tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

On the great midsummer stampede and my part in it

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!
Tags: coriander is yucky, present buying is hard, validate me
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