Thursday, December 11, 2014
Ninja Shopping Assassin
I got a late start on gift acquisition this year, on account of being sick, tired and sick of being tired for most of Thanksgiving. (Thanks, ever-changing North Texas weather and killer pollen counts!) But I am making up for it.
In fact, I'm prepared to call it: I am a ninja shopping assassin.
Immediate family: done. Mother and mother-in-law: very close to.
Sisters-in-law and grown niece: final touches knocked out in a half hour of online shopping completed this morning, thanks to Lands' End, Macy's and Neiman Marcus, who conveniently offered me deep discounts, shipping deals AND money in the kids' Upromise account. Only missing one monogram.
Baby nieces: done. Besties and their kids: one item lacking, another en route from an Etsy seller. Otherwise, complete. Neighbors: done. Teachers: done and done.
You get the idea.
Not done: two brothers-in-law. Spouse is in charge of acquiring their gifts.
Pray for us.
I like to make lists, and I like to efficiently cross items off of those lists (while also leaving some wiggle room for impulse purchases). This year, I have a Trello board for my lists. More on that later. My game plan always involves purchasing and wrapping a little each day, every day, so I don't get overly stressed, and I try to wrap up that process at least ten days out from 12/25. Spouse's default mode is more of the "wheels-off, skid-across-the-finish-line-on-fire" kind of thing (although he has gotten SO much better over two decades, something for which I take SO much credit, and it's been a long time since he accused me of being the Grinch for suggesting that waiting to do his shopping until 12/23 and 12/24 was kind of a wack idea).
(Note to file: I am so blond that, after I looked up how to spell "wack" and was surprised to learn that it wasn't spelled like the real word "whack," it took me a five-count to go, "OH - SHORT FOR WACKY." I am forever "discovering" obvious things like this. A recent example, driving down Montgomery Street here in Fort Worth: "Look, hon. Billiards and Barstools put up their giant inflatable holiday bear, and Vending Nut put up a nutcracker again. OH, I JUST GOT IT. IT'S ALWAYS A NUTCRACKER BECAUSE THEY SELL NUTS.")
I have spent a lot of time this year serving as personal shopper for Big Kid, acquiring gifts for youth ministry staff and choir directors and white elephant items for multiple gift exchanges. Once upon a time, I participated in multiple gift swaps, but now I'm down to one, and for every one I've dropped, Big Kid has picked up a replacement. I refer to this as the Matter-Antimatter Theory of Holiday Gift Shopping: everything offsets. An aged family member dies, and a baby joins the family in the same year, so you still end up shopping for the same number of people. And, apparently, I will always need to shell out $X for Y number of gift exchanges.
As Yoda would put it: balance in the Christmas force, there is.