Sunday, December 17, 2006


I've been shopping in stores. I, even, went to the mall. This is not typical behavior for me. I, frequently, persuade one of my sisters to visit stores for me, but this year they both seem too busy for me to burden them with the weight of my most hated pursuit. I will have to go to the city one more time before I can be truly finished, but most of the Christmas shopping is done.

I enjoy thinking about what each of the people on my list might want or need. I am always in search of that perfect present. Honestly, I rarely find it. The problem is this. Most of the people on my lists have too much stuff. If they want something badly, they usually buy it unless it is something that I wouldn't be able to afford to give in the first place. Even so, I went to the stores in the hopes of ferreting out the elusive perfect gifts.

Gift items are a plenty in the stores - impersonal gifts that could be given to anyone or everyone. Unfortunately, I wasn't looking for the one size fits all Christmas present. So, I wandered from store to store, shopping area to shopping area trying not be lured by the displays promising the perfect gift for everyone. How can a gift be perfect for every single person on your list?

The answer is that it is perfect in that if you buy a gift like a car emergency kit, foot warmer blanket, or holiday coffee mug, you will have spent the exact same amount on every person so there is no chance of offending someone, your shopping will be done quickly and painlessly, and since the gift is impersonal it may be re-gifted easily. Though, I would love to buy into this plan of shopping, I cannot.

So, this elf is off to the market! Again!

BTW, I wrote an entry about trash when I first started blogging. Funny, the quote by Dorthy Sayers I thought a true fit for that entry is what I have been thinking about while shopping.
A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand.

Do we really need all this stuff?


JoVE said...

The one interesting headline in this week's Guardian Weekly that I haven't read the article for yet is something like the US model of growth is based on excess. Maybe I should go read and report on it (maybe with a link).

Hope it all goes well. I recommend an alcoholic beverage of your choice to reward yourself for getting through mall hell without doing anyone any violence.

wisteria said...

I look forward to your post and the link.

I will reward myself when all is done. Maybe before.

zilla said...

I love this post -- thoughtful on both the personal and societal levels. Going through the same thing up here. I love gifting, but not under pressure. And it's gotten so much worse, now, with all these dot-com wish lists. My kids said it would make things easier for me. They don't know that I never even registered for wedding gifts because I wanted my wedding to be about people, not ... sterling silver wine coasters?

I'm off to research Twelfth Night. I want to have a holiday party, but not while I'm stressing about perfect gifts, so I was thinking Twelfth Night might be cool, except I have no idea what it is!

Happy gifting, happy baking, happy gatherings ahead...

wisteria said...

Twelfth Night? as in Shakespeare. Or Twelfth Night as in Christianity?, which would give you more time to shop.

Maybe I should convince my family to wait, but then you have to fight the after Christmas sale shoppers. Which is worse the panic stricken before Christmas shoppers or the maniacal after Christmas crowd?