Roll and about 10 of the mints shown at the bottom of the picture. I know, you are speechless. I must ask though, why the fruit bites and the tootsie roll? Why not just the mints? I guess it's the little extra surprises that make it special. You would expect mints in a tin, but not a little bag of Curious George fruit bites and a Tootsie Roll. I could take a lesson or two from those creative workers who put together gifts for the Secret Shop.
The kids have already pinched and poked and are dying for everyone to open their presents. We'll do that on December 24th. They'll be making things for each other between now and then too, but it wouldn't be the holidays without a trip to the secret shop. I can hardly wait to see what they've picked out for me.