Since the time my sisters abandoned me by going to college and past Rudolph’s reigns to me, I have been my Dad’s elf. Shopping for my mom from my Dad, because if left to his own devices, he would be shopping the morning of. It is bad enough that some years, in the early days of my move to the Concrete Jungle, he would wrangle me to go shopping a couple days before.
I would try to control the fire ready to escape my nose and ears, and as the dutiful daughter, do it. I admit a few curse words would be moving in my head as I navigated the outlets in my tiny town, which was good for sports clothes, sneakers, and not much else. Almost everything my mom liked was something you either had to buy at the mall in Portland, Maine, which was an hour and twenty minutes away. Or my fav…Ordering online, I am the queen bee of anti-social shopping after all.
I actually love shopping for other people. Especially if it isn’t my money. I have even contemplated personal shopping. But as a Type A personality I need to be done at least a week before Christmas…Especially if I don’t want a murder charge slapped on me navigating crowded stores.
Thankfully I took my Dad’s Santa responsibilities in hand and some years he has been done by Thanksgiving. In fact I have even gotten him to take on ordering some of the gifts himself, which may or may not have shocked my sister-in-law and I the first year it happened.
I also have wrapped for both of my parents since I was a kid. There is something so peaceful, sitting on the rug, by the tree with a Christmas movie on in the foreground meticulously creasing the paper, wrapping gifts and awaiting the anticipation of loved ones opening them Christmas Morning. I love the puzzle of not only picking out the perfect paper, but cutting it just so. Then the decorating, crafting the perfect bows, picking out a cute tag that matches perfectly.
It really does make it seem like it is the most wonderful time of year. It also makes one pause, and think about what it means to give. Whether it is sentimental, material, physical, or monetary, you are focusing on others and their is no better feeling.
On Christmas morning, it isn’t the opening of my presents that I love. It is watching others open theirs. Seeing the expressions on their faces. The joy and happiness as they open something unexpected or sentimental. It is the magic of adults once again finding their inner child and being unabashed at expressing it.
That is the best gift, because in the end, it is one that is shared by both the giver and the receiver.
Are you a last minute shopper? Or do you have someone help you shop for them? Do you like wrapping? Let me hear your Holiday anecdotes.