It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Scribbled down on December 3rd, 2017 by she
Posted in Friends & Family, Frothing At The Bit

Unsurprisingly, when left to our own devices, Drew and I don’t normally celebrate the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, we do get together with friends and family over the holiday season and we participate in gift purchases for those less fortunate that us, but we prefer not to decorate the house or exchange gifts. Too many years of the two of us being in different countries or continents during the season have made this time of year little different from any other. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. As I’m getting older and watching the world change around me, I want to find ways to celebrate and mark the everyday.

I suspect we’ve reached that “age” my father did when your ideas surrounding receiving gifts changes; where you realize that if you need something – like a new fridge after your ancient one finally gives up the ghost and rejects all past attempts at repair – you do your research, set a budget, and just go out and buy it. So it’s the home made things, the things you can do for others, or with others, that increase in appeal.

When it comes to gift giving for family and friends, we’re trying to switch away from things and on to experiences or consumables; handmade art, home cooked preserves and snacks, whisky tastings, tickets (theatre, concert, sporting events, movies, museums), gift certificates to favourite restaurants or donations to a favourite charity.  Whether or not we’ll be successful in the endeavour remains to be seen. This isn’t the first time we’ve tried to follow this concept and in previous years we’ve failed miserably. There are so many expectations, personal history, and a myriad of other things wrapped up in the concept of gift giving over the holidays that tend to make me into a giant ball of stress.

Gift giving for strangers is a whole other kettle of fish.

For the past few years we’ve been sponsoring seniors at a retirement home. Families move away. Parents outlive children. Some people choose never to have had children to begin with (like us!). The holidays can be a lonely time of year for some. We attempt to brighten their days buy obtaining a name from the retirement home, purchasing some of the items (ok, ALL +some more) and delivering the package to the home. Shopping for a stranger is fun. While we can’t always guarantee that our tastes match our gifts, we can hope we’ve made someone else’s outlook brighter for a while.

This likely explains why I’ve joined my first Reddit Christmas exchange this year. I completed a Firefly based exchange this fall and had a blast loading some unsuspecting individual up with a ship full of goodies. There are some benefits to being on the board of the AB Browncoats Society; we know where to find the coolest swag to share with brand new shiny Browncoats! Picking and shipping gifts, the anticipation of waiting for shipments to be delivered, and then seeing the posted gift unveiling gives me a huge sense of joy. And then, there’s the fun of opening a package from someone, somewhere else in the world, who has taking the time to find something for you that fits the small sliver of your personality that they’ve gleaned from your application profile. There’s a lot of joy to be found in being someone’s secret Santa!

In any case, I hope my giftees like what I’ve selected. Thanks for the giggles.


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One Response to “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”

  1. I have to admit, Reddit Secret Santa ended up putting a bit of a damper on my holiday spirit. My Santa has had no contact and didn’t ship a present by the deadline. Ok, I can accept that.

    But my giftee… Well, let’s just say I wish I’d checked out her past exchange history before I sent my “13 presents of Christmas” theme pack. It arrived in 4 separate packages between Dec 2 and 8th and she hasn’t bothered to tag the gifts received in her dashboard. Which she apparently has a history of. She doesn’t post photos of what she’s received and does her gallery postings months (or in one case, nearly a year!) late.

    How has Reddit Secret Santa not previously banned her for this? Posting the photo is one of the main rules of the experience?

    And yes, I know stuff happens and life interferes – but since she’s active elsewhere on reddit during the past few weeks she obviously had a moment or two to spare and mark the items received.

    Since attempts to keep her updated along the way have been met with silence, I’ve given up on expecting her pre-established habits to change. So, they joy I was expecting to get from finding out what a stranger thought of my gift selections? *poof* Gone.

    Being blown off by my Santa. That’s almost expected. Being blown off by my giftee – even if she hated my gift? – well, that’s pretty sad making.

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