This is the first year in many that I'll have to buy nearly everything I'll be giving. In normal times, I'd have started making things in September. Making things is part of the whole deal to me- I love anything handmade for me and so do most of my pals. Now I'm too short of time and ability to pull off those projects (I still owe Grotke the mostly unfinished walking stick from a year and a half ago!) and it's beginning to look a lot like a store-bought holiday.
Which is definitely a challenge, in several ways. Since I can't go mill around stores it means everything has to be ordered via catalog and internet and be shipped sight unseen. And there's cost. Holy cow, prices have skyrocketed in the last few years. Still, there are bargains to be found if you hunt, it just takes time and perseverance. Inherent in my crew of homemade-things lovers is a sensibility for quality over glamour, and practicality over useless frivs. Armed with knowing my presentees' wants (and in some cases, needs) makes it easier. It's also easier because we're old farts now so replacing a long-lost and missed album or book is always a hit and we don't have to deal with the hot gift of the year. Not that any of us could afford that anyway. Budgets must be stuck to these days.
So now that we're past Thanksgiving, it's go time. There will be conversations wherein I'll sneak questions, much Amazonian action and a good amount of cursing at websites, FedEx (already started) and the PO, I'm sure. It's all part of the festivities. And before we know it, it'll be 2012 and we'll still be writing 2011 on our checks.
8 hours ago