Wednesday, December 22, 2010


A lady asked me last week, "So, are you all ready for Christmas?" I responded with a blank look, not knowing how to answer.

I know what she meant - Was the house decorated? Was there a turkey in the freezer, waiting to be defrosted? Were the gifts all wrapped and tucked under the tree? And I could have answered all those questions "No!" without hesitation.

But, what if instead she meant, "Are you done with your holiday shopping?" Then, I'd have to answer, "Yes." No, I haven't purchased any gifts. Yes, I'm done with my shopping. You see my dilemma - it's a little difficult to know how to answer.

When Steve took over handling our household finances a couple of years ago, he also took over gift shopping. That first year, I grew increasingly anxious as Christmas approached. Me - I'm the type who likes to make lists, write out shopping routes, and check things off early. Steve, being the more spontaneous type, prefers the adrenalin rush and the thrill of the hunt that comes with a less systematic approach. Anyway, my response to his particular style of Christmas shopping was a growing feeling of dread and panic. Okay, I admit it - I want to be IN CONTROL!

You know what? In spite of my fears and in spite of the fact that I wasn't in control, everything turned out just fine. All my anxiety and stress was for naught. Last year, Christmas #2 under the new system, I think I handled things a teensy bit better - I still felt antsy, but I was definitely less anxious heading into the holidays. And I did feel a whole lot freer, which I think was one of the intents of Steve's shifting these responsibilities in the first place. This year? Truthfully, I feel some butterflies in my stomach...but nothing like a full-blown panic attack.

Anyway, I was at a party last week, and one of the women commented that she liked doing all her Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. The crowds, the hub-bub and chaos, the bustle of running here and there...she loved it. It was one of her favorite days of the year! Wow - I was totally incapable of relating.

So, in closing, what kind of shopper are YOU? Did you have all your Christmas gifts purchased, wrapped, and under the tree by the 1st of December? Or are you planning to sit down tomorrow and start making out your list?

(On another note - I have to believe that my inclination to want to be organized and in control has some useful purpose in the broader scope of things. Any suggestions?!)

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Fortunately, I will not be shopping on Christmas Eve. I will be cooking and mailing gifts, but definitely not shopping. With Advent ending and Christmastime beginning tomorrow night, I am grateful to have a husband that budgets for and shops for Christmas gifts. Today I spent locked in my room playing Christmas carols and wrapping packages quite happily. I am looking forward to a relaxing Christmas Eve dinner with Daddy, then a magnificent Midnight Mass followed by a party in the home of my oldest son, Postulant James, CPM. When the wee hours pass and Santa has made his visit, I'll get a good night's sleep and wake to cheerful children ready to ransack all that carefully applied wrapping paper and ribbon. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.