Christmas and Everything Else

I’ve got lots of Christmas presents for Aislyn. Too many, in fact. To the extent at which I worry that Desmond will take offense.

Some people start their shopping early in the year. My mother-in-law does, and it works well for her. But when I start early, I lose track and buy way too much because I fail to write it down.

So Aislyn’s done, Mom’s done, Stepmom (Mimi) is done. Aunt Cece and Leenie: mostly done, just need to pick up updated pictures of the kids from CVS. Dad’s done, but only because I specifically asked this year what he might want. Desmond, I have to catch up to Aislyn.

Derek, who always knows exactly what he wants months ahead of time, will need at least one gift he’s not expecting. Erik (older brother): I’m not happy with his present: a bowl, really? Come on, Leah. In my defense, it is a very nice bowl.

Paul (younger brother) is perhaps the most challenging to buy for. I know he has a new-ish place, but I already sent him a Bonsai tree. And I’m to understand he doesn’t cook.

Door Dash card? Do they even do that? They should.

If not a gift card, I would want to go through Amazon Prime or some other online venue, because whatever it is will need to be shipped.

It’s the same problem every year. Why are men so hard to buy for?

Desmond’s not that hard, I guess, because he’s my little boy. I know he loves books, comics, STEM-type projects, geography, Super Mario (Luigi, actually), flags, numbers, writing, cartooning, school-related activities.

Derek’s easy, too, because he always knows what he wants. For unexpected items, I know he loves books, music, and movies. But then he probably knows his “surprise” will be one of those three things, thus, it’s not really a surprise. And his interests are vast and sometimes there are too many choices.

No matter what, I’m always worried I haven’t done enough and I’m going to make someone feel bad.

It’s the thought that counts, though, right? As long as everyone’s accounted for, there shouldn’t be a problem. Anyway, you would think so.

Last year I came into a lump sum of unexpected cash, and used it to buy winter gear for the kids and all of my Christmas gifts. Everyone got an Instant Pot, only I called them “Instapots.”

“Instapot for Mom?”

“Instapot for Dad and Laurie?”

“Instapot for Crazy Uncle Erik?”

Nobody’s getting an Instapot this year, that’s for sure. In fact, at the end of last Christmas, I half-jokingly, half-seriously told Desmond this Christmas would be “poop” compared to last year.

He remembered. He reminded me. He asked if it was still true.

“Probably not for you and Aislyn,” I said. “I think we’ve done too much this year, too.”

But that’s who Christmas is really all about, right? The kids.

Actually, that and almost everything else is.

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