Last night we watched our first Christmas movie, Die Hard. It was hilarious, and an excellent start to the celebrations of the season, which I'm afraid is going to get away from me because it's ALREADY THE THIRD!!!! What happened?! I was putting off a rep on the phone today when I realised; it's three weeks until Christmas Eve. Three weeks!!! It looks as if I am going to have to seriously take time by the fetlock, and life by the ping-pongs. THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO!!!
This year there will be a few new additions to the list. These are:
1. Icing superwines in red and green (hoping this is more likely than the non-shortbread making of the last three years which has seen much custard powder find its way to landfill).
2. Get drunk at home with only Vincent. (This was actually a fail from last year; I managed to do it on my own, but we never got around to doing it just us too because we were too busy. Too busy! To get drunk with your beloved! At Christmas! I ask you.)
3. New movies. Not to replace the old ones; Christmas would not be Christmas without Meet Me In St Louis, While You Were Sleeping, Home Alone, Little Women, or It's A Wonderful Life (although actually, last year Christmas had to be Christmas without It's A Wonderful Life, because we were too busy. Too busy! To watch It's A Wonderful Life!). But Christmas is ever-evolving. New traditions must be begun. So I have added Die Hard, Scrooged, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Snowman, and Miracle On 34th Street. (There are also several back-ups, but we'll see what we have time for/Vincent can bear.)
Lots of blogs have been doing very pretty gift guides. I thought about doing one too, but my design skills leave too much to be desired, besides which I could never suggest things that cost hundreds of dollars, because I think that's totally excessive unless you are buying for your beloved, your parents, or a very, very broke person, (in which case you probably know what you want to buy them) or you are very rich, or very stupid. Which I assume you are not. So here are my gift suggestions:
1. Trade Aid. Apart from the fact that they sell beautiful, unique things, buying from Trade Aid never feels excessive or wasteful because everything you spend goes to people who need it. It's foolproof. And you don't have to feel shitty about child labour, or wasteful materials, because at Trade Aid there isn't any. Look at this rug!!! If anyone is stuck on my present...
2. Books. I know it probably seems like my gift guide is all just things I would like myself, but that's just a coincidence. Who has enough books? Who could not be improved by reading something? (I should qualify that; I don't believe there is any improvement to be had from reading Fifty Shades Of Grey or the like, but I could be wrong.) And if people don't read, and they won't read, who doesn't like having people think they read? Books make beautiful ornaments, they are ideal for levelling uneven tables, and they can even be fashioned into tables. The only things I can think of right now that rival books are dogs.
3. Things that can be used up. Most people have a lot of stuff, and unless they are hoarders like me, they don't necessarily appreciate having more foisted upon them. You can give them useful things, which are good. Or you can give them things that don't last. Baking. Fancy tea. Bath products (which I usually consider to be a dud, but am becoming a woman so quickly that who knows? Maybe this year I'll start using the ones given to me since I was supposed to be a woman, as long as they haven't gone off).
4. Something you made. Unless you are really, really shit at making stuff, no-one is ever unhappy with a self-made gift. It says I Thought Of You The Whole Time I Made This. It also says I Am Talented And Creative And Resourceful. Having said that, I made my Mum a fimo brooch two years ago, and not only did it not say those things, I have never seen her wear it. Maybe I am the person who shouldn't be making things. Hmm.
5. Time. Last year, having learnt from the brooch incident (which wasn't all I gave her that year, but I vaguely remember the hat I gave her being appropriated by one of my sisters), I asked my mother what she would like, and she said a plant. So one Saturday before Christmas, Vincent and I picked her up and took her out to her favourite garden centre, Rogers in Mangere (which, by the way, is the loveliest garden centre in Auckland). We spent the morning humming and hahing over the subtle differences between shrubs, and breathing in the lovely air, and when we gave her the plant, we also all gave each other a memory. (Trademark! I am selling that line to Hallmark. You can keep your vomit.) This year we're going to a big junk shop I just found out about.
Here is an early gift for all of us, which was on Campbell Live tonight. I've said it before, but it's like a theist professing their love for god; it can't be said enough. I love dogs. I LOVE DOGS.