So, it’s Christmas. In a month. How did that creep up on me?
Some people LOVE the festivities. The tree. The trimmings. The presents. The ham. The terrible, terrible seasonal jingles that shops like Bond and Bond have been playing for weeks already, which I can hear from all the way across the road.
My family barely celebrated birthdays, let alone Christmas, so I’m a bit jaded about the whole thing. Excuse me.
(I do, however, have ‘celebrate a white Christmas’ on my life list. It seems ridiculous to me that all the Christmas cards for sale here are of the snow variety – they must come from the Northern Hemisphere. December 25 here is prime barbecue, beach time.)
I’m actually happy to be working Christmas Day; I had it off last year, so that was my family-gathering fix for the decade. The year before I went in to the office for half a day and powered through all my work in doubletime. (Maybe that’s a bit harsh. But certainly, alternating years provides me with more than enough whanau time. If it’s not blindingly obvious, I love my relatives, but we’re not all that close.)
Working Christmas means, well, probably plenty of blog surfing, double (or triple, I can’t remember) pay, and minimal forced conversation. Hey, when you’re young and childless, there’s no better day of the year to milk the benefits. Hopefully I’ll be able to stop by for some of T’s mum’s famous potato salad first, or if not, he’ll bring me home a plate.
Bonus: Technically, I can get away with not buying presents for my side. Or at least, not for the extended family, which consists of my aunt, her husband and two sons.
That leaves us with three “groups” to shop for: my immediate family (parents and brother); T’s mother and co (including the two younger brothers) and his sister’s family (two adults, four kids). At least, that’s how I’ve mocked it up in my mind. When I asked him to kindly compile a list of who we needed to purchase gifts for, he stared at me for a moment before saying: “Me. That’s all I care about.” And no, I don’t know what I’ll get him – possibly an Xbox game, or a GPS. Or a golf club, but I’m not willing to pay for the kind of driver he’s got an eye on.
At worst, we’ll buy three lots of gift vouchers and they can all go shopping on Boxing Day.
Have you started gift shopping yet? Do you save up all year for Christmas, or are your obligations small enough (like ours) that you can work it into the December budget?