My husband asked me the other day for a Christmas list. I hemmed. I hawed. I wrote a total of: two things. One, a good pair of silver hoops for everyday wear (read: days when I'm too lazy to look at my earring "shirt" and find something color coordinated) and also a soft, comfy black cardigan. Oh, I may have mentioned "a ring" too. In that silly, girly, breathy I-want-sparkly-jewelry sort of way.
Are there other things I want? Sure there are. However, I'm the one who does the most Christmas shopping (I'm a control freak) and when I see something around Christmas time that I want, weeeeeellllll, pretty much I get it.
Case in point...ordering from Kohl's online today. Got everything I needed for other people but WHAT'S THAT??? Pajama pants with penguins on them? Yes, please. Click!
I'm a procrastinator. I don't do my Christmas shopping like a lot of people, which is to say that I do it much later. As of right now, I'm only about 50% done and instead of being out shopping right now...I'm writing. And thinking seriously about a glass of wine. But really, my kids are old enough now that they would rather have gift cards. And how long does it take to go get a gift card? They don't run out, they're always the right size, and the kids really, truly appreciate them.
I buy gift cards as opposed to the jeans or shirts I would get them once upon a time that would sit in their closets, tagged, until they were outgrown and given to Amvets, mostly because those ba$tards at Plato's Closet buy everyone else's stained, torn clothing but not my new stuff that has tags on it. People at Plato's Closet, pay attention. Stop buying crap from your friends.
I buy gift cards for the kids because I don't have a personal shopper. Because I am not very good at picking out things that my children would actually wear. The only things I'm pretty safe buying for them are camisoles (for the girls, and maybe one for me) and funny t shirts (for the boy, and maybe one for me). I don't really have any sort of sense of style or color matching ability. What this means is I wear black pants a LOT.
Popular gifts for the youngsters: McDonalds gift cards. Victoria's Secret gift cards. Walmart, or Target, or Plato's Closet gift cards (for those children who like Abercrombie jeans without the Abercrombie price). Gas station gift cards. A gift card at virtually any store that would actually prevent me from picking out actual clothes, thinking, "Oh, (fill in name of unfortunate child) would just love this. It would look so great on them. So smart. She/he could even start a fad."*
*Note to my mother: nothing that you said would start a fad actually STARTED a fad.
And of course, in their Christmas stockings, it's pretty standard: candy, scratchoff cards, body wash, a Christmas Pez thingie. An orange. A candy cane. Hope they're not looking at this because then they'd know what's in their stocking. Again. For the fifth year in a row.
(Actually, thinking about this, why the orange? Why, because my mother used to put one in my stocking. Sometimes we'd poke the candy cane IN THE ORANGE and suck out orange juice. We were hardcore like that. I also remember my sister and I getting Leggs. Remember? pantyhose in the egg container? Good times.)
No matter what you gift your children with, or how soon or late you shop, it's a wonderful time of year for sharing with friends and family. That's my focus. In the hustle and bustle of baking, shopping, holiday parties, etc, it's really easy to lose sight of that.
And that leads me to remember one more thing that is on my Christmas list, every single year...that my family stay happy and healthy. It is really the most important thing in the world to me. Every year I hug my family a little tighter. And next year, there will be a little granddaughter to celebrate with! I am literally quivering with joy.