Anyone who knows me, realizes that I am shopping phobic. Each moment in a store is stolen from my life.
If I do have to enter a store I want to go where the product is directly, don't look right or left, grab it, pay for it and get the hell back to my real life. If it can't be done in 15 minutes, I don't need it.
There was one memorable exception.
About 10 years ago I was in a Medieval French village with a Long Island friend. We'd stayed at a quaint and beautiful hotel lovingly converted from a 13th century jail with original wooden gargoyles. Keeping her out of the boutiques would have been cruel and she coerced me into buying a wonderful, original handmade sweater that I wear regularly while smiling at the memory. But that involved long chats about the history of the sweater and learning about the owner of the store nothing like wandering the aisles of a department store and then standing in line and have a cashier ring it up without any real human contact.
For Christmas presents I usually buy during the year based on things people said in passing, so I never, ever have to enter a store in December.
Didn't work out so well this year and I realized that it was mid- November. YIKES!!!!!
However last night, on-line in less than an hour I completed 95% of my shopping and today I see everything has been shipped.
There are a couple of things I still have to get for my daughter from a Swiss grocery store and one thing for Rick that I can't buy on line. The places for purchases are within a few minutes walk so only a half hour max should be involved. And it will still be done before Thanksgiving, which although not celebrated here, we celebrate with American friends and friends of American friends.
I'm no Scrooge. I like to listen to what people say they might like and get it for them.
We don't go in for Christmas Bling, thank God. A well-chosen small thing is much better.
My daughter can be excited about the Kinder Eggs with the toys inside and banned from the US (where small toys are considered dangerous but guns aren't), and I love getting a new English Cryptoquote workbook. I do admit that I am a nightmare to buy for because I have more than I need or want.
Christmas for me really starts with the winter solstice when some evergreen however small comes into the house. It is nice to see the decorations, the lights around the city. Seeing friends is often the best part, sharing a meal, etc., music, laughter. A call to my kid tops it all off, although it is best when she is with me, but that isn't always possible. That's Christmas for me.
I do love Christmas if it doesn't involve shopping in a store. So beginning in December I will say
- Merry Christmas to my Christian friends
- Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends
- Joyeux Noël to my French friends
- Feliz Navidad to my Spanish friends
- Frohe Weihnachten to my German
- Veselé Vánoce to my Czech
- Happy Holidays to those who are of no known religion but will have time off