From a philosophical point of view, I do realize, and truly believe, that Christmas is about much more than gifts. But, from a practical perspective, as the main Christmas-gift-shopper in the family, they do occupy a great deal of my time and mental energy in the months leading up to Christmas. That’s just how it is.
Every year, I find the process of Christmas shopping somewhat overwhelming … especially getting started. This year, it is even more so, because in addition to balancing the wish lists against the budget, thinking of the “right” things to get, and then actually making the purchases, I also want to keep in mind the limited space in our luggage for our return back to Austria after the holidays.
So I’ve been stuck. I’ve had a list of ideas of things to look and shop for for at least a month, I’ve stopped in to toy stores, and added and deleted items from my Amazon cart at least a dozen times. But I haven’t actually bought anything. We leave for the US in less than a month. The pressure of time has been starting to become as strong as the pressure to choose the “right” gifts.
Today, I stopped by our local toy store (again), not to shop for Christmas but to see if they had a particular toy that B wants to give a friend for his birthday this weekend. While I was there, I saw something I’d been thinking of getting the boys for Christmas. I hesitated and debated. But then I remembered that this is Austria, and there is no back room stock of extra things. Typically, they have what they have, and when they run out, it’s gone. If I decide to think about it, and go back later, it may well be gone. I went ahead and bought it. I looked around a little longer and got some other ideas, too.
And, at last, I feel like I’m unstuck. I feel so much better now. Just buying a little thing for the boys seems to have broken my mental block. I walked home, feeling enthusiastic and motivated about Christmas shopping, rather than feeling overwhelmed and stuck. Now, instead of it feeling like a massive chore to shop for Christmas gifts, it feels like fun again. I’m really glad, because I’ve got to get to work!