Thursday, December 15

joy of giving re-gifted

I was all prepared for another uneventful Christmas season here in the (currently) rainy Southwest. But so far, it's been anything but.

It's just Little Gen and I at the homestead, and I already gave LG her Christmas present: the previously mentioned three hundred and fifty thread count goose down 'boyfriend'. She wanted to get for me a decorative bull skull, horns included, as one ofttimes finds hanging on western decored walls. I've wanted one for some time and no, I have no good explanation for it.

So, on a recent snowy day we set out in search of said fleshless carcass head, but after two stops and much snow crunching underfoot, we came up empty-handed. We did however manage to stuff our faces with chili cheese fries from Sonic. All in all, not a wasted trip.

Wrapping treasure

But after scouring the virtual shelves at, gifts virtually purchased and electronically mailed east to the rest of the family, I thought all my shopping finished. But I was mistaken.

[I would like to interrupt this exposition to draw your attention to my particular aversion to gifts. It's not that I don't enjoy giving things to loved ones, but under the current pressure of holiday buying, I find it particularly disagreeable to run about in a crunch, simply because I need to cross another name off the list.

And it must be mentioned that I've been known, on frequent occasion, to give awkward and/or inappropriate gifts by accident--the awkward part by accident, not the gift, just to clarify. Just ask Dave, who received a rainbow-colored wind sock during a hospital stay when I thought his room could use some color. Fine print: Dave is not gay. Or take the paper lamp shade with the pretty leaves drawn on the side that I brought home from London for my sister. No, at the age of 21, I did not recognize cannabis.

I don't even like receiving gifts, for any occasion. It makes me uncomfortable. And complicating the situation, I have very particular taste (some call it finickiness) and as irritating as it can be, it's incurable. So a gift given without consideration of this particularity can be awkward at best, disastrous at worst.

With an approaching holiday, I start to panic if I've made new friends recently or find myself in any way romantically associated.

"Things were going so well until he gave me those peach bath salts; if only he'd gone with lavender!"

It can ruin relationships, I tell you.]

Judge if you will, but suffice it to say, presents make me nervous. So I'm not sure if it was self-inflicted therapy or sheer lunacy that made me offer to take three girls between the ages of nine and thirteen shopping for Christmas presents this week...on a the mall!

Yes, folks, the mall. A place where, at this time of year, one is just as likely to get lost or trampled as sit on Santa's lap. On our three mile walk to the entrance from the parking lot, I advised the girls to hold me down and force-feed me lemonade if I started to panic. They promised they would. Then I remembered how lemonade gives me a sugar high, and they said they'd make me breathe into a paper bag instead.


But as with most things, the anticipation was far worse than the experience. And though I spent more time in Wet Seal than I'd like to admit to anyone over the age of 25, I was quite impressed with the girls' efficient decision-making ability, buying one gift every fifteen minutes on average.

Does it matter that most gifts were opened as soon as we got home, including some meant for other friends, that were opened and played with until they broke? Not in the least. We had a blast.

I got so excited, I went shopping again two days later with my Dragon Boy. We shopped for his mommy. We shopped for his dog. And then, of course, we shopped for him with the allowance money he had left. We even managed a ride on the carrousel at the mall. Then we went home and unpacked and wrapped our treasure.

So maybe it's just that I need to lighten up; not put so much expectation on one ribbon-laced box. And don't give seasons one and two of Glee to anyone for any reason.