Posted by: Kate | December 3, 2009

Under the Tree

Hey, lookit that… Christmas is in, like, 3 weeks.  How did that happen?

At least this year, the gift-shopping process shouldn’t be too painful.  We’re getting bunk beds for the kids – they know about it already and think it’s a fine idea, and haven’t seemed to realize that it’s because we’ll need the extra space in the house once the baby is born.  I don’t typically buy other people much in the way of souvenirs of vacations they don’t go on, but they had some cool medieval knights and dragons figurines (a current obsession of Emily’s, which Jacob has happily joined) in Ste. Chapelle, and so from me, they’re all set.  We’re doing Christmas at my mother’s, which means she’ll deal with the stocking-stuffers, and I’m sure Willem will pick up a few Dad-gifts as well.  And more important, they’ve started thinking about what they want to make/give/do for other people.  So, kids, check.

As for Willem… well, despite rumors to the contrary, he actually does read this blog regularly, which means I won’t write just yet about what I got.  Suffice it to say, my friend Jenny ordered it because I was afraid that the charge on our account would be too obvious if I paid for it directly, and I am beyond excited.  (OK, fine… it’s certainly a gift I’ll be benefiting from, too, just by sheer excitement value, but his name will go on the tag…)

The bigger challenge, for me, is coming up with an answer when people ask what I would like.  I’ve learned that if someone asks, it’s because they actually want an answer – not like when you’re 10 and everyone asks what you want for Christmas just to play into the commercialism and hype.  And most years, I’m able to create a list, like last year’s sewing bag and kitchen gadgets.  But this year, I’m stumped.  I really, truly don’t want more yarn, because I have an enormous pile of stuff just waiting to be dealt with already, and by and large I have whatever else I need or want at the moment.  And I know I should be asking for baby stuff, because the entire sum total  of baby items in the house right now could fit in one medium-sized moving box with room to spare.  But that’s not really for me, is it?  I don’t know.

So, what do I want for Christmas this year?  Aside from a sweatshirt from one of my alma maters (almas mater?), which I’ve already let Willem claim.  What’s cool in gifts this year?  Anything easy and relatively inexpensive that people are asking for?  Or do I just stick to the hard-line, “no gifts for me,” anti-commercialism tack,  which would be fine with me but then feels as though I’m imposing my own priorities on other people, something I’d really rather not do, as a rule.

When did this  all get so complicated?



  1. What baby stuff do you need? I still have the sling you sent me. I’ve got some brand new gender neutral clothes and blankies. Let me know if you want to sort something out.

  2. I think asking for donations to a cause close to your heart in your name is always a classy gift. But then I’m only a month’s rent away from contemplating homelessness right now so what do I know?

  3. I have this problem every year. What I need the kids won’t buy me because they say it’s boring and what I want, nobody can afford!

  4. In our family now we ask for things that can be used up, or experienced: a day out together that takes special planning, special food items or wine/tea/gourmet items, and a trip to a location we’ll all enjoy.

    Whatever creates good memories or tasty treats that leave no objects behind by February!

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