Well, I did it! I told myself I would be completely finished my Christmas shopping by the end of November this year, and I’ve almost started!
The truth is: life is hard enough without adding Christmas shopping to the mix. I realize that there are two types of people in this world; the type who are finished their Christmas shopping in August, and can spend the Christmas season drinking hot buttered rum and laughing at the rest of us, those poor souls out in the snow, looking for Christmas gifts on Dec. 24th, or waiting fruitlessly for the gifts that we only just ordered the week before Christmas to arrive in the mail in time.
I love Christmas, I do, but I really hate shopping in any form, and time-pressure shopping in stores full of other frantic, last-minute shoppers really sucks the Christmas spirit right out of me, like hot chocolate being sucked right out of the couch cushion by the child who spilled it there. And speaking of kids, have you ever tried to shop for them when they are with you? Because if you have ever tried to, say by sneaking their presents into the shopping cart without them noticing, you will already know that this is a bad idea. Firstly, your children are highly attuned “Christmas Present Detectives” who will stop at nothing to determine when they are getting presents and what those presents might be, and WHY you have hidden presents in the cart and WHO those presents might be for and HOW they can get their hands on those presents as soon as possible, please mom? Mommy? Mama? Mom? Mommommommommom mama? MAMA? MA??? And secondly, because then you might end up making some quick and terrible decisions so you can get the heck out of the store with at least one thing for them, like buying your children the game Twister (see why this is a terrible decision by clicking here).
But perhaps the worst thing of all for me, speaking of Christmas shopping, is trying to determine what I, myself, might like for Christmas, so that I can generate a list of potential items for the poor sucker who had the misfortune of drawing my name in the family “Secret Santa” draw. I always try to think of a list for myself, but it is always very difficult, perhaps because I am a mother and am so used to only keeping track of the needs of my small people, but also probably because I am getting so very particular at this fine old age I have reached. For example, I really need a pair of slippers. Even as I type this, my feet are freezing cold and I hate having cold feet, but I also kind of hate socks, and how you have to find a pair and make sure they are clean. I like how slippers just sit there by the door, ready for use, not needing to be washed like socks do. They are just always filthy and ready for action, and I like that.
However, with my larger-than-average lady feet, the slippers that are gifted to me are usually too small, or don’t fit right, or don’t have the support that I need, so I kind of just need to go shopping for slippers myself. But slippers would be the perfect, affordable, gifty-type thing to put on a Christmas list, wouldn’t they? Yes. Yes they would. So I usually put them on the list, and then come Christmas morning I get to make some lovely, well-meaning family member feel terrible that the slippers they kindly bought me for Christmas are too small, despite the fact that they bought size “Very Large.”
So because I am terrible at thinking of things, here is what my typical Christmas list usually looks like (to the great annoyance of my family):
3) A scarf, maybe?
6) Gift cards that I will put in my wallet and forget I have.
7) An expensive dream gift that is not within the budget, I just wanted you to know that I want it.
8) Really, you don’t have to get me anything. I’m sorry.
See? Aren’t I the most annoying? Now you can understand why my family hates me! (Just kidding … I hope.)
But if I were to make a very honest Christmas list, for what I truly want this Christmas … and I’m talking a Christmas DREAM list … it just might go something like this:
1) Some guilt-free peace and quiet.
2) For my children to stop peeing on the floor, or the carpet, or the couch, or on ANY surface or receptacle that is not the toilet itself (and the inside of it, specifically), because I’m getting a little tired of this. Just a tad.
3) Hawaii. All of it. Clear out the islands for just me, please, and ready the Mai Tais. Okay … I guess my husband can come too.
4) Something that you saw that made you think of me, that I really secretly also wanted but never said out loud, but that you knew I would like because you know me SO well. Thanks Santa!
5) That perfect scarf that I saw one time a few years ago that I wish I had just bought for myself. Alternatively, please just invent a time machine so you can go back in time and convince me to buy that scarf.
6) The perfect pair of slippers, for a generous-footed gal like myself who appreciates slippers that stay on and have a back, and also have just the perfect amount of support, but aren’t too stiff. You know, just read my mind. Thanks again, Santy!
7) For nobody to be embarrassed at Christmas because the slippers they bought for me are too small. Now, buying slippers that are embarrassingly too LARGE is fine. That would be a refreshing change, actually.
8) All the stuff that I need, but I forget about until the moment I need it. That stuff.
10) For you to just do all of my Christmas shopping for me.
Obviously I won’t be expecting any of that stuff under the tree this Christmas. And I will still enjoy Christmas, because when all is said and done, I love the part where I get to see the faces of the family members when they open the gifts that I hated buying. I know it’s cliché to say, but it makes it all worth it. I also can’t wait to see my husband’s face when I open that coupon book he made me, full of coupons for guilt-free peace and quiet. Okay, I made it for him to give to me, but I think I forged his signature well enough that he will likely never know. And don’t worry, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read the blog, so it’s all good.