The holiday season has begun and yet again this year I find myself struggling to find where I fit in. My mom got sick when I was 12 and I have such a short window of ever remembering a good Christmas. I remember the ones that were sad, lonely, and devoid of much joy. My mom was sick or we did not have money for food and bills so gifts, Christmas, and Santa were not top on the list.
Somehow my dad loved Christmas and yet what I saw of that was the love of decorating, the ambience that made it seem that all was well when really it was not. I am torn by my ghost of Christmas past, and how I really have never gotten into the Christmas spirit since I was 12. It has always felt forced and fake to me. I have been at other Christmas’ as an adult where the kids involved ripped their gifts open and only asked for more. It rubbed me the wrong way and I vowed to never breed that in my family. I either do not want to celebrate it the way the rest of the world does, or I want to create a different story. Chris agrees.
Added to my ghost of Christmas past — is that Nico’s birthday is on Christmas. Due to my past I would rather spend the day celebrating him and his birthday than Christmas. Yet, how do we do that when others in our life might not understand where we are coming from? I have long had the opinion (and have shared in other blogs) that I do not want to lie to Nico about Santa. I think there is a way to keep the world magical and real and not lie to our children. How do we ever expect them to trust us if we lie to them? Magic can happen with honesty. Did we all just get sucked into the story of Christmas? The one that circles back to Black Friday, retail, and consumerism? Or is it about spending time together, shared experiences, and giving to others? How many of us actually do that during the holiday season?
Gratefully, Nico will not know the difference this year, but next year will be different. This year (whether his birthday, or if we decide to do an actual Christmas) he is delighted to just have us open a box from Amazon Prime — even if the box contains batteries. Even better when it has a toy truck or school bus.
Call me extreme, but this momma is torn on what to do and how to bring the true spirit of Christmas into Nico’s life.
Do you ever have those days when you realize you have no more toilet paper? You have just used the last piece and you look in the hall closet and find out you dropped the ball? The next option is to use facial tissue, but you pull one out and find out it is the last one too. You do not have time to go to the store until late that night, and that is the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day.
Imagine having a button near where you stock up on toilet paper, facial tissue, trash bags, diapers (the list goes on). You see that you are almost out, and with a click of the button Amazon will send you refills right away. You do not have to get online and place a new order. The click of the button does all the work for you.
There are currently 18 buttons for different brands. The cost of each button is $5, and are only available for Amazon Prime members. An excerpt for how it works from Amazon.com:
“Amazon Dash Button is simple to set up. Use the Amazon app on your smartphone to easily connect to your home Wi-Fi and select the product you want to reorder with Dash Button. Once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends an order alert to your phone, so it’s easy to cancel if you change your mind. Unless you elect otherwise, Dash Button responds only to your first press until your order is delivered.”
Seems easy, and the future of how consumers might purchase everyday items such as shampoo, detergent, toilet paper — really anything that you get the same of every time. Only thing that randomly comes to me — kids that find the button and have a little fun. You might just have a truck load of toilet paper.
I am not a big holiday person. If I were to pick one that is higher on the list, it would be Thanksgiving. Gratitude, family and friends, and good food. What is not to like? What I am not a fan of is the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday. You can tell from this past Black Friday blog post. I would rather do almost anything than go shopping on Black Friday. There is not a deal that is that amazing to make it worth it to me.
So when I heard that Amazon is creating their own version of Black Friday on July 15, called: Prime Day. I thought, hmm. Part of me thinks the idea is brilliant, the other part hates the idea. Why not create a shopping day that is catered to the customers that shop the most with you? Almost like a customer appreciation day for those that are the most loyal — Prime members. Amazon states that there will be more sales than they have on Black Friday. Since Prime Day is meant to be a celebration of their 20th anniversary, I wonder if it is successful if they will bring it back in future years. If it becomes bigger than Black Friday, what will other retailers do to outrun Amazon?
