Wednesday, November 28, 2012
It wasn't always this way. I used to love to get the tree, pull out the ornaments, buy and lovingly wrap the gifts, cook the meals, make the eggnog, and go into a busy frenzy.
No more. It's expensive. It's exhausting. It's emotionally draining. For the first time ever, this year I have decided that each of my 6 grand children will get a $50 gift card from us. They can do whatever they want with it.
I thought about going ahead and shopping for my youngest granddaughter, Abbey Rose. She's still young enough to appreciate frilly and fabulous dresses. This year she will purchase her own. The twinge of guilt I feel over this is overshadowed by the twinge of delight I feel in not having to go to a big store and wander while I look frantically for something that "they will really like". Nor will I have to lean over the kitchen table with rolls and rolls of wrapping paper, ribbons, and tape while I try unsuccessfully to make things look beautiful as I do my amateur wrap job.
I've pretty much decided that my son and his wife and my daughter and her husband will get bottles of Silver Oak Cabernet. They all appreciate fine red wines. The handful of friends we exchange gifts with will get nice bottles of wine also. My cleaning woman and her daughter will get cash gifts. In the past, I have gone to considerable lengths to purchase designer leather goods (bags) only to have them returned to me with the explanation that the recipient prefers the counterfeit bags to the real thing.
That leaves shopping for my husband Alex and our two dogs, Harry and Zoe. Harry and Zoe are easy. New collars and new chew toys will do just fine for them. Alex's gifts may require a trip to a store. He's a clothes horse and a techie. I can find clothes he likes. For the tech toys, I will leave him to his own devices. I enjoy shopping for Alex because I know what he likes and wants.
I will host about 3 or 4 holiday dinners. But rather than dinners for 12 people or more , I will limit them to a maximum of 6 people so that I don't have to open up the dining room table.
Now that I have sorted this out for myself mentally, I feel less stressed. (Yeah, I feel a little guilty, but you know what! I'll get over it!)