Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This gift giving business

 Today I ordered myself this beautiful table scarf from Avalanche Looms. I have been admiring Susan's work for some time on her blog, but never felt like I could spend the money. So, here's the twisted part.
I ordered it, paid for it with my own money and had Susan ship it to my mom's house. She even emailed me and offered to gift wrap it and I said, sure, go ahead!This is not a gift for my mom,  this is what my mom is giving me for Christmas this year.
Every year since I left home (at 19) I have asked her to try and give thoughtful gifts. Every year she either asks me to buy all the gifts for me, Gerry and Wesley and she will send a check, or she just gives us money. She says to me, "I just go blank when I try to shop for ya'll". I say, what else to you have to do all day? sit by the pool and read?!  I don't mean to sound ungrateful, and I love my mom, but I just don't see the point.  example: If I spend let's say $100 on gifts for her and she then sends me a check for $100 to buy myself something, it hardly ever gets spent on me, not to mention, aren't we just basically exchanging $100. So what is the point?!  Also... every year I ask her to please not buy us clothes. Every year we get clothes if it's the year that I am being particularly pissy about this gift business and refusing to do her shopping.
For the past two years poor Wesley got a red leather jacket and then last year a white rabbit fur sweater. My daughter likes to shop in army navy stores and thrift shops, no Liz Claiborne for her! and she asks for things like intangible objects for a gift..... So, to spare Wesley the misery of being kind about these gifts, I did the shopping again this year. And then I said, screw this, I'm getting myself something nice! So, I will unwrap this beautiful woven piece at my mom's and love my gift :)
What I would really like is a nice meal together by the fireplace and then go out and look at Christmas lights, and then maybe stare at a candle, and then not worry about the gift thing. Why can't we give gifts when we feel like it or find something that is meaningful, instead of forced gift giving. I hate it.
 My day went from the gift buying business, and ended with a gazillion Christmas lights. Gerry had an assignment to shoot a package of photos around Raleigh of outrageous Christmas lights. So I tagged along and we sure found some. Thank the good lord for tacky people! I never want this to be my house, but I love riding around during the holidays looking for these houses. We found Candy Cane Lane
 and then we found the Freeman Festival. What a perfect way to start my first week of clay break!
My favorite, a ghost with a pumpkin next to Minnie Mouse, WTF?!
Wouldn't you like to have a job where you take your brand new cameras (yes Gerry got two new Canon 1dx's shipped to him today, I drooled just a tiny bit) and take photos of crazy Christmas explosions on lawns? he does have the best job ever! and sometimes I get to be there for the fun too!
Thanks to those tacky folks in Raleigh for a great night!!!
we even saw an alien


Michèle Hastings said...

I stepped off of the Christmas treadmill in 2008. Blog post forthcoming!

Tracey Broome said...

I step off, then I step back on, blog on girl!

angela walford said...

HA what a trek trace, oooh ahh new cams i'm concerned I have the camera bug, seeing more and more lovely things to play with....perhaps next yr...I have quite become accustomed to buying my own christmas present who else is going to get it right?!!
happy hols trace xx

cookingwithgas said...

ah- you will love that scarf!

I love houses with lots of tacky lights. I do! We rode home last night through the country from the pines and there were some great ones. My favorite was the place all covered up, I mean covered and they lived in a tiny trailer.
It was amazing.
Gift giving is a strange beast.
But if people did not give gifts I would have to hang up my apron.

Dennis Allen said...

Nothing shows love and respect for Jesus like a big tacky light display! With all the critters in the house we don't even put up the tree anymore.

Lori Buff said...

I've tried asking that people donate to a charity rather than giving a gift to me. Of course some people then pick a charity that would hate who I am but at least they may also be doing some good, at least that's what I tell myself.
Beautiful scarf, I thought you had made it when I first saw the picture.

Tracey Broome said...

Ang, getting accustomed to my own gift giving also! the Canon T3i is a really nice camera for the money..
Meredith, don't you just love those rides out in the country at night? especially at Christmas, magic!
Dennis, haha! Party on for Jesus :)
Lori, isn't it odd that a "charity" would be prejudice towards others? I have thought about doing the same, but it's a greedy world, who knows where the money really goes....

Laura Farrow said...

great photos! I have been lusting over the idea of a new camera too...

I always cried as a kid when the Who's down in Whoville celebrated without all the stuff the Grinch stole from them, just holding hands in a circle and singing. A day of peace, without presents. Imagine. xo

Sandy miller said...

Wow, this blog was my life and then I said enough when the first kid went to Benin, Africa with Peace Corp. Now we do a very very simple exchange (like socks!) and gift each other Heifer. Last year I got a hive of bees for a woman to start her own business! Then my daughter gave me a $50 investment in KIVA. I gave it to a woman in Thailand to improve her street food business. She paid it back in 8 months, and I re invested in a woman cattle herder in Mongolia. I like funding woman and hearing about their journey, especially in countries where woman who are widowed and feeding kids have a very difficult time. This gift giving did not start until my Mom and Dad passed away. Yes, I miss them terribly but I cannot express how much our holidays have been de-stressed. Blessing to all and that scarf is the bomb!

Tracey Broome said...

Laura, YES! you need a new camera! give that ipad a rest, haha! Sometimes I couldn't watch the Grinch, the puppy broke my heart :)
Sandy what an inspiration your post is, I would have a hard time convincing people in my family to do this :( but it's a great way to give. Maybe I'll start that tradition with my own kid/ and someday grandkids...

Vicki said...

Wow, that table scarf is truly lovely! The texture and intricate patterns - I would want to touch it every time I passed by :)
A perfect give to self!

We like to keep this time of year simple too. A picnic in the park with just the three of us - and Jack. Some sightseeing around town and back to my home made soy ice-cream christmas 'bombe' for dessert, yum.
Our decorations is just a string of warm yellow bud lights across the window and my little spruce - that doubles as my market display. Nice and simple.

Must confess, we do like to go for a drive a couple of nights beforehand and check out all the Griswold be-decked houses!
We are always amazed at the time and effort people put into it!
There's something mesmerising in all that twinkling gaudiness :)