Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Saturation Point


Next year, I'm just going to buy them all myrrh.  If it's good enough for Jesus, right?.

Yes, IT has arrived yet again, though I have been trying to ignore it.  I refuse to even think about it until December 1st, but today it's December 3rd.  This morning I did it, I forced myself to look down the Morrissons' aisle I usually avoid - you know, the one with selection boxes and all things red and glittery - in search of packets of Christmas cards that satisfy the happy medium between not-too-ghastly and not-too-expensive.  Talking of supermarkets, I'd prefer not to have to do food shopping at 9.30 in the morning to a backdrop of a juvenile Michael Jackson shrieking 'Santa Claus is coming to town' in two shops running, but there you go - and I whinged about that this time last year, HERE, so I won't do so again...

The saturation point to which I refer in the title of this post is that of present buying and receiving. The 'not thinking about it until December 1st' is mostly because I'm all out of ideas, you see.  Look, my sister is 57 and my brother is 50 ~ over the years we've known each other I've bought them both everything I can possibly think of for birthdays and Christmas, and I'm totally STUCK.  


What do you get the sister and brother with everything?

As for my parents - well, Mum is in a care home; Alzheimer's means that she doesn't know if it's Christmas Day, Palm Sunday or the 4th of July, so that's okay, but Dad?  He's 85.  A couple of years ago he said that he reckons he's got enough clothes to last him until he shuffles off this mortal coil. He's got shelves and shelves and piles of books, and has quite a busy life (his social life is more active than mine) so doesn't have that much time to read.  I've already given him DVDs of everything John Thaw has ever been in, he doesn't need any pictures or ornaments or kitchen equipment.  So what else is there?


Daddy in his long-lasting clothes (on his 85th birthday)

My husband is as bad - he has a wardrobe full of clothes I've bought him over the past five years, and apart from that, what he likes best is things with wires and cables and switches and flashing lights, none of which I understand, so it's best he buys them for himself.  He listens to audio books rather than reads, and downloads any that interest him.  In short, anything he wants he will buy anyway.  I'm the same - I can't really think of anything I'd like, aside from a cottage in Cornwall, mega-visibility for my books on Amazon, a night in a four poster with Josh Holloway (Sawyer in 'Lost') and to be ten years younger. If I want perfume, I go and buy it.  Ditto clothes.  I have sufficient jewellery. Don't even mention books.  I have enough unread ones to last me until my eyes fail.


Josh Holloway ~ all I want for Christmas

Last night I had a brainwave - I suggested to Husband that we don't buy each other anything this year. His relief and delight were such that if we weren't already married I think he might have proposed.  He reckons I'm the ideal woman because I do not require sparkly pink things with hearts on and over priced red roses every February 14th; saying 'you needn't get me anything for Christmas' and meaning it has confirmed this view!


Father and my niece, Freya - at 13, so easy to buy for!

Right - that's the annual festive moan over!  It doesn't help that most of my in-law family are Scorpio and Sagittarius so I've only just had to think of stuff for their birthdays.  Christmas wise, so far I have bought: Lindt chocolates for my husband's nieces.  Cadbury's Heroes for his nephews. Posh hair glitter and a gift token for my own 13 year old niece.  See, the teenagers are easy. Give it another 30 years, though, and I'll be just as stuck. Except that by then I'll probably be away with the fairies in a care home, too....


Mum and Dad sitting outside Mum's care home this summer.  It's very nice there, with a black cat who sleeps on the beds, and chickens in the garden!

You can't go wrong with a box of Lindt Chocolates!





40 comments:

  1. Well, folks, I am Terry's 57-year-old sister, and I've managed to buy all my presents for all the family - including really good ones for her and her husband. So there. They're all in a big box waiting to be wrapped up. Josh Holloway isn't too pleased about that, he says he's bored.

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  2. Look, just keep feeding him Lindt chocolates until it's time to post him!!!!

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  3. I was just about to congratulate you, Terry - then I read Julia's post. There's always someone who breaks the rules and turns up with something fab!

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    1. I know, June. She's already told me twice that she's done it all (this makes three times) and no doubt I will hear it a few more times this week...!!!

