Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Shopping!

One of our fun family Christmas traditions is going out Christmas shopping during the last few days before Christmas. We can't do this until after we finish up our last homeschool day, so we are usually among those frenzied shoppers on the last few days before Christmas. Each individual child goes out with me to the stores of his choice, shopping for treasures for each sibling.

They all love this. Even I love this, and I hate shopping even on a normal day when traffic isn't insane and stores aren't mobbed. But there is something about the hustle and bustle and anticipation and focus of it all, that is glorious. My usual loathing of shopping just disappears in the joy of being with my kids, watching them find special things they know their siblings will love.

I know, I know. Many people whom I love (my own mother included) think I am crazy, and presume this to simply be disorganization and lack of planning and preparedness on my part. But it couldn't be further from the truth. I love buying things for someone right now, not last January when things were on sale. I love finding something that I know this child, the one living right now in this December moment, will love. What he loved last January may or may not still be so. And he may or may not love it next January. But we're out buying him things we know he'll love right now.

It is nearly intoxicating for me... to know them, to have them know each other, and to watch them find things - little things, not big, expensive things - that they know their siblings will love. I love watching them come home and wrap the gifts, and then move about the house with increasing anticipation and excitement at the coming day when their siblings will open the treasures they've found for them.

They just couldn't get that quite the same way with something they bought and wrapped last January, and now pull out of the closet to stick under the tree. "What was this thing I bought again?"

My mother is the most organized person I know... of course it makes sense that this aspect of her life would be so organized as well. So I will happily open and appreciate whatever it is that she put great time and effort into finding for me over the course of this past year, since that's how she works. And she will open and appreciate whatever I acquired for her this month, since that's how I work. For her to try to do it my way would rob her of the joy of it... she would hate the chaos, the uncertainty, the last-minuteness of it. For me to do it her way would do the same for me.

And so, different strokes for different folks. And if you happen to be even a little bit like me, happy shopping!

No comments: