December 12, 2012

Working On Christmas Presents

Christmas Presents
This week is my crunch week.

Not only do I have several final projects due for school, but I need to finish up making Christmas presents so I can get them shipped off in time.  Most of the stuff I made for people last year never got out and this year I'm not letting that happen.

I'll admit I'm a bit in the cynical side when it comes to Christmas.  Having worked in retail for a number of years, and having my wife still working in retail, I can be quite the Ebenezer Scrooge.

Until this way-too-long recent bout of unemployment I'd been doing pretty well, all things considering.  As far as "stuff" goes, I have plenty.  Aside from some fancy big-ticket items that are just insane "wants", I've never truly "wanted" for anything.  This time of year usually devolves into just getting more "stuff" that I don't really want or need.  I don't get particularly excited "having" to buy someone a gift.

At one point my father's side of the family decided to scale back on Christmas and do some odd sort of Secret Santa.  All the adults got names of the one person to buy for.  My step-mother told me that I was given one of her sibling's kid's name (my step-cousin?) and had to spend $100 on my cousin.  Seriously?  The holiday for my family has degenerated into a single required purchase that gets dictated to me?  That year was the year I just said, "no", which officially removed me from Christmas with that side of the family.

That change was actually quite painless and a few years ago, back when I was gainfully employed and perfectly capable of buying all the toys I wanted, I asked my friends and the rest of my family to cut back and pretty much not get me anything.  If they wanted to they could make a donation to a their name.  For the most part everyone has respected those wishes.  I still get a few token gifts (or maybe not so token...I'm not keeping track) and I'm not enough of an ass to turn them down.

My real Christmas occurs on Christmas morning when Carolyn and I exchange regular store-bought type gifts.  I'm not being a hypocrite here, I live with the woman and we try to get each other things we think the other would want and price isn't really a factor.  She has surprised the hell out of me a few times now by getting me stuff I really didn't think I wanted and things I sure as hell wouldn't have gotten myself.  The Xbox 360 immediately comes to mind.  I was a HUGE PS3 fan and no way would I have gotten the Xbox, even though I did want to check out Left 4 Dead.

Now I don't know what I'd do (as far as gaming) without the Xbox.  Go figure.

It took me a while, but I discovered that I really enjoy making Christmas gifts for people.  It is actually fun trying to figure out what to do and then getting to work.  This year's gifts are a little ambitious, but totally doable.  I'd share what I'm doing, but that would be spoilers for some of the recipients.

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