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  4. I’m with you on being sooo over all of the senseless gift giving to folks who have everything or could just buy whatever meager gift you plan to give them, if they really needed it. Or wanted it. I’m much more about experiences—why can’t the others on my list feel the same? Give theatre tickets, a gift card to the movies, a day’s outing somewhere special, anything that is out of the norm and memorable!

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    1. Exactly, Jann! That's so much better, rather than yet more bath stuff and jumpers...!

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  5. How about the gift of an experience or day out? You've probably already thought of it, but my mum and dad were more excited this year about me taking them to the zoo and lunch for their birthdays than a material object, although I never have problems buying things for anyone. It was something to look forward to. I have bought Chris a wine tasting day and racing day and he bought me a day up close and personal with animals which was a day I will never forget. Sometimes giving our time is more precious than a gift, but then it has to be apt for the person. My niece was really happy when I bought her a year's adoption for tigers, as she loves them. Just a thought. :-)

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    1. Sandra, how very kind of you to take the trouble to make these suggestions! Thank you very much indeed - next year I am going to start thinking about it earlier, and keep this in mind for birthdays, too. It's a great idea! xx

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    2. You're welcome! It also spreads the cost rather than being a huge spend in December :-) x

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    3. Here by way of Suzie81's #SundayBlogShare...

      Sandra, my 16th anniversary was last Friday (December 12th), and part of the joy was going to lunch, doing a quick errand (non-Christmas related shopping for a school meeting) and smiling as she gleefully told everyone she knew that it was our anniversary, and that we'd replaced our broken wedding bands. We met a Salvation Army bell ringer at our local Wal-Mart that was celebrating her first, so... definitely a great memory.

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    4. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)

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  6. I hate shopping and don't like Christmas much anyway. we gave up buying presents a few years ago in similar circumstances to yours – it's such a relief!

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    1. Anne, shake my hand! I am with you on the first two points, and am wondering if I might put the third one to my dad and sister some time soon! Sadly, I don't think my in-law family will ever agree.... 3 in-law siblings, and 6 children....!

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  7. Haha you Grinch! ..seriously, I LOVE buying presents! This year, due to presence of baby, I have bought LOADS of Baby''s First Christmas stuff. Yep. Pathetic. I am just sad that wwe all (the Twitter mates) can't sit down at one huge long table and enjoy a lovely Christmas Dinner together...now wouldn't THAT be fun...and whose cracker would YOU pull?

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    1. Oh, so that's what a grinch is - someone else called me that the other day. Hey, I'd love to buy presents for children, it's just that I only have young teenagers to buy for, and rather too many of them to go wild with it. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I've run out of ideas! And yes - a Twitterly chums Christmas dinner would be wonderful!!! Who's cracker would I pull? Oh, I can think of a few candidates!!

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    2. I love that idea, Carol :-) And I’m with you on the baby buying, not pathetic at all ;-) And I love buying presents too! (When I know what I’m buying, that is!)

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    3. Great idea, Carol :-) I’m with you on the baby buying too - and I love buying presents!

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  8. Not feeling that Christmasy this year. Once the kids got older, it lost some of its spirit for me. Both kids asked for computer parts that have already arrived and been installed. Maybe older families should do gag gifts, or choose one person (for adults) to buy for. Happy to just snuggle up with my husband, one nice gift each, and look at the tree. Or maybe go somewhere and lie on a beach one year...

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    1. yep, that's how I feel about it. Choosing one person is a good idea - pity the in-law family would never go for that...!

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  9. I have a ginormous family (9 brothers & sisters plus I can't reveal the number of nieces & nephews without conveying the distinct impression that we reproduce like bunnies) so each year each sibling picks one name, plus each of offspring picks one cousin's name and those are the only presents we buy. We have strict price limits, so you only have to be creative one time, and within specific guidelines. But no... my husband still has to get me a gift. Little and sparkly works well here...

    True confession time: I JUST NOW FOUND OUT that you have this blog. I'd only seen the writing blog, and I'm feeling like a complete and total idiot. But yay! Now I can stalk you here!

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    1. Ha ha! Yes, this is where I write all the other crap. There are various articles that I suspect might be right up your rue as I feel our SOH is similar. Sort of, has to be reined in a bit sometimes so that not too many people go "ooh, that's a bit near the knuckle" (whatever that means)

      Re the presents - such a good idea. Now all I have to do is get everyone to agree....

