It’s getting to be that time of year again when we buy everyone on the planet a Christmas gift. Maybe you’ve already started or heaven forbid already done, for which I say “Pfffttt!! Boo to you!” I’m just now getting around to thinking about what to do for everyone. I know Christmas is supposed to be about love and peace and goodwill towards men but I fall victim like everyone else to the franchise, purchases, and corporate world domination that has overcome the holiday every year.
In my family we buy a gift for everyone rather than drawing names out of a hat. Which is to say I need to buy gifts for 9 people. Really 9 isn’t that bad and I can’t imagine having to double or triple that number like a lot of people I know. There are some years when for whatever reason, maybe the stars align, that I come up with an awesome, unique gift for everyone and it’s all I can do not to call and blurt out what I got as I’m walking out of the store to my car. But more often, it’s a year like this one where I find myself a month-ish before the season thinking, “Oh crap. Is Christmas here again already? Crap! Crap! Crap!”
Then begins the dreaded (on my part) phone marathon with family. This involves calling everyone and asking what they want for Christmas. Sounds harmless but it takes so much coordination I imagine it easily rivals a top secret project from NASA and I’m pretty sure they at least have satellites in outer space to help them. Conversations will always include phrases like, “I don’t know” or “Nothing, you don’t have to get me anything this year.” Oh please (and yes, I’m just as guilty but no more I tell you!). The phone call will end with them all saying they’ll think about it and get back to me. Which they never do. In the meantime, I also have to ask them if they know what anyone else wants and what exactly they are planning to buy for others. The problem with this is that there is not one central person that knows everything so more phone calls are needed before all this information is collected. Also, one or two people might say, “Well when you know any ideas of what so and so wants let me know.” So more phone calls back to that person to relay new information. And in that lapse of time, they may have thought of gift ideas and already purchased them so what I may have thought about getting someone is now out the door because it’s the same thing someone else just bought them. So back to square one.
So this year I have come up with two Christmas Shopping rules that I would appreciate if people (ahem family) would follow:
1. Do not under any circumstances purchases items for yourself two months prior to Christmas. If there is something you are really wanting then mention it to a family member and wait until December 25th. If you don’t receive it as a gift feel free to purchase it after the new year.
2. Do not tell multiple people the same gift ideas. Come up with a list of things and tell one or two of them to each person so the risk of double buying is minimized. Unless the item you want is something broad like books, movies, or Cds. But even then, be specific as to which books, movies, or Cds and only tell one or two titles to each person.
I’m half tempted to make a chart or grid this year with everyone’s name on it and what they are buying everyone else before I actually begin purchasing things. For that matter, I’m half tempted to make a chart of all the phone calls back and forth between everyone but I have a suspicion it would look like a map showing all the destinations Delta flies to.
So that’s my plea to a select few of you. But if history has taught me anything, I will most likely not be purchasing anything until the week before Christmas where I’ll be making a mad dash to the dollar store to sift through the remains. So, who wants the porcelain rooster and who wants the can of SPAM?