I don’t usually stress out much about Christmas shopping. I’ve worked in big news for years and therefore spent Christmas Day in the office for most of the last few years. Which I totally used as an excuse for skipping gifts.
Not this year.
But that doesn’t mean I’m going crazy. The one year I did give presents (two years ago, I think, was the year I had the day off) I made up hampers for our two families, containing a mix of supermarket snacks, drinks and topped off with home baking.
This year my giftgiving comprised:
- $99 on Battlefield 3 for T
- $20 on Secret Santa with the girls
- $20 on good cheese and chocolate for my family
- And whatever the cost of ingredients were for baking for T’s family (oreo truffles, shortbread, snickerdoodles. Simple and frugal).
(For those who are wondering, I usually do get a gift from my family. We don’t usually get any from T’s, or anybody else in fact.)
My plans for tomorrow are pretty fluid. There’ll be a stop in at T’s mum’s, and dinner with my family. In between, I anticipate cake-baking and holiday movie viewing.
Moreso, I’m pretty excited for New Year’s – it’s been a long time since we did anything special for the occasion. Last year we also went to the Coromandel, albeit overnight for a whirlwind stop. We slept in the car and drove back to Auckland in the morning in time to start my shift at noon.
Probably the most epic NYE I’ve ever had was 2006. T and I had just started going out officially about a week before; we went up to Mangawhai to a friend’s bach with a group – I knew them all from school but never really had much to do with them. I don’t remember all that much from that week or so, except hammocks, plenty of sun and sand, kayaking and Mudvayne’s Happy being our song.
This year? This year is a week away – a few days at one friend’s bach, crashing at another bach further along the coast with a different group of friends, two nights of music at Coro Gold, and hopefully a trip to Hot Water Beach in there somewhere.
This does mean a lot of time around people. And you know how I feel about people. Fine, in small doses – so I’m bringing my camera, books and magazines for plenty of solitary time.
Holidays tend to wreak havoc on my budget, so I’m planning to take out some cash for spending on groceries, some for the concert, and a small amount to give to our hosts. I’m not really sure how much to budget for food – we’re bringing some fresh stuff for the first few days, as well as things like bread, eggs, noodles. Groceries are always more expensive out of the city, although you do get better quality and better value fresh produce and seafood. We’ll be eating BBQ all week, I imagine – sigh – so hopefully there’ll also be plenty of salads and breads. But day trips may also well mean takeaways, and on those times when literally everybody else is getting fish and chips, it’s hard to hold out. (Hot chips are one of my biggest weaknesses, too.)
And for petrol? Again – not a clue. It’ll be at least a tank there and back, and how much more on top of that depends on how much daytripping takes place.
Anyway, we’ll tally up the damage next year. Happy holidays!