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What's WYT Shopping?

Aug 17, 2007
Too busy to gift shop during the year and too overwhelmed at Christmas? WYT shopping is for you! WYT stands for While You're There. It's based on the premise you can buy presents anywhere.

When you go to the gym, buy a one-month membership for a friend. Misery loves company.

While you're at the supermarket, check the specialty aisle. Cheese stuffed olives for martinis, truffle oil for gourmet cooking, macadamias for memories of Hawaii - food is a great present because it doesn't need dusting.

You've had to make another trip to buy a gift card - give someone the gift of not having to make these guilt trips. While you're at the stationery store, buy an alphabetized file. Put a couple of anniversary cards in the "A" section, birthday cards in the "B" section, get well cards in the "G" section and so on. It's the gift that keeps on giving - peace of mind.

When you're at the nursery buying plants to replace ones you've over watered, buy a trowel or pruning shears. Combined with a gift certificate for a manicure, it's a gift for someone with a greener thumb than yours.

The next time you're having dinner out, buy a gift certificate and give the gift of not having to cook dinner.

When you drop donations at the thrift store, look around. Another person's give-away can be your give-to. It's the perfect place to find collectibles - like souvenir plates for Cousin Walter, who doesn't travel farther than the Travel Channel.

When you vacation, buy local crafts. If you visit museums, visit the gift shops. Posters and books make special presents for arty friends. A box of blank cards makes a special present for anyone. It's much less expensive than Hallmark and says you cared enough to send the very best - of Matisse, Picasso or Warhol.

When you're making prints of your vacation pictures, buy a frame. Grandparents can never have too many pictures of the children they let eat cookies before dinner.

However, to get the full benefit from WYT shopping, always ask for a box for your purchase. When you get home, wrap it and label it.

Yes, this means using Christmas gift wrap year-round. It also means when others are crazed by holiday shopping, you can join me at the mall, where I sit at a cafe and scan the crowds for the ghost of my Christmas past.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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