Friday, December 26, 2008

Beautiful Bargains

I generally don't have enough money or energy the day after Christmas to scout out gifts for next year (which even the bargain shopper in me would find gauche) or hunt down cashmere sweaters for myself. I do, however, usually find myself seeking an adventure by mid afternoon. After multiple, back-to-back days, of shopping, wrapping, baking, and being somewhere on time (or sociably late), I have recovered quite well by early afternoon on the 26th of December. Despite all previous protests (I am not going anywhere near the mall tomorrow!), after a glass of mimosa, I usually give in to my inner bargain hunter and hit the strip.

Since I wasn't in search of gifts that would sit in storage, and didn't need gift tags or bags or wrapping paper, I was looking for inspiration. Maybe I'd see an ornament that would look perfect on my tree, or a garland for my banister, or another decoration that would be worth the 70 percent off retail.

Piece by piece it spoke to me.

First the hurricane lamp. After several minutes of hemming and hawing (or as my boyfriend would say with his Boston accent, hemming and hahring) I chose the largest of three sizes, with a gold pedestal and trim (vs. silver). From there I walked around in search of something with which to fill it, although that wasn't a necessity. I have ornaments that went back in storage instead of on my tree this year and I feel creative enough that next year it wouldn't be empty at Christmas time. But then I found myself looking at beautiful discounted ribbons, which were displayed near the make-your-own wreath bins full of glittery bulbs and sprigs and...things I've frankly never seen before. I started filling and emptying and arranging and filling again.

A few minutes later I paid the cashier $12.60.

I came home and hemmed and hahred all over again, but eventually made this simple centerpiece that now sits, aptly, at the end of my coffee table.

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