Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Okay, so now it is over. Except for the club New Year's Eve party, which technically isn't Christmas, but it just sort of blurs together into one holiday for me. And then there's the after holiday clearance sales, which will go on until about the middle of next month. But except for that, Christmas is over. And really, the sales are more about getting ready for next year, if I would actually get a head start and do that.

Christmas with my family was a bit dull compared to Christmas stuff with my friends. Not that I don't like spending time with my family, but the gift exchange part wasn't as much fun. It wasn't really bad, just not really the way that I'd pictured it either.

So we had decided not to exchange gifts with everyone. I had thought that we were going to draw names, and that there was a limit of forty dollars. And that we were going to draw names on Thanksgiving. Drawing names on Thanksgiving seems a bit late to me, but that's what was decided.

Later I was told that nothing was decided. We did not draw names on Thanksgiving. On Black Friday I did some shopping, but no actual shopping for Christmas gifts, as I did not know who I needed to buy gifts for. Later that day, it was decided that instead of drawing names we would do the Chinese gift exchange. Actually, it was decided that we would do two, one with a thirty dollar gift, and one with either a five dollar gift or a recycled gift.

Okay, that still would have been good to know before Black Friday.

Still, with money the way it is, it was better than going out and getting everyone a gift and spending like two hundred dollars or more.

So I had to come up with four gifts, two thirty dollar gifts and two five dollar gifts. Five dollar gifts are not a problem. But what are you supposed to do about thirty dollar gifts if you don't know who you are buying them for?

The first thirty dollar gift was Bath and Body Works stuff. I had bought that stuff earlier in the year, when it was on sale, and when money was not such a problem. I had figured that I should go ahead and buy the stuff because I might draw my sister's name, and that would be a good present for her. Or I might draw my mother's name. And since my husband would also have to draw a name, we might end up with both my sister's name and my mother's name and need Bath and Body Works stuff for both of them. And then if I didn't draw the name if someone who would want it, I could just keep it for myself. But then we switched to this idea of the Chinese gift exchange, and I didn't know what to do. I then decided that I should still give the Bath and Body Works stuff. My sister might end up with it, or my mother might end up with it. If my brother-in-law ended up with it, he would just give it to my sister anyway. We might end up getting stuck with taking home our own gifts. In all the combinations of exchanges I could think of, either I would end up with my own gift, someone who actually wanted the stuff would get it, or the significant other of someone who wanted it would get it and it would not go to waste. About the only way I could think of it going wrong was if my brother got stuck with it. So I decided that if my brother ended up with it I would offer to trade it for a couple of DVDs I had bought.

The second thirty dollar gift I put in wasn't really a thirty dollar gift, but a scarf that I spent many hours making. This was my first cable scarf, and I hid it from my husband thinking that he might end up with it. I pictured it this way, my husband would open the scarf, and either my husband would keep the scarf, or else someone else would just love the scarf and steal it. But I didn't explain this to my husband, and he didn't seem to have any interest in seeing my scarf. My husband got a movie picked out by my brother. I got a bunch of pens, which the person who brought the gift thought that everyone could use. And my brother in law ended up with the scarf, and he said nice things about it, but I don't really know if he liked it or if he was just pretending cause he didn't want to get stuck with these pens.

If my husband had picked my scarf, we probably could have taken home the scarf and the DVD, and someone else would have gotten these pens. He hasn't expressed one word of disappointment at not getting the scarf, or even a comment of liking the scarf. At this point I'm thinking that I might not bother to make him another one, especially since he is complaining of the knitting machine being in his way.

My brother in law had the idea of just making out a shopping list for whomever might draw someone's name. I liked that idea better than this Chinese gift exchange thing. Except that the five dollar part was fun. But everyone else seemed to think that was lacking in the Christmas spirit if someone just tells you what to buy. The Chinese gift exchange was supposed to be fun and not hurt anyone's feelings if they didn't get what they wanted. But if there is a shopping list available, aren't you guaranteed of getting at least one thing that you wanted, and then after Christmas you can just go and buy the rest of the stuff yourself?

I'd like next year to draw names and have that shopping list that my brother in law suggested, hopefully getting the name and the list before Halloween, and then still have the five dollar gift Chinese gift exchange. In fact, I would like to have two five dollar gifts in the Chinese gift exchange. That way there would be more stealing and be more fun. But I thought that the thirty dollar part was a bit of a disappointment, except for my husband getting the DVD he wanted. And my sister did end up with the Bath and Body Works stuff.

The club stuff seemed a lot more fun, even if half of the people on my list didn't get me anything.

I was going to make this the last year that I did club stuff, but I would really miss it. I was thinking that I just don't have the energy to do both family stuff and club stuff, and if I was going to give up something it should be the club stuff. Somehow it seems really cold to want to give up any Christmas stuff with family.

Sometimes I really just want to move to another state and just come home for a visit or something. Just get my yarn and my ceramics and be someplace totally different and not have to think about stuff anymore.

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