About now is the time when we start laying out the gifts we have purchased to make sure we haven’t left anyone out. When we have kids or grandkids, we also count to make sure there isn’t one more gift for one than there is for the others. Have we got enough wrapping paper? Bow or no bow? Rats! How could we forget the hair stylist or the housecleaner? Twenty-five dollars for each?
All of that became a bit harder for me this year. The difficulty impacted not only me, but also all of our children. Because of our unexpected decision to stay over the holiday rather than fly home, all of our gifts were purchased online. That isn’t a lot different than last year, except that last year the gifts I purchased online were mostly sent to me to wrap and distribute. The gifts for the Vermonters were sent directly to them, but this year, that was true for all of the gifts. I sat down one afternoon and Christmas shopped. It took me three or four hours to figure out what to get, which store carried which items, place the orders and then have them shipped, not to me, but to the parents of the kids.
For a period of time, nearly every day I was getting emails indicating that a particular package had been sent to one of the households. For a bit, I was taking care to let them know that a package had been delivered. After awhile, however, it seemed like my phone was dinging like Santa’s sleigh, and I simply gave up.
Yesterday morning I decided to look at my emails and see if everything had been delivered. Just like Santa Claus, I made a list and checked it twice…..
I hadn’t missed anyone. All but one package had been delivered. That package is on its way, perhaps there by now. The next step is up to the parents. They have to keep in mind all of the times we babysat, picked up kids from school, cleaned up after a massive slime-making project, etc., and wrap all of the gifts with a smile.
I have mentioned before that gift wrapping is so not my forte. There is no effort to hide the scotch tape. I haven’t put a bow on a present since the Carter Administration. Gift bags are my friends. So while I’m really trying to feel bad that I’m not spending one whole day wrapping gifts, what I’m really feeling is sheer, unadulterated glee.
Oh, and thanks kids.