christmas without the rush

Today I began—and finished—my Christmas shopping. How is that notable? Well, because in the space of fifteen minutes, my shopping was done. And I’m still reeling from the shock and delight. I had the distinct experience of witnessing other people consulting lists, reaching for merchandise and loading carts, as though I was watching from behind glass, unaffected and curiously detached from the consumerism. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this way in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

This year, the kids and I (together with two of their partners) agreed to do a Secret Santa gift exchange. But as we’re spread out amongst three cities, we faced the conundrum of how to co-ordinate our plan. As with nearly all perplexing matters, we consulted the all-knowing Google Machine to sort out the logistics of drawing names. In a thoroughly painless way, we entered our names and wish lists into a random, gift exchange generator and SHAZAM! each of us received an email containing the name of our chosen person, along with their list. Brilliant, I tell you, in every single way.

I’ve had to remind myself that it’s okay to buy only one gift. And in doing so, I haven’t felt the agitation and panic of so many previous years, worrying if I’ve done enough (translation: purchased enough, and in equal amounts) for each person on my list. And best of all, I haven’t had the recurring dream wherein I wake up Christmas morning to discover that I haven’t Christmas shopped at all. Or the experience of hiding a present so well that I can’t for the life of me remember where that “very good place” is.

I’d like to think I was as unaffected and serene as Ms. Denver Colorado was this morning (before I so rudely upended her from my bed). But as that’s likely impossible, I’ll settle for something close to it.

PS After posting the above, I discovered my daughter’s most recent blog entry: On Summer and Success. For me, each of her posts is a gift. I have the chance to catch a glimpse of her from afar, staying connected through her photos and words. This post is especially meaningful!

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photos by: bliss {in images}

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