Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Xmas is kicking my butt

I don't know what it is about xmas this year that's making it so difficult to get through. Usually by now I have no worries, no more shopping and all gifts wrapped. This year, I still need to buy stuff and still need to wrap gifts. I think it's because I have good gift plans this year, some were foiled, some were not. Some have taken longer to see through.

I had this brilliant idea of saving money by making all the girls in my life jewelry. So I spent a ton of money on beads and cute trinkety things and red velveteen pouches. Then I realized for some of them, I couldn't just give them jewelry, even if I did want to save some money. Something happens to me about the end of November, and I get all xmasy happy and start buying stuff like crazy. This year was no different, even with mortgage payments and looming property taxes and supplemental property taxes ahead of me. So now they were getting jewelry and a gift.

Then we had dinner with the in-laws, and I found out some of the girls I was just giving jewelry to make jewelry. Hello? I can't give them my jewelry! It just seemed stupid now. So I had to run out and buy them a little something (they weren't getting an extra gift before this -- I have a million kids in my life, some related by blood, others by marriage, and some just around).

And don't even get me started on the Family Giving Tree kids I picked. Every year I pick kids that want something that seems easy to buy. This year I picked a kid who wanted a Clifford the Big Red Dog video or sleeping bag (still not sure if he wanted a Clifford the Big Red Dog sleeping bag or just any old sleeping bag, but I couldn't find any Clifford sleeping bags except a used one on eBay, and that just ain't going to happen) and a girl who wanted scrap booking supplies. The video was easy enough; I bought 4 of them from an online video shop that sells them cheap and only charges 99 cents shipping.

The scrap booking supplies were more difficult. I looked at every store I thought would have a kit. But all the kits were for 6 and up. My kid was 13. I barely remember what 13 was like, but I know I probably was already weird or just turning weird, and if someone gave me something that was recommended for 6 and up, I would have been pretty miffed. Luckily I went to a party last weekend (the infamous "White Trash Christmas" party where my mom's jello cake was a huge hit -- so was my retelling of how my mom said, "Who is this person that's making fun of white people???"), and the person throwing the party has a 13-year old, and so I saw what one looks like now, and yeah. 6 and up scrap book kit would not do. She looked older than me.

I had went to Michaels the week before looking for a kit, only to be disappointed, and then realizing they have a whole 3 aisles dedicated to "adult" scrap booking in the front of the store in perfect view of the registers, but since I was already standing in a long and painfully slow line full of old women buying fake flowers, I didn't want to get out of line to see what they had and then get back in line. I just stored it in my memory bank of information for later use. I never made it out in the world this weekend to look for one, so on Monday I went back to Michaels (I didn't buy a single bead -- I'm very proud of myself!) to look at the scrap book section. I figured I was going to have to make my own kit for my kid and hope that everything gets to her. Luckily, they do make kits for older folks, and I found a really cool, slightly retro kit with tons of paper and fun stuff. Back in the painfully long line full of old people with their fake flowers for me!

During this time, I realized that the Family Giving Tree was one sneaky organization and had given my company several of these three-year olds who want Clifford the Big Red Dog videos or sleeping bags. I discovered this while being on another floor. Hmm, I thought. I'm buying four videos. There are about 3 and maybe more on the wall who want what I'm getting 4-fold of. I decided that my original kid was going to be lucky to see 2 of the videos I was getting him, let alone all 4, so I might as well spread the Clifford love by picking another kid who wanted the video.

I had the videos shipped to my mom's house to ensure I would get them (DHL likes to leave packages outside for anyone to grab, the UPS guy is generally good but then my husband would have to go to the HOA office to pick it up, and if USPS didn't want to leave it in condo "big package mail box," then someone was going to the post office to get the package. Mom's house is sooooo much easier much to her chagrin.), and so when she told me last week they came, I was happy. I could knocked two kids off my list! (Remember, I was still looking for the scrap booking stuff at that point.)

My mom brought the videos and some other stuff over. I looked in the box. There were only three. ONLY THREE!!! And I had to go pick another kid, I thought. Should have stuck with the one.... I had also deleted the email the video store sent me because I thought it was spam. So I had to do some research on my missing Clifford video. Turns out they shipped it out later than the other three for some reason. I turned my first Clifford kid in and waited. Luckily the 4th video showed up a couple of days ago, and now the 2nd kid's getting his two videos (or one, who knows what'll happen to them).

And even though I announced several months ago that my husband and I would not be spending a ton of money on each other for xmas, the gift buying has gotten a little out of hand and very much sort of last minute -- considered all my items were purchased online. Some of it has to do with the lack of personal shopping we were allowed to do since we bought our condo.

So I still have a ton of gifts to wrap, more on their way and time is running out. I'll get it done, though. Luckily xmas eve is on Saturday this year, so I've got the whole day. I'm still contemplating making cookies, but I just don't see that happening.

Pretty soon xmas will pass us all, and then...it'll be my birthday!!! I'm going to the zoo!

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