A bit late, I know. But better late than never, no?
Christmas was the usual chaos here, what with all the shopping, cooking, baking, planning, cleaning, arranging, wrapping and general excitement.
My Christmas duties are kookier than Kookytown. Get this: I buy gifts from myself to my kids, my husband, and my mother. BTW, it was her 92nd birthday 5 days before Christmas, so I bought gifts for that too. I bought gifts to her, from me, and gifts to her on behalf of my children and husband. And I planned a surprise party (her oldest friend was visiting from Winnipeg, so I got her to swing by that afternoon, with no warning), a delightful dinner that night with all hands on deck, and bought a rather nice cake (had no time to bake one, all things considered). Oh yeah, the night before all this happened, I cleaned the house to spotless perfection. Just 'cause. Well, it needed it for Christmas, so...
But back to Christmas. So I buy gifts from me to everyone. These include: my loved ones here at home (see above); my oldest friend in Winnipeg, and her daughter (needs to be purchased a month in advance, wrapped and shipped off so as to arrive in time); my neighbors who host a wonderful party every year; someone else to whom I am a secret Santa at yet another annual party we attend; about ten people in our "inner circle" of friends that we meet for a dinner in the week leading up to Christmas (thank God hosted by someone else); and I also buy a few random gifts for unexpected occasions. Oh yeah, also a gift for my friend and business partner; and a gift for a wonderful friend who sadly moved away to Calgary two years ago, but whom visits us every Christmas. Is that enough?
Well no, actually. I'm just getting started.
That's all from me to others. Then I really get busy.
My mother asks me to buy gifts "from her" to everyone. Just because she can't get out to shop anymore doesn't deter her. She won't give cheques. No, I have to go out and not just buy gifts to all the same people that I shop for on my own behalf, but also come up with wonderful gift ideas for them. And I do.
Then, I buy gifts for my children on behalf of Anthony. Because he is busy at work, and he doesn't really know what they want, or what size they fit, etc, etc.And, logically and of course, I buy a gift supposedly FROM Anthony to my mother, as well, because there is no way on earth he'd be able to guess her size or taste in just about anything.
And then I buy gifts ostensibly FROM my children (and my mother, but I already described that above) for Anthony, because how could a couple of kids get out to the mall to shop for Anthony when they have so much homework and after-school activities? And besides, how the heck would they have a clue what to get him?
Can you believe this?
And let's not even talk about the Christmas cards. I still send a few, because I'm a dinosaur relic throwback to the olden days. My mother, on the other hand, writes to everyone she's ever said "hello" to in her life. It's pathetic, really. She even wants to send them to MY friends, because she met them once two years ago. She'd also like me to buy gifts for them, on her behalf, and I HAVE ACTUALLY DONE THIS ON SELECT OCCASIONS IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT, WHICH IS WHY I AM CURRENTLY INSANE DUE TO THE RIDICULOUS GIFT-GIVING OVERLOAD I BEAR.
But as usual, I digress. Back to the cards. I buy cards for her. She never likes the ones I choose, and then I have to go out and buy more for her. I will remind you at this point that I am a woman WHO HATES SHOPPING, WHO HATES MALLS, and WHO PARTICULARLY HATES FINICKY SHOPPERS AND FINICKY SHOPPING. I'm clear, I think.
Last year, my mother ordered me to find "religious" cards. This of course meant reference to Jesus, Mary, God, Wise Men, etc. I duly went to several stores to find same. They don't sell religious cards in as many places as they used to.
And I found some nice ones, finally. Not too over the top, but quite sweet in their religious wishes. Nice design too.
Well, imagine my DELIGHT when my mother pulled them out this most recent December, and with a sour, mustached and crumply-lipped look, announced:
"Delia. I don't like these. They are TOO religious. Buy me some other cards that aren't."
Me: "Really. Well, last year, you specifically asked for 'religious.' And I went to about 40 stores to accommodate your desire. I take it that your desire has changed?"
Really, there was no sarcasm intended in my tone. Really.
Sally: "Well. I don't remember that."
And that was that. Not remembering has become her catch-all response. Trouble is, it's probably true.
In any event, I have two final things to say:
(1) I have consistently drawn the line at, and solemnly declare that I have NEVER, EVER bought a gift for MYSELF, ostensibly from another person. So there. And:
(2) next year, I am NOT DOING ALL THE ABOVE.
So there ;)