This year Emma asked for a sewing machine, sewing kit and fabric for Christmas. She should have been the easiest child to shop for but this gift turned into a nightmare all because I was trying to save some money.
Emma picked out a sewing machine in the first Toys R Us catalog of the season and never changed her mind. Also, She was adamant that the sewing machine and fabric were all she wanted for Christmas. I saw the sewing machine at Wal-Mart, Michaels and Toys R Us, but never purchased it because I was waiting for a deal as my goal is to not only be on budget at Christmas but under budget.
When I first saw the sewing machine at Michaels I decided I would go back when my coupon was good - that way I could get 40% off! While I waited for the week that I could use my coupon, I had made 2 trips to Wal-Mart and walked past the toy, but decided to wait, as I knew I could save money. By the time the coupon could be used at Michaels, the sewing machine was sold out. I was also told the toy was already on sale, so the coupon I had waited to use was no good anyway. I asked if they were expecting any more sewing machines and they said possibly, but that I would just have to check back in a few days.
In the end, I was out of luck and they were completely out of stock. Erik and I searched both Wal-Marts on the Saturday before Christmas and returned one more time to Michaels, just in case. We got on the Internet, searching frantically for this sewing machine but it was out of stock everywhere. We finally settled on a different brand that would be shipped after Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, while we were opening presents, I told Emma that she still had one more present coming but it would not arrive until after Christmas. I asked her what she thought it was but she had no idea what was missing from her list. I stared at her in disbelief as I realized she no longer remembered the gift that she had asked for numerous times!
The present arrived the day after Christmas. Emma excitedly opened the box to find a little blue sewing machine inside. I offered to set it up and work on a small sewing project with her. She smiled and said, “Maybe later”, then went off to play with a toy that she received 2 years earlier! The sewing machine sat on my dining room table for a week, untouched. Finally (after I put it away), Emma decided to practice sewing. Emma played with it once then put it back on the shelf where it has been ever since.
I spent more money on gas trying to track down the sewing machine than I did on the toy itself and, every time I went into a store, I purchased something, whether I needed it or not. In the end, I went over budget with this one toy trying to track in down. I could have bought Emma a different toy and she would have not been disappointed.
Next year, I am going to purchase the item the kids want the first time I see it and forget the bargain shopping!