Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sibling Christmas Shopping Trips, 2013 & 2014

My brother Aaron and I have a long-standing tradition of Christmas shopping together. I've written about some of our Christmas shopping trips here and here, in case you need a little background. We always have a great time and once-in-awhile we come away with a gift or two. Usually we just buy each other things, or Aaron deliberates over toiletry and candle scents while I soak in the general freedom that comes from not having three small children to control in public.

Last year I slacked and didn't write about our trip. Our sister Crystal (referred to as Bean from here on) was visiting, so we had the rare opportunity to all three go Sibling Christmas Shopping together (typically called our Non-Shopping Trip). This was something that hadn't happened since going Mom Shopping together when we all lived in Idaho a hundred years ago.

It used to be that Aaron and I would go to a mall for our shopping trip, but as I've done the suburban creep, farther and farther from the Pentagon City Mall that we used to go to, we've switched to the big box stores in shopping centers out here in the 'burbs. Lately it's mostly been World Market, where we stay until we are kicked out at closing time.

Last year it was no different-- mostly World Market. I did come away quite productive once again. I guess with age comes wisdom and knowledge that time is short and Christmastime can be stressful when you wait too long to get gifts. I was RIDICULOUSLY efficient and productive, with my list in hand. It was easy to knock of gifts for Aaron and Bean, since they were with me. The highlight of last year's trip, though, was when we escaped from shopping to have a beer at Red Robin and our waiter's name was Tim, the only missing sibling from our trip. It felt a little weird but we did have someone take a picture of us with Tim. What was even a little weirder was that we asked him to make a funny-face pictures with us. He was a good sport.

2013 trip-- my face says it all

We wondered where Bean went...
and found her on a couch display in the entryway.

At Target, the biggest decision, for some reason, hinged on
which Q-tips were better quality: real ones, or Up and Up

Three-sibling Christmas shopping, with waiter Tim in foreground in slightly
awkward situation
He even made a weird face for us-- what a guy.
This year Aaron and I (mostly me) were super-productive again-- knocking all kinds of things off the list. If I ever lost Aaron I knew to find him smelling candles or deodorant. He spent a lot of time with tree-based and festive scents, settling after much deliberation on spiced cedar and balsam fir. We had our typical stops at Target and World Market, a short one at The Container Store, and one very long one at Home Goods, where Aaron camped in the glassware and stemware section and I was in the seasonal decorations area, daydreaming about having enough room in our house to rationalize buying more Christmas decorations. In World Market, Aaron drooled (Though I've tried, I don't understand this) over Tunisian olive oils and their rich history.

Afterward, we went to a new bar and grill close to my house where we people-watched and had some heart-to-heart-- the essence of sibling shopping. It was our last Sibling Non-Shopping Trip with him as a single man; next year at this time my little brother will be married! I lost my camera and alas have no pictures to share from the shopping trip this year, but it was good to keep the tradition alive for one more year.

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