Friday, November 26, 2010

In the Christmas Spirit

I put myself through college and grad school by working in bookstores. Some day I should write a book about it. All the ridiculous questions. ("Do you have A Hundred Years of Solid Food?" All the silly customers. ("Do you have that book with the red cover?")

But working retail during the Christmas season has a way of making you hate Christmas. When I stopped managing bookstores I told myself that I'd never set foot in a store between Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the most part, I've been able to keep that vow. I'm almost always done with my shopping by T-day. This year I'm not but I've got an easier task. For the first time ever were drawing names for Christmas rather than everybody buying gifts for everybody else. To which I can only say "thank goodness!"

For one thing we really can't afford to spend a lot. For another, I really don't want more crap from my family. Typically the crap in question goes from my mom's house (where we open gifts) into my car. The car pulls into my garage, we open the trunk, take out the crap, and it goes immediately into the Salvation Army bag. It never even makes it into the house.

Husband and I have vowed to cut back on each other -- which makes me sad as I like nothing better than buying him gifts. But being broke means I can't spoil him the way he deserves.

But I'm already getting into the Christmas mood, which is rare for me. We're going to get our tree this weekend. I've already ordered a few small things for Husband. Our neighbors spent the afternoon putting up lights so from where I sit I can already see a little bit of holiday cheer.

And the first Christmas card arrived today. It's from the shelter where I volunteer and one thing they do, which I love, is that the cards are signed by about 5 of the employees. It's not an impersonal card it has little hand-written notes from the heads of various departments so it says things like "thanks for your work in the kitten nursery" or "it was great to see you at the last adoption fair." So it makes it feel like they know who I am and that my work is actually appreciated.

That, plus leftovers from yesterday's yummy dinner at my brother's, has put me in a very happy mood.


Duke said...

I wonder how many christmas gifts go directly to the trash, attic, or goodwill? Probably 90% or more. Most presents are little items costing a few dollars and if we wanted and/or needed them we'd have bought it ourselves. So by definition we're buying stuff no one wants.

It's the thought that counts I guess. Whatever that means.

Linda Myers said...

We give gifts only to our grandchildren. It has made the season much easier.

Murr Brewster said...

I've always made all my presents, even spending as much as 50-60 hours on a single one, and I've consequently enjoyed Christmas more than most people. When I retired I thought I'd have all this time to make presents, but this year I told everyone the deal was off. I was so wrapped up with writing my book and blog that my creative spark was all filled up, and I had nothing left over. Everyone's taking it well except my sister. I guess I can make ONE.

Kittie Howard said...

That place that serves drinks in test tubes -- we have reservations for New Year's Eve! A bit of howling awaits, lordy, lordy!