Sometimes I need a filter between my brain and my mouth.
This is not the way to get one.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Annual Hyperventilation

Shopping is usually a joy - for me anyway. Not so much the Guru. He usually spends time lamenting the worn, sick looking state of our cards. Wearing the scratches from EFTPOS machines like badges of honour.

Personally, I think he should be grateful. If it weren't for me he would be fending off bats and moths in droves as they attempted to make his wallet their home.

Because bats and moths luuuurve dark places that are rarely disturbed.

Image found here
But this time of year has a tendancy to strike fear into my heart. I love shopping, I really do - but Christmas shopping is something that usually has me breathing into a brown paper bag, waving off paramedics in the middle of a shopping centre.

It starts about...well, now! It's November and this weekend I found myself stopping at random to break into a cold swseat at the thought of who we had to buy for and how long I had to get my shit together.

Because I never have long enough. There's never enough time. WHY DO I NOT GET REGULAR REMINDERS FROM SANTA ABOUT THE IMPENDING DOOM OF CHRISTMAS!?

We have a few additional people to shop for that live interstate this year and so I am shitting bricks about the ability of Australia Post to get parcels where they need to be in time. For some reason Darwin doesn't use planes. Even in this day and age Australia Post NT choose to use the timeless art of Carrier Pigeon.

This technique is wonderful, and I relish the thought of many medium, flightful birds carrying parcels everywhere - like Harry Potter, but in this case he's fallen on hard times and the Owl had to be traded for a rat of the sky.

But when it comes to relief for my panic attacks of Christmas, knowing the pigeon situation only makes it worse. Because I get the pigeons who are lost and confused...every year!!

Image found here
 So by all rights I should have shopped and shipped in January.  Dear Hindsight. Bite me. K, Thanks, Bye.

The next problem I encounter is simply making choices. I am the type of person who can't make a choice for herself. And it drives the Guru mad.

If we have take out night and there's a choice to be made, he knows to come to me, lounge cushion in hand and ask for my decision. But he knows I won't make the decision - the cushion will. Pattern side up is option 1, plain side up is option 2.

And before you say anything - why flip a coin when I have a great time flapping cushions around? Even the Toddler joins in now.

So standing in a store trying to choose A from B for someone, without the aid of an all-seeing, flipping cushion is painful. I just can't do it. I put it down to my internal fear that everything I do is wrong and I'll ruin someone's Christmas by getting them the wrong thing. Damn my brain!

So now, while I'm contemplating a lost and confused Carrier Pigeon carrying a Cabbage Patch Doll or a 'My First Kitchen' set to the other side of the country, the next issue comes in to blindside me.

Is it enough?

When do you know that what you've got for someone is enough? You never want to be cheap, but you don't want to have to sell your home just to get someone a gift.

We have a rule of we buy for children only, and I think that's fair. If the Guru and I choose to get eachother something, then that's wonderful - but it's really all about the kids.

But there is so much STUFF! And with my inability to choose between things it can lead to someone potentially getting a shop's worth of gear (hence why I'm never allowed to do this kind of thing alone!). I'm always so worried that we'll look cheap and crap if we don't get everyone the top of the line of everything, but I'm also keenly aware that our bank balance doesn't reach to those dizzying heights.

Oh to be due an inheritance from a long, lost relative...

But since that's not going to happen, I have to face my issues head on.

So how do you do it? How do you decide what is an appropriate amount to spend? And I am so not the type of person to be organised enough to think ahead, so I do need plans that I can use while flying by the seat of my pants.

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