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How's Christmas coming along?

I haven’t done any Christmas decorating or baking yet, and I’m not sure I’m going to. Maybe I’ll put a red bulb in a lamp. I’m not sure it’s even possible to shoehorn a tree into this living room now that there’s a giant parrot cage in the usual Christmas tree corner. The bird is green and red though, so Ho Ho Ho.

As for Christmas shopping, I’m almost done. I did most of it online.

It’s funny how some people are so easy to buy for and others are so hard. I’m not even sure why that is.

My son is always hard. He’s a civil servant by day and a DJ by night. He has a very lived-in apartment and three cats. He’s not into clothes or cooking or home improvement or reading. He loves mixing beats, listening to music and hanging out with his friends over a few beers.

Sometimes I feel bad because I can’t think of anything to get him – I worry it means I don’t know him well enough or something. But he doesn’t even know what he wants. I ask him for suggestions and he draws a blank. He says he’ll think about it and let me know, but he never does. Last year I even asked some of his friends and his former girlfriend, and they couldn’t think of anything either. So I bought him a gift certificate, which he still hasn’t used. He’s just not very stuff-oriented, I guess.

Anyway. He’s tough. I won’t tell you what I got him, because he occasionally reads my blog. But it’s something he would never buy for himself. (Which means it could be anything except sound equipment or beer.)

GC, on the other hand, is very easy to buy presents for. I think I’d be easy too. Every time I’m looking for a present for somebody else, I see dozens of things for me.

Families are so different in terms of traditions and expectations. I guess we tend to think of our own families as typical, until we hear about others. For example, I remember my mother being indignant about a lettuce spinner she received from her father’s girlfriend one year. “And that was supposed to be my BIG present!” she complained.

Everyone would always get a ‘big’ present and several smaller presents in my family. I thought that was normal until I grew up and celebrated Christmas with other people.

One family I knew made sure everybody went home with a gazillion little dollar store items. Another family’s tradition was that nobody bought anything – they would make gifts or give things from their own collections of stuff. In another family everybody exchanged envelopes of money, which was weird.

The other day I was listening to Kathleen Petty’s morning show on CBC, and I heard Lucy Van Oldenbarnaveld talking about what her mother got her for Christmas this year: scissors and deodorant. (And there was something about leeches or leeks, both of which seem like unlikely gifts, so maybe I heard that wrong.)

Anyway. I’m not decorating, sending cards, baking or going out caroling. I bought a really cheap frozen Butterball turkey on sale at Loblaws a couple days ago. Just a few little stocking stuffers to buy, and the pets’ presents, then I’m done.

How’s your Christmas coming along?

5 comments to How’s Christmas coming along?

  • I just need to get Darkmirror’s Santa gift and knit like crazy for a few more days and I’m done. The power out kinda messed up my tight little schedule!

  • deb

    I finished today. We have cut back this year…even Chelsea insn’t getting too much. I actually let her open a present this afternoon when she came to visit…magnetic letters for the fridge. She was so smart; figuring out that the black magnet part had to touch the fridge in order for it to stick…not bad for a 14 month old. I got her a lot of books this Christmas.

  • Grace

    It was leeks that Lucy received for Christmas.

    I have long said that all you need to make a Christmas is something good to eat with someone you love but I think that could be revised to sharing something with anyone now that I think about it.

    I’ll be sharing with 17 to 20. There will be another sharing with 45ish at my mother’s on Boxing Day. I’d like the 27th to be a quiet day on the couch

  • Christmas is slow to come to fruition here. People seem tired/overwhelmed and not by the usual frantic “I can’t get it all done” thing but by a quiet tiredness.

    I have done some shopping and will complete the buying of presents this weekend. Next week will be all about the baking and wrapping. I am one of the tired people here. Work is hard because people have a harder time during the holidays (I’m a social worker) and that adds to the tiredness.

    But, I’m starting to feel the holiday glow. It’s just a small spark at the moment but with just a little encouragement could become a raging bonfire.

  • My Christmas is sweet and simple. Beloved Son is on the opposite coast this year (Boston and I’m NW of Seattle). I sent a small box that included wool socks (store bought) and an organic dark chocolate-mint bar. They are always among his presents.

    Every year, if I’m lucky, I am given an “angel opportunity.” Last year I was able, with the help of a local young man, to fix the water system at my best friend’s house. She was living in Seattle and I was using her house on the island as a warehouse for my books. She had had a pump explosion that effectively left her waterless here so she couldn’t come stay for a weekend. The plumber who originally installed it quoted her over $1000 to fix it. Kevin and I fixed it for a lot less than that. Both she and I were thrilled at the gift because running water is precious and she could come and enjoy her sacred space.

    This year my angel gift involved knitting. An 86-year-old neighbor called last week, distraught. For over 50 years she was a stellar knitter, but she’s 86 and her short-term memory is going and knitting has become a challenge for her. She had been working for almost two years on a small shoulder shawl for her sister who is in a nursing home in New York. It turns out there was a mistake in the pattern that even the yarn shop people didn’t find and that totally frustrated her.

    I went over, found the problem and corrected the pattern for her and had her knit a pattern repeat while I was there, a little add-on lace edging to finish the shawl. I called her yesterday and asked how she was doing. She hadn’t touched it. I said, “Why don’t I come get that and finish it for you?”

    Last evening I lay cozied on my love seat listening to the fire in the wood stove, knitting. I finished the shawl in about 4 hours and delivered it today. She never expected it would be done this year. Her husband delivered it to the Post Office this afternoon. I’m hoping Santa will get it there the day before Christmas.