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On the great midsummer stampede and my part in it - Tactical Ninja

Dec. 20th, 2012

09:59 am - On the great midsummer stampede and my part in it

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Today is the day the Christmas lunches start. Well, there are really only two of them - my team one (which we have to pay for ourselves this year) and the whole work one at which we eat sausage rolls and give each other Secret Santa gifts. I was lucky this year in that I got someone I actually know (my workplace is monkeysphere-challenging large) and he's From The Internet, so I have given him How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you from The Oatmeal, because it was on special for a tenner ages ago and I grabbed one thinking it'd make a good gift for someone. Mwuahahaha, fear my powers of organisationey goodness!

Meanwhile, I fully expect to get an inflatable neck pillow or a box of coriander flavoured gourmet chocolates, because monkeysphere and also because I'm pretty private at work. Unless it's my immediate colleagues, nobody knows all that much about me. Ah well, most of my friends like coriander, so there's that.


I did some. Mostly I'm sorted for the various gifts I plan to give, because I tend to only give gifts to a few people and they're folks I know well enough to nab something when I come across it, or know what'll work for them. But I do have a few things left to buy, tail-end things that are harder. And I'm sad to say that this year, I may end up doing that thing where I'm actually browsing for something, anything, to give to X person. I'd like to say I'm above all that but actually, I'm not.

So yesterday I took the opportunity provided by my spare half hour after Osteodude for a bit of Christmas browsing. What I discovered is that if I don't know exactly what I want, most shops don't have anything that works. I try to keep a picture of the person in mind and think about what might appeal to them, and it seems your standard shops don't appeal to the people I know - at least not through my filter that models them in my mind.

I had one of those moments - you know the one where you are looking around at the seething mass of humanity getting frazzled by the heat and the close contact and the "OMG I can't find anything and I really don't want to be doing this on Christmas Eve because it'll be pandemonium argh argh argh!" And I started to think to myself, that all this stuff I'm surrounded with, all covered in tinsel and Santas and whatnot, it's Just.Stuff. I will give the Stuff to the people, and then they'll have more Stuff to deal with - an extra book for a bookshelf, an extra trinket to find a place for, just more stuff that people fill their lives with for no reason other than that we have this tradition of giving each other Stuff.

And then I got over it because while I would love to give people experiences instead of Stuff, the fact is I have 5 days, two of which I'll be working, two of which are already booked, and one of which is Christmas Eve. I have a limited budget and am running out of imagination as well. So I continued my hunt and managed to find three things to tick off the list. Now there are only three things left to get, and my wee crisis yesterday seems to have cleared a blockage and now I know what else I want to give.


Yes, my internal gymnastics over Christmas buying are riveting, aren't they? Please someone, come here and validate me by telling me I'm not the only one that overthinks this?

Solstice tomorrow. Those of you up there in the Northern Hemisphere, we have all your daylight! Muahahahaa!

Comments:

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From:m_danson
Date:December 19th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
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Solstice tomorrow. Those of you up there in the Northern Hemisphere, we have all your daylight! Muahahahaa!

*narrows eyes* Give. It. Back.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 19th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
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OK will do. Just give us a couple of days to process the paperwork, and it'll be on its way.
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From:m_danson
Date:December 19th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
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*laugh* Hopefully it won't get lost in the mail.
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From:pombagira
Date:December 19th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
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or in a container in Auckland where all the books from Book Depository ended up.. all 12 thousand of them O.O

can't have the sun in a container now...


well maybe if we wrap it in ribbons, * shifty eyes* a blue one perhaps
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From:m_danson
Date:December 19th, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
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That's a big oops. No container shipping for our sunlight.

*grin*

We had 2.7 million kilos of maple dyrup disappear here... but that was stolen. So at my end we have to watch out for thieves siphoning off sunlight.
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From:ms_hecubus
Date:December 19th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
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I'm one of those strange people who finds gift buying easy and enjoyable. It's a side effect of spending so much of my freakin' life shopping. :/
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From:tatjna
Date:December 19th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
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For the most part I do too, but only when I have already decided what I want to give the person. If I've no clue, then I find the browsing for something really frustrating.
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From:pombagira
Date:December 19th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
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i have the same issue, when making things for people.. soemtimes i have an idea about what i want to make..but then sometimes my mind just goes blank..

which is why some people will get things later after cause time things..


hmmm..

*skips about*
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From:richaarde
Date:December 20th, 2012 04:28 am (UTC)
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Just out of curiosity, since you're south of the equator, and the majority of the world's population isn't...

Does Christmas imagery still contain snow, and a Santa Claus in a big heavy coat? I figured such winter wonderland scenes would be out of season at the beginning of your summer. But I have to imagine the Christmas carols and movies and stuff make their way down to you from the USA and/or England.
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From:tatjna
Date:December 20th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
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Yeah, most of our imagery is the traditional Northern Hemisphere stuff, and the carols are the same all over the Western world. We have some NZ-specific stuff, like these:



Which bloom at Christmas time and are kind of Christmassy. And for a while there was a push for this sort of thing:



which you still see around a bit, but the vast majority of our Christmas tradition is inherited from England, and now also the US. It's.. weird, to be honest. And also impossible to overcome - there just aren't enough of us for our way of life to overcome the traditions of the majority.
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From:t_c_da
Date:December 20th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
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In my youth we still had the huge cooked bird and all the trimmings for Christmas dinner (usually late afternoon as the folks traditionally had open house after church which ran until early afternoon and then we cleaned up from that before having our dinner), but these days we are much more relaxed about it and are having a BBQ at #4 son's place with all members of the local tribe that are in town (total 8 adults, 6 kids, 2 cats) so the various outlaws can have Christmas with their other folk.

So there is some rebellion against the northern hemisphere traditions...
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From:vernacularity
Date:December 20th, 2012 10:33 am (UTC)
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i sometimes overthink the xmas, running round like a cat on fire for a couple of weeks trying to get cool things for everyone, sometimes do it all on the eve at somewhere like briscoes or the warehouse or bunnings . you know whut? the most successful in terms of everyone got something they liked, and it was relatively cheap, was a warehouse year. the worst was when i spent all my xmas gift money on food and donated it to the DCM.

and you know also whut?

on xmas eve the shops have usually been quite empty. that awesome warehouse year took about two hours of quietly walking around in peace.
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