Archives for November 13, 2012

A Story of Christmas Panic!

I procrastinate.  Even when there’s no need to procrastinate.

And sometimes usually it gets me into trouble.

I decided about a week ago what my daughter’s big Christmas gift was going to be this year.  This is our second year to have a real saved-all-year Christmas budget, and honestly . . . I thoroughly enjoy choosing one large gift for each kid.

This wasn’t a terribly difficult decision.  I’m a sucker for pretend play stuff, and dollhouses have always been something of an obsession for me.

When we walked past the toy aisle in Walmart, she stopped to gaze longingly at the display of the Disney Princess  Ultimate Dream Castle by Mattel.


Then, when she was sick last week and watching a large amount of TV, I noticed that the only commercials she didn’t speed through were the ones for that same castle.

So I decided that I was going to get it for her . . . on Monday.  I was rather proud of myself for having a plan.  For NOT waiting until after my current stressful commitments (directing a big Christmas show) the way I usually do. Because sometimes when I put things off like that . . . I end up missing out.

Then Saturday night, on a trip to Walmart to get a birthday present for my mother, I happened to go by the toy department.  As I glanced down the center aisle where my daughter had stared at the castle and dreamed . . . . I saw that it wasn’t there anymore.

Instead, there was a huge display of batteries.  I decided not to panic (yet) and calmly glanced down the aisles.

I turned when I saw pink.  Heading down the girl’s toy aisle, I was relieved to see the Cinderella display.

But as I scanned it, there was no Dream Castle!

Yes, another version of a Cinderella castle that would do in a pinch, but I was so determined to act on my (NOT last minute) idea!

Now, I was beginning to panic.  I went through the toy section, skipping the boy aisle, and saw the Little People Princess Palace.

Totally adorable . . . but not right at all for my six-year-old. That was pretty much the last aisle of the section, so my heart was officially sinking at this point.

I mean, really.  For once, I didn’t wait until the last minute, and it was already sold out?  On November 10th??

I turned one last corner and found the shelf where the big toys were, and there it was.  One last castle.


But I didn’t have the money right then.  We have that Christmas savings account, so the money did exist, but I hadn’t taken it out yet.

I had never used layaway before, but I’d read about it and it seemed like a good solution.  You can hold an item in layaway (guaranteeing it’s yours) without having to pay for the whole thing right then.  I also liked the idea of NOT having to get it home and hidden in my closet right away.

I ran to grab a shopping cart, since I’d entered the store with no intention of buying such a big item.  I’m sure the desperate look in my eyes scared a few people as they scooted out of my way.

Thankfully, no other somewhat-crazy mother had grabbed the last castle in that amount of time, so I was able to get it into my cart.  I was a little disappointed that the box was slightly damaged, but it looked like the contents were fine.

I just wanted the assurance that I wasn’t going to have to run all over town looking for another castle!

On my way to the layaway desk in the back of the store (near the photos and bathrooms), I passed the perfect gift for my mother.

Oh yes.  Yes, I did.

I bought my mother a Snuggie . . .

Which was good, because I’ve been known to get excited about my Sidetrack Task and not get what I actually needed when I came to the store!

Layaway was incredibly easy.  There’s a $5 fee that’s refunded when you make your last payment and take the item home.  (If you cancel the layaway, you do lose that $5.) I put the minimum down, which was $20.08.  It went very quickly, and the WalMart employee gave me tons of information and answered all of my Layaway Newbie questions.  I just have to finish paying for it and get it out of Layaway by December 14th.  They’re even going to remind me via text message. 

As a chronic forgetter, I’m glad for that.

Whew.  I’m so glad that’s done.  One huge thing checked off my Christmas to do list, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

Go me!

My quick trip to WalMart took longer than I expected and it was dark by the time I left.  But I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Hubby about my narrow gift escape.

And that night at bedtime, I did some stealthy Mom Psychology Stuff to be sure that this was, in fact, what my daughter was going to ask for for Christmas.  It wasn’t hard, and has been made ever-so-much easier by letting her play on the (free) Disney Princess Augmented Reality App on my iPhone.  We’ve all had fun with that!

The app lets you create princess outfits, carriages and dance at the ball.   It says you can unlock extra accessories by finding things at Walmart, but my daughter played with it for a while and eventually everything unlocked.

(It’s okay to wear a tiara and jewels, but no makeup . . . right?)


I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™and Disney Consumer Products, Inc #CBias #SocialFabric

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