Friday, November 10, 2006


Every year my oldest daughter makes a Christmas list. Not for herself, but a list of people she wants to give gifts to. Not only does she want to give gifts to all of the people in our family--aunts(3), uncles(3ish), cousins(11), grandpas(4), grandmas(4), brothers(5), sisters(2), parents(2)--she also feels the need to MAKE most of them.

She starts by making Christmas cards for each and every person on her list--all different. She is usually done with them by mid-October. Then she pours for hours over her craft books, both borrowed from the library and ones she owns, to find the perfect gift for each person.

(I often wonder what is going through her head at this time, since last year one of her uncles ended up with an elephant ring toss. The elephant's trunk was the ring catcher.)

Then she makes the List. This is the part I dread, because this is where I have to become involved.

Beginning of negativity...

Mostly I stay out of the whole thing, so if anyone has an issue with tacky homemade Christmas gifts, I am not the person to take it up with. You should have seen what I ended up with last year. I love her and I love her heart to give and create, blahdy blah, but I hate tacky. So if your gift is tacky, IT IS NOT MY FAULT. My suggestion is to grin and bear it and hopefully the quality will improve over time.

End (hopefully) of negativity...

A few days ago she came to me and asked when I could take her shopping. She had her list all ready to go. Since I had known this day was coming I had already decided on a day. That day was yesterday. After I made her rewrite her list in a more orderly fashion so we didn't have to wander from one end of the store and back again, we left to go shopping. We decided to go to Walmart first, then hit the craft store and fabric store for the rest.

My daughter is very secretive about the gifts she is making for others. She doesn't like to share. So it makes it hard for me to help her. For instance, her list said "bell." What kind of bell? I asked. Hmm, she didn't remember. Is it a jingle bell, or the other kind?--gritting my teeth. Well, maybe jingle bell, she guesses. Metal pieces? What kind of metal pieces. It's not like you can walk into the store and say "where are your metal pieces?" A cork? Where in the heck is the cork section in Walmart?

Oh, and slow? Oh. My. It was all I could do not to grab the list out of her hand and rush through the store throwing things in the cart. We were in Walmart for over an hour. Ever seen those poor little kids at the store with their moms, following her around--arms hanging down, shuffling their feet, whining "when are you going to be done?"-- that was me. I was so done shopping after the first five minutes.

Okay, so I didn't really do that. But I wanted to.

What a sweet girl. So ambitious and organized. I haven't even made my Christmas gift list yet. I avoid it until the last possible moment. She has been working on gifts out in the storage room all day today, happy as a clam.

Last night, after we got home, she said "There, now I can relax." And so can I. Until next year.

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