Whew! I’m actually feeling caught up on my list of things to do before Christmas. I finished all special orders and sent them off yesterday, made the one gift I decided to make this year, have almost all the presents wrapped and have finished shopping. Now all that’s left is baking cookies, but I don’t feel too pressured to do that since my sister, mini-Martha, is taking care of most of that. I don’t want to arrive at her house empty-handed so I plan on sharing my tub of cheese popcorn, making a cheeseball and taking a couple of bottles of wine. Santa’s elves need some liquid libations as they wrap Santa’s gifts on Christmas Eve.
Normally, I begin shopping on December 26th and continue throughout the year until I’m done around Thanksgiving. Over the past couple of years I’ve slacked off on that kind of shopping. Sure, I take advantage of sales and never pass up what I think might be a perfect gift, but I’ve realized that waiting sometimes makes my shopping easier and more personal. I do a little cyber-shopping, but would rather touch and interact with my possible gifts. I think most cyber-shopping takes the personal touch out of giving, but sometimes that’s the way to go. Several of Steve’s gifts came from the Internet since none of them could be purchased locally. I figure if I order early enough and the gift doesn’t live up to my impossibly high standards, I can return it and re-shop in plenty of time.
The hardest part of the season is figuring out what I want. Steve has been pestering me for gift ideas and I really don’t have many. Thankfully, I’m blessed with a rich life full of people and things I love and desire. That said, I always have a list of things I want. Unfortunately, they are usually really, really expensive. For example, I found a gorgeous pair of hand-tooled leather boots I would love to have. They are $800. That’s more than my entire gift-giving budget and, quite frankly, a ridiculous amount for boots. Oh, I’d love them, but would be embarrassed to show them to people. Working at The Harem has only made my desires worse. I see all the beautiful things we carry and the high standards Kathi, the owner, sets for the store and my own standards rise. Still, I enjoy a great inexpensive sweater from The Gap and my six year-old jeans are still my favorites so I haven’t crossed the line too far!
This year I’m really looking forward to once again spending Christmas morning watching my nieces open their gifts and squeal with delight as Santa fulfills their wishes. Remember when something simple and inexpensive meant so much? Hopefully we all do and will experience it again and again. My favorite thing to open on Christmas is my stocking which is usually filled with silly little things that make me laugh. One year I received a portable paper towel holder and I loved it. It’s actually being used in my studio and serves an important purpose there. The cost? Free.
Merry Christmas, everyone! May your days be filled with love, laughter, friendship and family.