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    2. Thanks, Terry :-) You too xx

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  10. I love Christmas now I have a little one to spend it with :-)

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    1. Ahhhh! I hope you have a lovely one xx

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  11. I never know what to buy people either, Terry, and I keep saying let's not do Christmas and then my daughter looks at me (she's 33, I might add) with sad puppy eyes and I give in, pull out the tree. put on the sparkly lights and wrap stuff up. I still don't know what to get though and haven't even thought about it yet! PS I love Carol's idea of all us Twitter mates getting together for a big celebration!!

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    1. All I can say to all that, Val, is that I am totally with you on all of it! It helps not having any children, an d a husband who feels as I do about it, though! xx

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  12. I am totally with you on this Terry and really could do without all the Christmas nonsense - fortunately my daughter will do all the decorations, without her there would be nothing up at all. I did have a look earlier in my secret present place, obviously my wardrobe, in the hope that maybe I'd find a whole heap of presents in there that I'd forgotten I'd already bought but drew a blank unfortunately... I have cut down the list where I can but there are still those I can't avoid so shall have to come up with something. I think my husband would be like yours though - no presents to buy for each other? Result!! I'll go and mention it now :-)

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    1. Hope it worked! I mean, apart from anything else, it saves you a couple of hundred quid! As far as the others go, I am going to go into Newcastle tomorrow and hope for inspiration - that'll work, then....!!

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  13. I do love buying presents, but that's in my ideal world of pots of money and no job taking up all my time! And be thankful you're not buying for a 9 year old boy. Girls, no problem, my 7 year old is easy-peasy (Shopkins, 1D onesie, anything sparkly, Elsa doll etc etc), but boys are a pain, especially when they've just had a birthday! I write lists, but then can't focus on anything I've written down and end up paranoid I've not bought enough for everyone. Basically, Christmas is easier when you're a kid and you don't have anyone to buy for and all you have to remember is to put out a mince pie for Father Christmas!

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    1. Oh God, yes, I remember that, when I used to be really busy and have loads of people to buy for - the daft panic! When in reality everyone gets loads of stuff and no-one minds. I thought all children were easy - don't you just get them x box or play station games???!!

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  14. I completely agree with you Terry, the pressure to go shopping for Christmas presents can really take away from the 'true' meaning of Christmas - i.e. sitting in front of a cozy fire watching cheesy movies and eating enough for 10 people! I just want to tell my loved ones that they are loved and it's hard to express that materially in ninety million different ways each year. Retailers really pile on the pressure too, harping on about a 'perfect Christmas', so I applaud your 'no gifts' stance. I always try to do a little baking or Christmas crafting to get into the holiday mood - shopping does anything but!

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    1. Exactly - the retailers. I resent it, don't like to feel that I'm being suckered in by it all! Like your 'true meaning'....! :)

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  15. My husband and I quit buying presents for each other years ago. My family does a "name in a hat" thing, so we only have to buy two presents for our big get-together, and people make lists to choose from. Lots less pressure. More fun.

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  16. I have not shopped yet, and now I know why! My kids are easy, they keep Amazon wish lists. And two new grandchildren, so fun to buy for:) But the others...as you say, we've been there, done that. 50 times or so:)

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  17. I love buying presents. I try to find things that are special, but sometimes a gift card in a really pretty box could work as well. I enjoy every minute of it. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it'll stay this way ;). My brother is only 32, but he's got plenty of wishes. If all else fails there's always the really good wine which is definitely going to be a big hit with any of my family members and husband. Good luck with the presents this year and enjoy the company as that's what matters most right?

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    1. Hi - thanks for reading and I'm not surprised that you love present buying, you're so generous and thoughtful. Alas, I don't see my family at Christmas as I live a fair way away from them, which is part of the reason presents are important. But thank you - you've given me a smile, as usual! x

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  18. Why are your husband's nephews and nieces not also yours? I thought that was the law.

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    1. Yes, you're right, they are, but we married late only a few years ago and I suppose I still think of them as his, as I don't have the connection I have with my own family by blood.

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