It is definitely what we need — Black Wednesday in July. 😉
They are also offering a free 30-day membership to Amazon Prime for those that want to take part in the day. How many will keep their membership after the 30 days, and how many will drop their membership? It starts right at midnight, so be sure to take a nap, so you can be wide-eyed and ready for a day of deals.
Not sure if I will partake, but Happy Early Birthday, Amazon.
It has been awhile since I have shared from a book I have read. A book I finished last week called: “Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer” by Una LaMarche was one of the better, more humorous books I have read in a while. The cover is classic. An early childhood photo of LaMarche with a unibrow. Such a clever title for a memoir, for someone who started early on in life having an actual unibrow. It spurred a conversation at work, if your very young child had very dark hair and a unibrow, would you do something about it, or let them get teased? Such a tough decision. You do not want them to think about their body, vanity, and waxing at such a young age, but if they are endlessly teased, what would you do?
LaMarche is hilarious. She covers a plethora of topics, from Barbies, to the etiquette for selecting which stall/toilet to go to in a bathroom, and which one is the “poop stall,” to Girl Scout cookies, I love this quote — how many of us wish we could just get our Girl Scout cookie fix via Amazon Prime (anytime of year).
“Yes, that’s right. Anyone can log onto this website to locate young girls anywhere in the country, and yet I cannot get my Tagalong fix using Amazon Prime shipping.” Page 184
I can relate to some aspects of LaMarche’s childhood. School was sometimes awkward. Maybe we all had a time growing up when life sucked, or when we maybe just did not fit in. For me it happened often throughout the years prior to college. Whether it was because of being poor and having hand-me-downs, or in not relating to my peers. We all probably had some sort of awkward stage growing up. Maybe we got that funky haircut, or went through a strange phase in how we dressed or what we thought was fun. Which is why I related to LaMarche:
“Because being loud about it is the only way that I know how to find other members of my tribe: yet-to-peak former outcasts with the dreaded ‘good personality’ of the previously homely. I just don’t feel safe otherwise. I mean, I can’t trust anyone who never had an awkward phase in high school. Those people are the real freaks.” Page 13
If you want to laugh, pick up Unabrow. I can assure you a cackle will escape your mouth. I had many dog-eared pages that I read to Chris to share her fun rants. Bathroom humor, childhood awkwardness, Amazon Prime for Tagalongs. All in good fun.
Yesterday I wrote about my treadmill. I love it, with one exception it does not have a book holder. It has a tiny ledge that fits an iPad or eReader. Here is my dilemma: I am old school. I still check out books at my local library. I have investigated and most of the books that are on my list are not available on the eReader app available from my library. So I started the exploration of other paid eReader apps. Here is what I found:
Amazon: You have to own a Kindle ($59 and up), then you can pay $9.99 a month for their Kindle Unlimited Library, but most of the titles that I am looking for you must have an Amazon Prime account ($99 a year). However, you can only check out one book a month with Amazon Prime. If I am already paying $9.99 a month, and their better selection is with the Amazon Prime eBooks, then how is this a good deal at all? Here is a good recap of what they offer.
Oyster: I signed up for a free trial (caveat: their website says the free trial is 14 days, once I signed up the site emailed me and said my trial was only 2 days). It is $9.95 a month, but most of the titles I want to read are not available in their app.
OverDrive: Part of the Oregon Digital Library Consortium, it is free to me, but again the selection is slim to the list of books I want to read.
3M Cloud: Part of the Multnomah County Library, it is free to me, and the selection does not have the list of books I want to read.
I struggle with my dilemma. If I can go to the library and check out a book for free, why is it so hard to find a good selection of free eBooks? I have a hunch if I want to keep reading while I run, I will have to either have Chris rig some sort of book attachment, utilize at least 5 different eBook apps in order to find the book I want to read, or start to pay $$$ for each of the books I want to read. If I can find almost any song I want on Spotify for $10 a month, why is it so hard to do the same for eBooks?
What do you do? Do you have any ideas for me? My goal is to continue to read my average of 10 books a month, cheaply and easily, and potentially now on my iPad. Help!