Every year it’s the same. You’d think, by now, I would have learned, but no. I say to myself, this is the year I’m not going to break the bank. Just get gifts for my kids and that’s it. After all, I’m not made of money.
That’s the intention, and it lasts about 24 hours. Which is when, I realize my plan is not going to work. Okay, then. Just my kids, and my brother who lives in Chicago because he always remembers me this time of year and sends me something that he knows will be meaningful to me. But, how can I get him anything without getting my brother in Florida a gift, too? And isn’t my sister going to be in Florida with our brother, like she is every year at Christmas? I can’t forget about her.
Then, I remember the two Secret Santa groups I’m in. At work we draw names every year. And the ladies I met one year at a gym for women, also do Secret Santa, though by now Santa is no secret. Each has a $25 cap, and already I can hear the cash register bell going, “Cha-ching!”
There’s also my neighbor and friend who used to take walks with Henry and me before she got sidelined with a foot injury. Cha-ching. Oh, and my handy friend, Gale, who stops by everyday at lunch time, when I’m at work, just so that Henry can take his mid-day stroll through the neighborhood. And, what about my cousins who moved here last year, and my niece who’s stopping by on her way to spend Christmas with her partner’s family? I can’t forget any of them. Cha-ching, cha-ching!
Then, there’s the woman who does my hair and who gave me a small tin of butter cookies the last time I was in, as a hint that she wants a big tip. I don’t even like butter cookies, but I got the hint just the same. There’s also the woman who waxes my eyebrows, once a month, so that I don’t end up looking like Frida Kahlo. Not to mention, the guy who delivers my water, so I don’t die of thirst. There’s the one who protects me from ant infestations and came to my rescue when I was confronted by a rat in my garage. There’s the UPS guy, who wears spiffy, brown shorts all year long, looking quite dapper as he delivers all my packages from Amazon, without suffering any breakage. He’s been looking at me as if he expects somethin., After all, he more than meets his delivery quota with me. And, while I’m at it, I can’t overlook the team of women who arrive like kamikaze cleaners to spit shine my home every other Thursday. I know they’re expecting a little something. Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching, goes the cash register, as I watch the dollar bills flying out the door.
Even Henry gets miffed if I don’t bring him home a new toy or biscuit. “Something to remind me of home,” he says, looking forlorn. And by home, I know he means England. I don’t dare tell him he was actually born west of the Mississippi. Instead, I bring him a box of crumpets from the bakery, and a DVD titled, The Lost Prince. This makes him deliriously happy.
Then, there’s my son’s new girlfriend. This is her first Chrismukkah with him—and us (yes, we celebrate both). Already, she feels like part of the family, and I couldn’t be happier. So I have to get something for her and of course it can’t be just one thing because I have so many ideas on what she’d like! Cha-ching!
And what about myself? I can’t see a Black Friday sale or any other sale, for that matter, without getting something for me. Which is why I buy two of everything! CHA-CHING, CHA-CHING, CHA-CHING!!!
Oh yes, every year it’s the same. But next year, it’s going to be different, I am certain of that. Next year, I’m going to keep it simple. Which is why, next year I’m planning to sleep through December, and not wake up until the strike of midnight, January 1st.
So how about you? How did your holiday shopping fare this year? Were you good, or did you go overboard like someone I know, whose name I’d rather not mention, ahem.