My profile lists me as a teacher, and I am. But I haven't worked in the classroom for several years. I work in a school for kids with special needs and my current job is technology director and development of professional development activities. But I still get invited to help out in the classrooms now and then. And today was one of those days. I got to go on a field trip to do Christmas shopping with a class. What an interesting experience! Each student had brought a shopping list from home with some gift ideas (suggested by the parents) for members of their family. So we loaded up the vans and off we went!
The main objective of this trip was the mall. But before the mall, we made a stop at Target to try to knock off some ideas at a discount. The student I was assisting had candles on the list for several folks. Of course, he had to sniff EVERY candle in the store. And I don't mean every scent. I mean EVERY CANDLE!! The 3-inch jasmine. The 4-inch jasmine. The 5-inch jasmine. You get the picture. Just knowing what jasmine smelled like was not good enough. Of course, he wanted me to sniff them too and offer guidance! By the time he finally made a choice, my sense of smell was pretty much shut down from too much sniffing!
Its funny to shop with someone who has been carefully taught to pay attention to prices. He clearly had the idea that the cheaper it is, the better off he would be. For example, in addition the candles mentioned above, his list had 'tealights' for grandma. And there were many options. Plenty of little red and green holiday tealights in tiny glass holders. Plenty of various colored and scented tealights. But he spotted the giant bag of 100 white, unscented tealights with just their little tin-cup holders. And 100 candles for only 2 bucks seemed like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! It took a lot of convincing that, while that was quite an irresistible bargain, the other options really were a nicer gift for grandma.
It's also interesting to shop with kids who have limited organizational skills but very strong ideas about where they want to go. My kid had a definite series of stores he wanted to visit in the mall. Of course, we walked past all of them 6 or 8 times in the process of visiting them in the order that existed in his head! But we had plenty of time so I was happy to just tag along.
It was a fun day. We had a nice lunch together. And he'll be able to put a present under the tree for all his family. And with all that walking, I shouldn't have to exercise for a week!