The Ghost of Christmas Future
For as long as I can remember, my father has bought my mother the same pair of running shoes for every Christmas. Well, no, technically SHE is the one who buys the shoes and probably wraps them too, and maybe she even signs the card, I don’t know. In turn, my father buys himself something or another for his computer from her, wraps it himself and stashes it under the tree.
Opening gifts with them was always kind of horrifying, not because they weren’t totally happy with what they were getting but because they were. It was like looking into the Ghosts of Christmases to Come.
Someday, some year, Christmas would become all about the Practical, Sensible and Boring. Someday I too would reach thrilling new heights of glee when I unwrapped a brand new toilet brush set with matching toilet seat cover. I might even get tearful if my name were monogrammed right there, because how thoughtful and yet practical at the same time!
Or maybe it was just my boring parents. Maybe other people’s parents weren’t so dull and drab. Maybe they’d open new baubles from Tiffany & Co while sipping mimosas on their yachts. Sure, my parents SWORE that they were young and hip at one point in time, but I distinctly remember stories of “calculus class” and “beanies” neither of which screams “I am cool.”
Now I’m scared.
This year, after I couldn’t come up with anything frivolous that I absolutely NEEDED for Christmas, I was left with a startlingly small list of things that I wanted for Christmas. And then, for the first time in, well, ever, I PUT THAT LIST ON PAPER. In order to get anything that I might actually use for Christmas, I made a Christmas list. I realize that most adult people do this on a yearly basis, because they are smart, but I am not those people. Because writing a list means that I have to organize myself well enough to do this. Also, I am lazy.
I’ve learned, however, that if I do not direct people to items that I might want and use I will wind up with a whole host of things that I do not want and then I am stuck wondering what on earth to do with my brand-new case of expired powdered milk. While I always appreciate the gesture that accompanies the gifts I get, anything we don’t need is donated to charity right away.
I’m scared because this year, tired of finding homes for more things that we do not need, I have made a list of practical things that we’d like for Christmas. It’s disgusting how practical my list is. Pillow cases! I asked for PILLOW CASES! And a SPOT LIFTER! I mean, how much more boring—yet sensible—can one person get? If my former self could see me now, she’d be throwing up all over my mom jeans.
Gone are the days when I ask for a Coach purse! Farewell to diamond earrings and Movado watches! Adieu, my collection of Jimmy Choos! Gone forever are the days of my impractical youth!
What’s even worse is that I’m sort of excited about getting them because it’s one less annoying thing to spend my money on and one less framed whimsical light-up Santa Claus painting that I have to lug over to the Salvation Army.
I’m becoming my parents.