Now that Christmas starts with Hanukkah and there are 8 days of potential gifts to give and at least one other large dinner to prepare, Michael and I are getting a bit confused about gift giving. We know, of course, that we must give them, as gifts mean something. Traditionally, gifts mean one cares about another, and the gift itself needs to symbolize that. Of course, this is insane, but there's our culture in a nutshell.
In any case, last Thursday, Michael told me to be on the lookout for a package to be delivered by FedEx. He also told me that he needed an hour or so in the house alone to "prepare" this present. I wasn't sure what this meant, but it all sounded very symbolic and momentous. As I was about to leave the house for a meal with a friend, I noticed the promised box on the front porch. When I picked it up, I realized that some strange O'Henry type tale was unfolding in front of me.
Michael had purchased something from the same artist I had. The box was the same length and width. It was a mobile.
We have a thing for mobiles and Calder, and so I suppose this couldn't be avoided. But a month earlier, the mobile I ordered him had arrived in this same box. So before I left for my dinner, I put his box on the long kitchen counter, brought up my bubble wrapped mobile, but a funny message on both and left.
Later, I received a text: Oh, no. The Gift of the Magi.
When I came home, we unwrapped both mobiles, and what we discovered was that we'd ordered the same size and the same style but in different colors. An unmatching pair of giant mobiles.
So either we are very limited people or we are trying too hard. Either we need to give up gift giving altogether and just buy what we want for the house, or we need to truly limited purchases. As it stands, we've had to unwrap these holiday gifts, as well as the Uggs that Michael gave me because he tried to buy on sale first and ended up with a true pair of Chinese knock offs. Really. They came from China, had to go through customs, and showed up in a fake box and with fake tags. We gave those to the free box, and Michael called up Zappos. All is now well in slipper land, but in the ensuing debacle, I had to try on and scrutinize and the "presents" are on my feet right now.
The upshot is maybe we should just buy each other gifts all year and forget about the pressure of a very long holiday December.
Meanwhile, at least a couple of my presents are still secrets. But whether they are for him or for me is unclear. Like the mobile, they are objects I like. the good news, he seems to like the mobile, so maybe all will end up well.
But I need a present revolution.
Causes Jessica Inclan Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org