Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It’s close to Christmas, which means my annual resolution to get all the shopping done quickly is in full swing.   I’ve been shopping like a maniac, friends.  Maniacally.  I’m determined to get it done before December, to get it out of the way so I can enjoy the holidays for once.

The trouble with Christmas, for me, has always been the shopping.  Cold weather, never-ending social events, even the heightened baking expectations – stressful elements of the holiday season, all of them – pale in comparison to how I experience the shopping part of it.  

I am a terrible shopper.  I remember school shopping as a kid with my mother, idly sifting through racks of clothing that overwhelmed me with too many choices.  I’d choose one thing and pronounce my love for it just to buy something, only to get it home and never wear it. 

Shopping for me has always been a means to an end.  I need socks – I get socks. I want sneakers – I get sneakers.  I don’t go to five different stores to get the best deal.  I go, I see, I buy.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t – I’ve bought many things that didn't fit right, or were too expensive, or I didn’t really need, only to have them loom larger than life in the back of my closet and find themselves in the donate pile at season’s end.

Buying gifts for others – forget it.  Will they like it?  Will it fit?  Do they already have it?  Is it appropriate?  Did I pay too much?  Did I spend enough?  There are too many variables.  Who am I to know just what a person desires?  I’ve ruined many a birthday and Christmas present by asking “so, what should I get you?” 

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.  I think I care too much.  What do I expect, the recipient to turn cartwheels after opening my gift? 

Well, why not?  That would be the best Christmas gift EVER. 

In fact, maybe I’ll give out cartwheels this year, and see what happens.


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