Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seven Days Before Christmas

How the mighty have fallen.

It's just one week before Christmas and I haven't even begun my shopping yet.  I'm not sure that this sets the best example of "life balance strategy" for y'all, but it is what it is.

Oh - I'm feeling the holiday spirit and all that.  The tree is up.  The house is decorated.  I've been singing Christmas carols in the shower.

Clyde, The Elf on the Shelf, has been flitting about most faithfully each and every night.  (Though I must note that I'm slightly afraid for Clyde's life.  My four year old son "Spiderman" learned that the Elf is planning to send a behavior report back to Santa. I overheard something along the lines of, "You better tell him I was nice or else.")

Anyhoo...

It's just the whole gift buying thing which is tripping me up for some reason.  This has never happened before.  I usually love to shop. To think of creative present ideas.  To give meaningful (or at least fun) gifts to the people I love so dearly.

So why can't I get my (decreasingly blumpy) arse to the mall or even Amazon.com?   

Let's explore some theories:

1. Shopping isn't as much fun when money is tighter than the pants on an '80's hair band.  (I just realised that there are youngsters reading this that may not understand the reference.  See... way back in the olden days... ya know, the 1980's... there were these groups of rock-n-roll musicians who had really big hair and really tight pants...and... ugh, forget it.)

2. Too much tragedy, not enough comedy.  This has been a tough year for crap like people dying in tragic ways and families suffering incredible losses.  I'm having a really hard time shaking this feeling that "stuff" so doesn't matter.  (Sorry, no funny quip to add to this one. Buzz kill, I know.)

3. There's no tangible gift that says what I really want to convey.  (I guess I'm a little stuck on #2.) As I think of the people I usually enjoy shopping for most, all I want to do is just hold them tight, tell them how much I love them and promise that we will never, ever leave each other.  And then, find some miracle that makes that promise truly possible.  The Snuggie comes close, but ya know, just...not...quite...IT.

4. The Lazy Objection. As I've written before, the most common reason people have for not doing things they need to do in their lives is,"I don't have time."  It's the "no budget" of life balance. Of course we have time. It's just how we choose to spend and prioritize that time.

Still, I guess I could blame not shopping on P90X, my crazy work schedule, the house, the laundry, illness, writing, other "to do's", yada, yada, yada. You would totally buy that, right? You are SO easy. And I love you for it.  Even though it's a crock of shit really lame excuse.

5. Be --> Do --> Have.  I've been waiting for this desire to shop til I drop to come from some deep place of inner motivation.  Maybe I'll just wake up and feel it in my bones, "Today is the day!"   Reality check. Christmas is next week and that vibe hasn't happened yet.  It might be time to make an exception and hope that if I just do it, I'll eventually be in the mood.

Like that first bathroom break on a long, cold New Year's Eve, I've just got to break the seal.

Wish me luck.  I'll let you know how it goes.

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32 comments:

Argentum Vulgaris said...

This year as with last year, the spirit of Christmas is not exactly with me as I am far from my family living alone. So no Christmas shopping. I haven't even taken the time to decorate the house, doesn't seem to be any point in it. Although I did by a panetone (Brazilian style Christmas cakey thing) at the supermarket and that is half eaten, have to buy another. LOL

AV

plainolebob said...

Charlene, yeah you just start it off and it just doesn't stop, then the Christmas spirit ( the bottles kind ) kicks in, and away we go.
BIG HUGS

Charlene said...

Thanks AV & Bob. I hadn't thought of *drinking* a little Christmas spirit first but you just may be onto something!

UberGrumpy said...

6. We all have way too much stuff anyway. My house is heaving with junk

webb said...

I don't have any wisdom for you today, because it's too late for my strategy - namely, invited my college roommate and her husband to spend the night - tonight! - on their way to a family wedding. Since the guest room is also the wrapping room, I was forced to be finished this morning. Now I have a whole week to calm down before Mother arrives! A little grocery shopping, a little - mighty little! - cooking and the holiday will be over. It's SO different from my usual over-stressed, underdone self. I think I actually like it. There's a book around here somewhere.... good luck. I hope inspiration strikes. Maybe you can concentrate on how much you love them, and how much you will love seeing their happy faces when they rip open the paper...

Bruce Coltin said...

Hey Girl, Break that funk. Right this second. I mean it.

NuggleMe said...

I agree 100% with everything. Love your little elf!

Serenityville said...

Funny one Charlene! I have to say I've always thought living in balance included occasional extremes. As someone (not me) once said, "All good things in moderation...including moderation." I like your list of share options - can you tell me how to do that?

Vivianne said...

Love the Elf on the Shelf idea! Wish I knew about it three weeks ago- begging the kids to behave for Santa (and me, of course) and also threatening to plug up the fireplace if they didn't, doesn't seem to work at all. A Santa spy sounds like the ticket!

