I'm thinking I might just skip Christmas this year. At least, skip the part of Christmas that involves shopping.
I'm a reluctant shopper on my best day, but the idea of shopping with boys---just the idea---gives me a headache. I have always related to the Grinch as he moans, "All the noise, noise noise." The piped in carols, the clod stepping on your toes, the sensory overload of colors and consumerism and stupid crap that nobody needs---that is holiday hell. Adding Owen's announcement that he "Neeeeeeeds" everything he can see, and Joel's two-hour window of pleasantness before he neeeeeds boobs and bed is enough to cause me to reach for the smelling salts.
Except that I don't have any more smelling salts, and I would have to go shopping to get them.
There are ways to avoid this. I remember teaching summer school several years back, and over Diet Cokes and sandwiches, a colleague of mine announced, "I have finally finished my Christmas shopping!" Finally, on July 12th, she had completed her shopping. I was fascinated, and horrified. Who thinks this way? (Total disclosure: I start thinking about possible themes for my annual Christmas newsletter around July [okay, February] but that is totally different and I don't see what that has to do with anything.)
Anyway, she went on to tell me that she orders everything online, sends the gifts to relatives in Pittsburgh, (wrapped, of course), and tells them that they are to keep the gifts in their closets and sheds until Christmas Day. I asked her why she doesn't just bring them to Pittsburgh herself. She explained to me that she and her husband go diving in Fiji every Christmas.
The Internet does not work as well for me because I am a lazy-ass. I'll wait until the 20th, order the gift too late, then present gift-wrapped notes to people that say things like, "Look in your mailbox."
This year, I won't be diving in Fiji. Rather, I'll be with loved ones, people who love me despite my tendency to be a Christmas curmudgeon. Consequently, I will get online, I will find good gifts, and I will be much happier once the job is done.
Because isn't "getting the job done" what Christmas is all about?