The countdown has started. December has descended once more like a heavy weight in the guise of tinsel covered trees and sugar coated fantasies of peace on earth and goodwill towards man. If only the weight carried such a light load. But, no, there are the expectations of gift giving and receiving—sharing the love means much more than just a smile and witty toast over champagne and a bowl of spiced nuts. Christmas is all about packages wrapped up in paper and ribbons and last minute gifts most of us do not really want. Sad but true, holiday shopping has become an unpleasant chore.
Black Friday has already passed. Like some of you, I chose to blatantly disregard the lure of discounted prices the day after Thanksgiving. The idea of camping out in the wee hours of the morning at a Best Buy or WalMart held about as much appeal as jabbing a hot poker in my eye. I have a difficult enough time waiting for a table at a restaurant while comfortably seated at a bar being plied with alcohol. Standing huddled together with strangers in the cold for what I can only imagine would feel like an interminable amount of time in order to go three rounds with the heavy set mother of three determined to grab the last Xbox on sale is beyond me. My tolerance for crowds no matter the savings has always been low.
Never having been one of those with the foresight to start purchasing Christmas gifts in July, I leave the bulk of the shopping to the middle of December. No point laboring over the myriad of choices in gifts before one has to; as I have found that whether I give myself two months or two days to ponder the perfect gift I will still have no idea what to buy the significant in my life. The stress of thinking about what needs to be sourced and bought ends up being greater than picking through what is left after the hordes of coupon carrying shoppers have swept through the mall. It all comes down to the wire.
A friend of mine posted on her Facebook profile last week that unless she could make it or buy it on line it would not become a gift for Christmas. I have another option for her. The third Thursday in December is now known as National Regifting Day. No need to actually buy or make a gift, just re-give something you received from someone else that you were either too lazy to return for an exchange or were not given the option for lack of a receipt. Experts in such things suggest that you do not re-gift an item that is either slightly used or not in its original packaging. Really? Nothing says I care like giving a gift that is five years old, cellophane off and several of its bits and pieces missing.
Actually, I do not mind the occasional re-gift if it involves a decent bottle of champagne. Some things do not suffer from age or show the tell tale signs of life as a previous gift. But, I think I may do as my friend suggests this year, steer clear of the malls and peruse the shops of cyberspace in the comfort of my pajamas. I better stop procrastinating. The cost of express postage may do me in.
Be prepared. It may be a Christmas filled with homemade cookies and wine.
Hmm .... That sounds pretty damn good.