So, I like many others have started the countdown to Christmas. Every year I aim to be more organised, and every year I become less so. Demonstrated by the fact that this morning I simply had to eat 5 days worth of Advent chocolates as I'd forgotten to do so the past week. Starting the day with an Advent-sugar-high was pretty good though.
Now, I have long accepted that I will never be one of those people like my Mother who will be wonderfully organised and have everything bought and wrapped with the military type precision that Santa must employ to deliver presents to all the world's children on Christmas Eve by the time I open the first door on my advent calendar. (What do you mean he's not real?!) however I will always get things done, just in my own time and in my own way. Nor would I do what my uncle does and buy it all on Christmas Eve- that's just too much of a risky strategy for Captain Sensible to contemplate.
Christmas obviously is not about the presents (I mean, it makes up a LARGE part of the day, and yes I probably would be put out if Santa hadn't visited, but hey, don't lie, so would you be.) But it is about family and for the religious among us, obviously celebrating the birth of some guy called Jesus. However, for a day that isn't about presents, it is bloody stressful buying the damn things.
It's the politics of it all which really gets my goat. (And before I get labelled as a Scrooge or as some kind of Christmas hater, I'm really not, I love the whole festive season and I'm not gonna say I hate the season just to get some kind of reaction out of someone who's bored enough to read this.) I'm sure you will all know what I'm talking about here- it goes from the whole- "well Betty's second cousin once removed bought me a present last year, I mean it was a sodding pair of hideous socks but I can't not get her something this year in case she gets me something again, and if i'm buying for her then I can't not buy her sister Ethel something as they're spending it together this year" to the incredibly awkward moment when you've just spent a fiver on a chocolate selection box for a friend, and they then rudely present you with a beautifully gift wrapped box with your favourite perfume inside. So. Awkward.
I'm not going to spend a fortune this year Christmas, as I made the unwise decision to move to New Zealand with next to no savings in the new year, and I've made the decision not to get so stressed about them either. The thing is even with the shitty presents you will inevitably get- from the sub-standard board games to the pair of tights, to the bath set that smells like old ladies, you still appreciate that there was some level of thought put into them.. For example, I know that the bar of soap I got last year was given to me because I do like to keep clean. (sense the sarcasm.)
Seriously though, I reckon, as we all do- that presents I buy for people are spot-on, but if that were true, then nobody would ever complain about the presents they got, and there would be absolutely no need for the dreaded Gift Receipt.. (praise be the Gift Receipt). So there must be some presents we have all bought that are some serious faux pars.
Which is probably why I still quite like the idea of Santa. He always got it spot on. Less stressful too that way, and a (admittedly, somewhat feeble) excuse to put off buying presents a little while longer.