I suppose all you organized people are done with your Christmas shopping, but I'm just now getting in the mood. Every year I say I'm going to be better, but then this indecisive paralysis overtakes me about Thanksgiving (remember, that's THANKSgiving here) as I look ahead to our family's THREE December birthdays.
For years, Dennis was not only the main grocery shopper, but knowing this awful disease that overwhelms me, he was also the main Christmas shopper. Rather than worrying about whether it was the right color (item, price, etc) or not, HE could dispassionately get things off the list and into the shopping cart. Yes, I've taken back the shopping reins in the last few years, but I'm still not very good at it. It seems like it takes me until Neal's-14 birthday is out of the way. Then I can sort of breathe and get my brain around the rest of what needs to be done.
Of course, the main thing I'm wishing is that I'd gotten out there with the crowds yesterday, when it was a balmy 70 degrees. I'd like to thank all my Canadian friends (and you know who you are) who sent us a cold front that will keep our highs hovering around freezing for the next several days. I even had to pull out the Big Ugly Coat and wear gloves to drive the kids to school this morning. Sheesh, the inconvenience!
We've never gone hog-wild on Christmas gifts for our kids, but I will say that Christmas is going to be even simpler this year, what with our new employer and all (ie, ourselves!). Dennis signed up for our bank's Keep the Change program, which will pay for most of it, but last week I had this bright idea that I could help out with the family Christmas fund by picking up a few shifts at a local hospital.
Upon further research, I was dismayed to find out that after having been out of nursing as long as I have (8 years!), I would have to take a 16-week refresher course for a cost of $1000. I wonder if our kids could wait until April to get their gifts? I'd be better off getting a job at The Quick Mart.
But since I made a pact with myself long ago never to work in fast food (The Quick Mart sell gas, cigarettes, liquor, AND serves lunch), we are back to our usual plan. We are getting one big family gift (NO, kids, we are NOT getting a puppy!), then each of the kids will get a few small things.
Ruthie-4 has been asking for a jack in the box for two years now. Apparently, they have one in the church nursery, and in her words, "It thcareth me!!"
Annie-7 wants a drum set, which I have assured her she will not get until third grade, in the secret hopes that she will lose interest. Unfortunately, third grade seems to be looming ever closer, so I may be wishing I hadn't made such a rash promise. I'm thinking her second choice (school stuff) will be a good option.
Libby-10-I have no idea what she wants. She has her mother's tightwad tendencies, which translates into an inability to ask for anything. I'll have to work on her.
Neal-14 wants some software to record his guitar masterpieces on. I've been researching this, but if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears. Oh, and he also asked for a portable electric razor. I told you he was growing up.
Allie-15 wants (I bet you guessed it) a digital camera, but she will have to save her own pennies for that one. As it is, borrowing the family camera, our external hard drive can hardly contain the 15 billion photos she's already taken. Here's the latest wall-art she's created in her room. The good news is, her wish list is a mile long, so I'll have plenty to choose from.
Usually I try to hit the "gift triad": some clothing, something they can actually "do" on Christmas Day - a puzzle, a craft, a game - and something on their list. Will see how well I do, given my errant shopping ways.
So that's my mission today. I'm letting my keyboard do the shopping this morning, then (when we reach our high today of 36) Ruthie and I will bundle up and pick up what I can't get speed-shipped here in a week.
Sounds like a plan.