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Monday, November 10, 2003

I have an unfortunate reputation when it comes to Christmas presents.

Ah, you are thinking, poor Sarah is one of those people who is terrible at buying presents. She’s the sort who would buy ice for an Eskimo. Steak knives for a vegetarian. Fur gloves for an environmentalist. Poor dear.

But actually the problem is exactly the opposite. I am amazingly good at buying presents. I always manage to find the right thing for each person, so that they appreciate the personal and practical nature of the gift, whilst agreeing that it is not something that they would generally buy for themselves.

My history in present giving is what has lead to my unfortunate problem, in that everyone who receives a present from me now expects the world, so the pressure now resting on my shoulders in unbelievable.

This brilliance does come at a price – my sanity for the next two months. I read every catalogue that crosses my doorstep, search a million internet sites, worry and plan and fret and buy buy buy. I buy a present, change my mind, take it back, worry about the colour, the size, the style, the shape, the feel, the quality, how much it cost, if they already have one, if they are going to like it. So I guess that is why I end up with great presents – but boy does it take a lot of effort to get there! The mere fact that I am even thinking about Christmas presents at the start of November indicates the amount of angst this process causes me. I do however enjoy the actual giving part – so I guess it is all worthwhile in the end.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the start – wipe the slate clean so there are no expectations. Then I could be a bad present giver and not care one little bit about who gets what, and no one would expect any different. My friend’ grandmother is great at this – she goes to the local op-shop to buy their gifts – one year his sister got (and I am not joking here) a pair of second hand underwear – complete with second hand, um, stains. Sorry – didn’t mean to put you off your coffee.

I guess I can look forward to the excuse of being old and senile – it would be quite fun to find the worst things possible in the op-shop for my grandkiddies. But in the meantime, if anyone has any great ideas for Christmas presents, my yearly search is on…. And if you need any ideas, I’m full of them!


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