Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday's Words for November 28, 2018

I didn’t mean to do it, but somehow last week, I accidentally started my Christmas shopping. Yes, every year I swear that next year, I’ll get an early start on this annual chore.

I guess this year is last year’s next year, for real this time.

We were in Walmart on Friday, with a specific list of things to get, including some shirts and pj bottoms for my husband—but we also needed light bulbs. Now lately, we’ve been going to one of those big box stores that deals in everything you need to fix your house or supply it with appliances. We’ve been getting our light bulbs there because they have such a huge selection, even if they are a bit pricey. Since my husband wanted to go to Walmart to get a few things, I thought it would be smart to get our light bulbs there, too. After all, it would save us a fifteen-minute drive and save us a fair bit of money.

Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll be going back to the big box store for light bulbs, because we didn’t find the ones we needed at our local Walmart. With that item off our list, we headed down that large aisle past the computer supplies toward the grocery section and there, right there in a display on that aisle was a selection of arts & crafts sets for kids with over 300 pieces each! They were sparkly and shiny, and I thought that would be a really good gift for our oldest great-granddaughter. This particular child is, chronologically speaking only five and a half years old, but attitude-wise she’s much older. I texted my daughter and asked her what she thought. She confirmed her granddaughter would love the set. Into the cart that big, though not fat box went, and yes, maybe I chuckled a tiny bit about all those pieces that someone else would have to worry about.

This gift would be given at and would stay at that little angel’s home.

We’d decided this year that for all the older folks—our kids, and our grandkids—we’d once again just give them some money. We had been giving gift cards, but each one costs about six dollars just to buy, and that is an expense that we don’t need. Now, if I had the energy, I could probably simply buy gifts for each of them that would cost less money than what we’re gifting. But I don’t have that energy or, frankly, the patience—the patience to wade through several stores. Our kids & grands are all of an age (my grandchildren range from 16 to 26) to prefer to get their own treasures.

But we do have three great-grandchildren with a fourth on the way, and for those little tykes, it’s gifts.
Another milestone reached: last Friday marked the one-year anniversary of my husband’s retirement. Time flies when you’re having fun. And since he’s retired, we are on a fixed income now, so we need to watch our nickels and dimes. And I must confess that we have reduced our Christmas shopping list somewhat from a couple years ago. Just gifting our kids, grandkids (including significant others) and great-grandkids, we’re talking more than 15 people. We’ve reluctantly given up buying for nieces and nephews and the greats in that category, which actually cut about 20 people from our list.

We do give what we can to the Salvation Army each year and to the local toy drive, knowing in those cases the gifts are sorely needed.

I enjoy giving and have been told I’m a little too generous. That’s not really a bad flaw to have. I don’t particularly care about receiving gifts myself. I’d rather just have visits with my family.

It’s been a very long time since all of my kids and grandkids have been together under my roof. The last time they were all of them together with us was at that retirement party the company had for my husband in October of last year. There are always issues between one’s children. One would think that being in their forties would mean my son and daughter were mature adults and capable of getting along.

The key words in the previous paragraph were, “one would think”.

My beloved reminds me that we didn’t really hit maturity until we were in our fifties, and he has a point. In the mean time, I will be content with what I can get vis-à-vis time spent with my loved ones. I keep in touch with my grandchildren by texting them regularly, and sometimes that even works with their parents!

And I’ll (hopefully) always have my memories of family gatherings past to visit whenever I feel the need to feel them close.


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