Who came up with this holiday nonsense? It makes people mean. Not me--other people. Driving and shopping are getting to be acts of courage.
I am willing to do some holiday decorating--something I ceased to do entirely after 2004. We don't get a tree because the house is too small and the cats and dog find that sort of thing far too intriguing. If we had decided to put up a tree, I had a great idea for unbreakable decorations. I have a big pile of empty pillbottles from all of my prescriptions. I was going to attach ribbons to them and to the lids, and then hang them on the tree, along with a garland paper chain made from all of last year's insurance statements that turned out to be wrong (not in my favor). It would be my most personal tree ever.
I told my family that my husband and I had no interest in exchanging gifts with anyone (meaning them). Everyone was OK with it except for my mother, who will surely shower us with the usual array of cheap and useless Chinese-produced crap. Feeling obligated given her response to our original announcement, we're buying her Omaha steaks and chardonnay. If I could, I would hire a wait staff to cook it and serve it to her. Of course, then she would complain that I should be there to do that for her.
I have no idea what my husband wants. He won't say. It's not that he wants me to guess; I think he feels guilty for asking anyone to spend money on him.
People become so weird and complicated this time of year.
I had some money to spend, so I bought some things for me. I found a fabulous, $6 pair of pink gloves with black fur trim that match the Barbie coat exactly. I found some really lovely things at some of the alternative gift markets I happened upon this season. Mostly, though, I bought things to donate to the refugees I know. I bought things like fluffy towels, nice dishtowels, candles, matched sets of glasses, fancy shower gel with those nylon pouf thingies, gloves, hats, scarves, notebooks, office/school supplies, and all kinds of things pretty, practical, and personal. These gifts may not be extravagant or all that imaginative, but I know they will bring a moment of happiness to the people who receive them. And isn't that the point?
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