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Christmas is Sneaking Up Again

We have the date memorized, yet the year's biggest holiday always seems to emerge all of a sudden.

I think I feel behind schedule on most holidays. Somehow, even though it is clearly marked on the calendar, those dates seem to sneak up on me. I may, today, just about be ready for Halloween.

Sadly, I was supposed to have everything in order for this family to celebrate Christmas. Too bad I’m only two months behind, huh? Setting the 2011 schedule even further into a tailspin, I thought it would be an ideal time to have pneumonia, as well. Now, instead of finding myself in need of a few last-minute stocking stuffers, I feel like I’m running out of time altogether.

My favorite way to shop is online. If I never had to set foot into a mall again in my life, I’d be pretty happy about that. Alas, being behind schedule either means shelling out the extra dough for super-express shipping or trying to force myself into a crowded store in search of the same product.

This year’s gift-giving was at least made far simpler with the adapting of two new family programs. Being a girl with not only a lot of extended family but also divorced and remarried parents means I minimally have twice the family to buy for each holiday season. Thankfully, one side of the family adopted the idea of the Amazon Wish List.

If you’ve ever registered for a baby or a wedding, you kind of get the idea. Instead of telling your family the general idea of what you were in need of or hoping for, you can use Amazon to cleanly map out not only WHAT is on the wish list this year, but where to buy it.

In short, the system creates a list of hyperlinks, directing loved ones to the exact product (think precise size, color, shape, etc.) you want, and where you can purchase it. I find it a wonderful invention to take out both the mystery of guessing a family member’s size and a great way to continue to avoid shopping in malls, some of my least favorite things.

On the other side of my family, we are attempting the first year of the old “draw a name” trick. Instead of everyone buying for everyone, we threw in the three generations’ names into a bowl and picked out a list. Now each one single person has only one single person to buy for, with a gift limit of around $75 in cost. This was a nice way to streamline the buying process, and prevent everyone from overspending when the economy is so tight as it is.

I also think it is a far more fair system for the siblings in the family without children, since they seem to be expected to buy for the parents and children, and now can skip it all and just buy for their designated person. That seems more reasonable, and they won’t have to shell out extra dough, and I won’t have to feel guilty to buy them something that is four-persons'-worth-of-gifts in exchange.

Considering I’m operating at about three weeks of lost time behind schedule, I think I’m almost ready. We got a tree, only a week behind schedule, as I decided to drag my sick butt onto a horse-drawn sleigh to cut down our own as usual. I hosted our annual open house for the neighborhood, complete with cooked turkey and ham, even though my doctor and husband probably would have preferred I rested at least one more week.

I’m now back into the full swing of work. I think the only major things left on the list are cookie baking with my kids, distributing neighborhood gifts and wrapping up the ones I have here, ready for family giving.

Oh, that and to pack up the four-wheel-drive sleigh for a five-hour drive home. That. That’s all. And I could not be happier! Because for me, nothing says Christmas like being “home” for the holidays.

Cora Rowe December 24, 2011 at 09:50 PM
Amazon Wish List, sounds like a bridal registry.

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