Squawk Radio

Friday, December 23, 2005

On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas, the Squawkers bring to thee...CHRISTIE RIDGWAY!


Confession time. Are you like me? When you were out Christmas shopping this season, did you tuck a few things in those cute red and green shopping bags for yourself? Is your favorite Christmas giftgiver none other than, well, you?

And should we feel guilty about this?

First, though, let's get a few things straight.

1. If your purchase was an outfit for a holiday event, that does not count as a "gift for yourself." You are completely off the hook, even if it was that cute pair of blue pumps you bought to wear with jeans and a sweater the night the girls went out "casual" for the holidays. Ooops, that was me with the blue pumps. You probably just went ahead and wore something you already had. Go, you.

2. If you happened to be wandering through the lingerie section looking for cute PJs for your teenage niece, and you noticed that bras and panties were on sale, and you bought sports bras for yourself, that does not qualify as a gift for yourself. Sports bras are for exercise. For when you start going back to the gym in January. Naturally, you get a pass on anything exercise-related. If a few of your favorite panties got into the bag, well, thinking of all that exercise made you realize your butt will be getting smaller so you need new underwear. Makes sense, right?

3. Make-up doesn't count either. It's not your fault! You walked into Sephora an innocent, intent on getting a gift certificate for yet another teenage girl on your list. Can you be blamed for being seduced by that darling pale blue satin bag they wrap it in? So of course you had to wander through a second time when you remembered someone else who would love a gift certificate (no, not you, you don't buy a certificate for yourself, duh) and there was a display of glosses and pencils from that cool lip plumping line you've been wanting to try. Right by the checkout counter! Sitting there with that "buy me" look, just like those little Godiva chocolate boxes next to the register at the bookstore. Irresistible. If you only bought two, you should be given a medal!

4. Then there's that Williams and Sonoma bundt pan shaped like a gingerbread house and the gingerbread-and-walnut cake mix to go along with it. Is it your fault you purchased it, then decided to buy your sister-in-law a chocolate fountain instead? Won't it cost more in gas to return the items than to just keep them and provide hours of holiday fun and yummy treats for the family?

But what if you purchased something that doesn't fall within the above-defined categories? Don't panic. Don't feel guilty. Do what I do. Wrap it up, put a tag on it to you, "From Santa" or the dog, or the plants you never water, whatever. On Christmas morning, if your family is anything like mine (one husband and two sons who do their shopping on the 24th) not a single member will comment upon or care that you have these mysterious presents under the tree. Gifts that were hand-picked for you by the one person who knows and loves you best.

And you were a good girl all year, so you deserve it!

Now it's your turn. What shame-free goodies (and that would be all of them) did you buy for yourself this season?

(Christie Ridgway has been shopping and writing in California all her life. Published by Silhouette, Harlequin, and Avon Books, her most recent release is set in sunny Palm Springs and is titled AN OFFER HE CAN'T REFUSE. Visit www.christieridgway.com for more about Christie and her books.)
Elizabeth Bevarly, 8:53 AM