Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Swings and Things - Online Must Have Gifts - By Trish Berg

I love Christmas shopping, walking around the stores, seeing the neat decorations and enjoying the atmosphere. But with online shopping becoming more and more a part of our lives, I have also learned my way around cyber space.

The best gifts to buy online are the gifts that are specific. Like when my daughter asks for a pink unicorn Webkinz toy, or a specific song from a specific singer on a specific CD. As much as I enjoy Christmas shopping, I do NOT enjoy going from store to store, wasting gas, and losing my temper as I go in search of something that specific.

Those are the times when shopping online becomes your best option. Simply Google the gift, and voila, options. With just a click, you can search a variety of stores without spending an money on gas.

This summer, I have spent a little bit of time shopping online, and wanted to share a couple of neat gifts you can get for your children, or gift exchanges.


First of all, my almost-thirteen (thinks-she's-fifteen) daughter, Hannah wanted a tote bag from Ron Jon Surf Shop. My mother-in-law had been on a vacation in Florida a few years back, and had purchased one for me as a gift. I love the bag. I keep my cross stitching in that bag, and all the books I am reading. I toss my camera in there, and it is perfect for small trips.

It's cute. It's the perfect size, and it has lasted very well over the years.

The problem is, Hannah wants it. Yep she wants MY BAG!!!!

So, as her fall birthday approaches, my mother-in-law asked her what she wanted, and she said a bag like mine.

(2 Ron Jon Tote Bags pictured at right)

Well, we do not live near the beach here in Ohio, and Ron Jon Surf Shops are located near beaches on the coasts.

So I went online, and found the perfect bag for her. With a quick click, voila. Shopping is done.

Check out Ron Jon Surf Shop at http://www.ronjons.com/


The other online shopping I have done is to find a wooden seat, old fashioned tree swing for my daughter, Sydney's birthday. Though, this would also make a fantastic Christmas gift for kids and adults.

There is something romantic about a nice big tree swing you can sit on in your front yard.

I started by searching online for tree swings, then wooden tree swings. And though I did find some that were exactly what I was looking for, they were, well, NOT CHEAP!

The cheapest one was about $70 plus shipping. For a wooden seat and a rope????

They were beautiful, and well worth the money, but I just can't see spending that much on a tree swing. One place that had beautiful tree swings was "Breezy Wooden Swings" at http://www.breezyswings.com/

But, being cheap, I did what any mom would do - got creative.

I found the dimensions of the seat and called my local lumber store. I asked them what they would charge to cut a piece of pre-treated lumber in the dimensions of the swing seat, round the corners, and put 4 holes (1 in each corner) about 1 inch in. The holes needed to be 5/8 inch so I could get a very sturdy rope.

The bill? About $5-$10 for the swing seat.

I can stain it myself, and am going to a local hardware store to purchase the rope. I will look up online how to tie the rope through the swing and hang it on the tree.

My total cost? Less than $20.

So, as great as online shopping can be, you need to know what things are worth, and what you are willing to pay for an item, plus shipping.

And sometimes, you can simply get the dimensions or directions for a gift online, and make it yourself.

For directions to make your own wooden tree swing, check out DIY here.


Online shopping is about more than buying gifts. Its about having options, getting information and simplifying your life.

And if you use it wisely, it can do just that.

Whether you are shopping for the perfect tote bag or the romance of a wooden tree swing, you can find it online.

I'd love to hear your online shopping stories. What was the best online gift you found? Or what did you find online that you ended up making yourself?

Let's talk online shopping this week, and since it's only July, we have tons of shopping days until Christmas.

As always, enjoy the journey, Trish
Psalm 118:24

1 comment:

Cathy Messecar said...

Oh, I have an oak limb perfect for that tree swing. It looks like whether you want to bargain shop or shop online, the Word Quilters have great suggestions. I think a tree swing is a perfect gift for granddaughter or grandmother. Hint. Hint. Any family reading?...Cathy