I’ve been in something of a curious situation for the past couple of Christmases. I have been the family gift getter, playing Santa Claus and navigating the shops for everyone–including myself.
I suppose some of you reading this may be dismayed by this notion “But you know what you’re getting! Doesn’t that ruin it for you?” No, not really. This way I’m assured there won’t be disappointment on Christmas morning that I have to hide inside while trying to project joy.
It all comes down to a couple of factors, the biggest one being my particular tastes in movies, dvds, and weird board games that can’t be found at Jon Q. Anywhere. I used to make a list with pictures and hand out to family. My birthday falls two weeks after Christmas and this list would cover both. I started doing this after the year three family members individually wound up getting me the exact same season set of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” the spare copies were gifted to other people.
Sometimes the list would never get to the anniculiary members of the family and I’d get things I already had. “Oh, thanks. I’ve made it to 25 years of age and have NEVER heard ‘The White Album’! Wow-wee!” This year I did the bulk of the shopping for everyone. I think this is due to family covert operations. Dad not knowing Mom asked me to buy his, Mom not knowing that Dad asked me to buy hers.
In some ways I suppose this makes me Christmas Oprah. I get to sit there knowing full well what everyone is getting. “Good Morning, and Merry Christmas. I’m glad you all could be here today. It’s a big day, y’all! Look under your seats. Open your gifts. You get a fleece jacket! And you get new slippers, and you’re all getting a Bath and Body Works Gift SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
To add to this peculiarity, some of the immediate family doesn’t know I had a hand in acquiring my own gift. Enhancing this illusion, I sometimes give very Oscar worthy performances on Christmas Morn. I cry a little, then shout “It’s a Tickle Me Carlo Lombardi! Everything I’ve always wanted and more!” Sometimes I get a carried away. After opening my gift, I rush to my window and yell down to an adorable street urchin, “Oh, boy! Yes, you! The smart one! Take this farthing and buy the biggest goose you can at the meat shoppes! There’s an extra crown in it for you if you ‘urry!” The response to this from my family is usually “have you taken your medication yet?”
We have a good time. Good times, y’all! Good times. Still, I sometimes wonder if it does ruin the fun of Christmas Gifting for me a bit. Then again, it keeps me from owning 900 copies of “The White Album.” See you next week.