The count down has begun. We are weeks/days away from that gluttonous time of year that we in the 1st world call “Christmas”. There is debt to be accumulated, empty calories to scoff and guilt over and a wide swath of poor decisions to be made. You know, shopping decisions. Would he/she really wear/play with/be appalled by/be impressed with/be disappointed in/re-gift at next years staff party/(insert your own gift insecurities here)… or should I just buy a gift card. Actually gift cards are not as easy as they used to be either. There once was a day when it could only be an iTunes card or a gas card, now the possibilities are endless from big box stores to restaurant chains to ski passes to lingerie stores and everything in between. Plus…do you buy the $25, $50, $100 card? There’s no bargain shopping with gift cards either, your giftee knows exactly how much you paid for this gift.
*Spoiler alert* Stop reading if you think stockings are stuffed and presents under the tree magically delivered via your chimney by way of a jolly (albeit probably diabetic) fat man in a red suit.
Are you sure? Ok…so, I tried telling my family that I would forego the stocking stuffing this year. Before you get all judgey on me, understand that stuffing stockings at our house this Christmas would include “me” buying and stuffing stockings for my semi-retired (<-clue to his age) husband, my 24 year old son, my 37 year old bonus son, my bonus sons 30 year old new girlfriend, my 35 year old bonus daughter and her significantly older boyfriend, and my husband happily buying and stuffing a stocking for 49 year old me. I thought that maybe at this stage we would have all grown out of wanting stockings. HA! There was a loud outcry from one son and one daughter and so…the show must go on.
I don’t know about you but I get nervous at this time of year when I see anyone who does my hair or taxes, delivers my newspaper or mail or picks up my garbage. I’d avoid seeing my gardeners and housekeepers too if I had any. Apparently these people get Christmas tips or gifts, which is fine I guess, but how much? What does this kind of “gifting” look like? A friend in the States told me she gives the hostess at one of her favourite restaurants $50 every Christmas. (Which is more like buying insurance for getting seated quickly at a good table than it is good cheer; I guess we’ll be sitting near the bathrooms all year.) By the way, she has more than one favourite restaurant.
Where do you draw the line? Should I gift or tip the kid that bags my groceries even though he puts the bag of oranges on top of the bread? What about the girl at the gym who laboriously swipes our membership card or the lady from Home Depot in the flooring department, or how about the guy that stopped his car at the cross walk so I could cross the street the other day?
The pressure is building…must get the perfect gift…must tip or give a gift to anyone who has crossed my path this year…must get fun original stocking stuffers…must decorate Martha Stewart style…must bake family favourites…must…must…must poor myself a large tumbler of red wine.