Saturday, November 24, 2012

Going Postal

Every year, we send Christmas presents to Matt's two brothers and their partners and children (in Toronto and Edmonton), his Mom and her husband and his Dad and his wife (in Thunder Bay at two separate addresses - oh, I did make it clear that they were divorced and remarried, so obviously they'd be at two separate addresses or whoo, that would be weird). That's fine; these are all people that I love and I'm pretty good at finding the right present for the right person. What is not fine is that, for the duration of the acquiring/wrapping/packing process, which can take up a good part of November and December, my entire living room and dining room are full of boxes and presents and wrapping paper. Nothing gets bought all at once, and then somehow even when most of the packages are ALMOST ready to go, there are always one or two more finishing touches left, then I remember that I need to include a card, with a witty summation of our year, and some pictures, and THEN when they finally ARE all ready to be mailed, it takes my husband those extra few days to get around to it, and then it costs as much to mail the wretched things as it did to buy them. And it adds a bitchy little twist to the holiday cocktail that I always wish wasn't there.

Last year I vowed that things would be different. I'm a good present-shopper, but an inefficient one. I tend not to make lists and cross off each person as their gift is acquired, but instead to pick up things that feel right and then often end up with eight gifts for one person and a depressing lack of presents for another. This year I would shop online and ship directly to the recipients and I would not buy anything unless I knew who it was for.

It hasn't worked perfectly. My campaign to get the downstairs storage closet cleaned out unearthed a veritable cornucopia of clothes and toys that need to be shipped to the small boy cousins in Edmonton, so I didn't restrict myself to online shopping for them. There were a couple of things I'd ordered for Matt's Mom and her husband LAST year that didn't come until after we'd shipped the package, so those need to be mailed. BUT, I have already ordered and received delivery confirmation for the stuff for my father-in-law and his wife and Matt's brother and his girlfriend in Toronto (even though I buggered up entering their address even thought it was RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, and they're doctors so they've probably despaired of my intelligence). That's FIFTY PERCENT LESS boxes in my living room this year. Okay, that's not really correct, strictly mathematically speaking, because the Edmonton stuff has already filled three boxes, but whatever, shut up, it's a better success rate than I expected.

Also, I stopped myself from buying one of these at the craft fair. Because how would I decide who to give it to? I would have had to go back and get one for everyone. And my living room would have been full of.... okay, forget it, that would have been insanely cool and now I wish I'd done it.

8 comments:

Nicole said...

Mailing and wrapping and packing stuff up is the worst! The worst! I have become an extremely efficient shopper - I'm like a robot.

clara said...

Totally. We had a frenzy of buying and wrapping for our family out east and now I have several small piles of pretty presents stacked on my bookshelf because I don't have the big box to put them in and mail, plus the cards, plus the photos we just took today and haven't developed yet oy. Last week I was all, wow! I'm done shopping in mid-November! And in a month I will be all, wow! I was done shopping in mid-november and nothing has been mailed dammit.

No! This changes now! Here we go! *sips beer.*

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Hannah said...

This is the first year I'll have this problem and I can already see it is going to suck. I need to ship a box to Charlottetown, but I'm waiting on the gift for my nephew to arrive before I pack it.

And I still need to buy something for a friend in Ottawa, although I think I will take a page from your book & ship it directly, even though they always ship gifts for the boys beautifully wrapped and with handmade cards attached. WHATEVER, KEENERS.

StephLove said...

Will it make you feel better if I tell you I haven't bought a single present for anyone to mail or online? Not a single one.

Lynn said...

I wish I'd bought one of those ottomans, too. They live on in legend in my mind. Next year, for sure!

Nan | Wrath Of Mom said...

This year for the first time ever I didn't stockpile boxes in the basement for possible use in mailing presents. And now I'm faced with the possibility of buying EMPTY boxes. I find this distressing and to that end am just ignoring Christmas for a few more weeks.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Now I know I'm dead inside because a few years ago, I informed everyone who didn't live in my house or wasn't a minor that I would not be buying them gifts. The buying, wrapping, shipping...ugh! All too much for me.