As we go through the holidays we all have a lot on our mind. Most of us have too much on our minds.

Thoughts and mental reminders pop into my head nearly every waking minute. The thoughts may be prompts for small tasks or perhaps it will be a “dreaded, time-sensitive thought” like….

“I really should decorate for my guests and start shopping for gifts since Christmas is just 17 days away.”

Every year I have the intent to start getting ready early and to finish by Thanksgiving. The first thoughts show up around Halloween. But I always tell myself that I have plenty of time to do all this stuff before I need to stuff the turkey. Every year I tend to move slowly .

But for some odd reason the clock seems to tick faster after Thanksgiving. And before I know it, the clock is ticking at warped speed and here I am once again, at 17 days until Christmas.

Yesterday I decided it is time to get everything done by the end of this week. I started by making that all important “to-do-list.” That meant putting all my thoughts and holiday tasks on paper, or better yet, into my phone. As I sat down to create the perfect to-do-list, I suddenly could not remember everything that was once an important thought. It seemed like hundreds of important things that once flashed through my head were suddenly gone. Then another thought came to mind, I should have been writing my thoughts down as they popped into my head……DUH!

If I write it down I will not forget it. If it is on my list I am not likely to blow it off or completely forget it.

My “BIG THOUGHT” of today is to create the list where I can collect all my thoughts notate my tasks. Each day, the list will give me the needed nudge, to act on my thoughts and tasks. I will reward myself with a check mark as I knock things off my list.

The heading of my super-duper, to-do-list simply says, “JUST A THOUGHT.”

This sounds simple and easy to manage because they are just short thoughts. I could add “go holiday shopping” or I could add all aspects of what shopping entails. From gassing up the car and traveling to some crowded shopping mall, to roaming through store after store hoping to find the perfect gift for Aunt Betty (who I only see once a year…. or decade.)

Every year I believe that going to the mall with festive holiday music, Santa and his elves, the smell of the cinnamon buns, pretzels, the bright lights, and displays will put me in the spirit of the season.

But I often just leave the mall completely frustrated with nothing in hand except an over-priced coffee and a pretzel. My aunt’s perfect gift was not at this mall so maybe it will be at a different mall tomorrow. Do I dare try this again tomorrow? The little voice inside my head tells me that the same hurdles and frustration will be there tomorrow, in any mall I decide to go to.

Every year I tell myself that I am going to simplify shop online. There I can get everything I need. Online, I can find an excellent selection and get the best deals without the stress of the malls.

JUST A THOUGHT…. This WILL be the year I will finally remove stress and…I WILL DO ALL MY SHOPPING ONLINE!

But what are the perfect gifts that people truly will enjoy and will fit into my budget?

JUST ANOTHER THOUGHT……Everyone loves to be entertained, so music, movies, games, or books can always spark joy or warm feelings for everyone on my shopping list.

  • I know that my Godson is a gamer so he will love a new game.
  • My niece started collecting vinyl so she will get something to add to her collection.
  • My nephew thinks he is an expert on hip hop, so he will get the “Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap” Box Set so he really will know his hip hop history.
  • Great Grandma loves Tony Bennett so his new and final studio album with Lady Gaga “Love for Sale” could be perfect her.

I will go to and find something for everyone on my holiday list. My gifts will spark emotion, bring back vivid memories, or simply put a good feeling in the hearts and minds of my loved ones.

This year I am giving gifts of music or movies to my special friends. Many of us share similar tastes. I suppose that is why our friendship and bond has endured throughout the years. I love to give meaningful gifts throughout the year at any time, sometimes with no special occasions. But I have decided that for the holidays this year, I am going to give the gift of music and movies to my friends. I will add a card to explain how this music or movie reminds me of them. My gift will be creative, thoughtful, and affordable so I can reach a few more loved ones this year.

For instance, I have a very vivid memory of driving up the coast with a bestie, singing loudly to Joni Mitchell, Carole King and James Taylor songs. It was a beautiful, sunny California day; the music was loud, and we were singing with pure joy in our hearts.

Unfortunately, she had to move away so I am going to send her Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” and “Court and Spark” and tell her what that day with her in Cali, meant to me.

This is a personal and thoughtful gift that I hope will give her some of the joy we felt on our memorable drive up the coast. It is not an expensive gift but with my hand-written card it could be priceless to her. Her friendship is priceless to me, and it I will be heart-warming just writing her card.

I have another friend that I went to see the original “Matrix” with in 1999. The film blew our minds. We could not stop talking about it. I will never forget where, when and with whom I shared this movie with. The Matrix franchise is releasing, “The Matrix Resurrection” on December 22, 2021.

I am going to send my friend the original “Matrix” on DVD with a card telling him what our “Matrix” experience meant to me.

I will always think of him and our special day when I watch any Matrix related films.

Going forward I have decided to include thoughts on my BLOG that are reminders about certain events, the latest music, movies, upcoming holidays, and other random stuff.

When you see “JUST A THOUGHT” on my blog, it will be a short, sweet reminder about something you may be interested in knowing more about.

Here is my first, Violet Brown Told You…


You can still find perfect gifts in stock with time to get them before the holiday if you act now. So, stop procrastinating before these 17 days will turn into 9 days.

Go to and check out all the “meaningful” movies, music and more that you will find for your loved ones, co-workers, or for those holiday parties that require a gift under $10 or $20. You can find everyone’s gift and still stay within your budget!