Don't worry Charlene- I haven't started shopping either. I dread it. So does my wallet. I'm going with plainolebob's idea. Now THAT sounds like fun!

Charlene said...

Bob is a smart guy Vivianne! :-)

Serenityville -- the social networking share button is courtesy of www.blogplay.com. It was really easy to set up!!

Gregory said...

ok, no shopping, budget is not co operating, unless, I float the rent check a few days, wish me luck :(

Kate said...

I sympathise I haven't done anything yet.... am beginning to panic

Kate xxx
http://secretofficeconfessions.blogspot.com/

corvedacosta said...

you are not alone - i haven't started

foxy said...

Break that seal, girl... just do it! Ha. I did all my shopping online this year, so i haven't visited even one store yet. (!!!)

Man, what is the story with that elf? I've seen one somewhere before and not sure I grab the concept. Can you tell me?

Coach Jen said...

This is one of the first years where I've gotten my shopping done early. I think it's because we are traveling for the first time so the gifts needed to be there ahead of time. I still love this article and hope you are blessed with lots of amazing sales and not too many crowds this next week.

Charlene said...

I did it! I did it! I shopped! Just WalMart... but still, I got a bunch done.

Foxy - It's a story about a creepy (IMO) Elf who watches the kids and then goes back to Santa with a report. Each night he moves to a different location in the house. (I have a link in the post if you want more.) The kids are enjoying it!

The Guy's Perspective said...

It's just like writing. Some days you're feelin' creative and other days you just have to make yourself write something.

Luckily my wife and I share the shopping duties. Otherwise it would be overwhelming!

Charlene said...

You know what, that IS a good perspective... I need to do some delegating!!

lunaticg said...

Hi Charlene.
Really love "Shopping isn't as much fun when money is tighter than the pants on an '80's hair band". Value of money dropping everyday.
Sigh~

Angelia said...

Too funny on the elf!! Smart kid :-)

I am typically a Christmas Eve shopper but this year we did Christmas last night. My daughter flys to Biloxi today for christmas at her dads. It feels so weird being done, like what do I do now?

Hope you get motivated. If not, Christmas eve shopping is great ;-)

Cindy @ Chalk it Up! said...

Even though your not feeling the Christmas shopping spirit you definitely sound like you have the Christmas spirit and know what truly matters
Oh, the 80's tight pants thing is back and tighter for the youth! Scary, I know!
Stop by and visit me at my blog. I'm Christmas Caroling, come hear me sing Silent Night:)

V said...

I too have a problem getting into the shopping spirit. I have not really done anything until the three items I picked up last night and that was really nothing. I think it's because we were supposed to go to NY and probably wont go now so I'll be doing everything at the last moment and since my five year old now thinks I'm Santa well I guess it will be fun to see if she really believes he came since they poke around my closet and see absolutely nothing in there....sorry for the ramble....we can be blah shopping buddies until it's over and then we'll get into the spirit when all the good deals happen:) Merry Christmas:)

Sarah said...

i did donation to charity in the name of the people i was 'gifting' one year and it was great. no shopping, no more junk to accumilate, and in true christmas spirit!

coolingstar9 said...

Charlene,
Christmas is around the corner, you have already done part one, decorated your house with Christmas atmosphere. The part two is for you to think creatively how to give gifts to all your love one and your lovely spider.
Surely you will have the very happy Christmas.
Best wishes to you and your family members, may all good things come to your.
Coolingstar9

Elizabeth a.k.a. Type A Mommy said...

As tight as an 80's hair band?? Hilarious! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Kim said...

I understand how you feel. We have been trying to focus on the less fortunate to get the spirit going this year. We bought the kids each one present and it was about $15. The rest of the money we would have normally thrown around on junk, we used to buy candy and stocking to accompany toys in our churches toy drive. The kids came with to help pick out things for the little boys and girls. It has kind of put things in perspective for all of us. Thanks for sharing and I LOVE the hair band reference!

Naomi de la Torre said...

Great post! Love the elf. I love the 80's hair band reference. That totally resonates with me!!! Thanks again for your sweet comments on my sibling rivalry post on greendivamom. Have a super holiday season! I just signed up to follow you. Looking forward to visitng again soon! organicmotherhoodwithcoolwhip.com

JoeyRes said...

I totally agree with #1. We're not a big gifting family in the first place. We closed on a house on Dec. 10th and are now downright frugal. Happy thoughts for Christmas anyone?

Nathan said...

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Blia said...

I definitely will have to try the elf on the shelf. I love your post. It really made me laugh, and don't worry, I still don't have all my shopping done and just started today!

lemonologie said...

Great post - I relate to each theory you came up with - especially #1!

Thanks for visiting my blog the other week for my SITS day!

Janine said...

I seriously don't think you can go wrong with a snuggie! :)
I love the idea of the Elf on the Shelf, but boy, that thing looks creepy to me! LOL

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