My family agreed to give minimally for Christmas this year. That means my annual retail immersion is off, which is a relief (I have this thing about stores during holidays; the music alone makes me feel like a lunatic). I’m shopping ultra–local for the few people I need to buy for. For the rest, I’m trying out the concept of “gift hugs.”
The no-gift memo was not widely circulated. Thus we have already received multiple shipments of presents, some a full month early. One marked “open right away” included an advent calendar that is not so much a calendar as a giant suck hole for time—hundreds of minute pieces and cryptic instructions the size of a AAA map. The box said 15 minutes, but it took HOURS to assemble. Jo looooves it, naturally. I’m trying not to see it as another symptom of Western decline.