I kind of like buying Christmas gifts. It forces me to consider what the recipient, usually somebody I care about, would actually like. As I read the annual lists of suggestions and guides, though, I wonder, “Who buys this stuff?” Cutesy, impractical apparel, delicate looking toys, designer food. If I presented this to my family I would hear a rousing chorus of “What the hell is this?”
And rightly so. We are not that demographic who follow short-lived trends, at least those of us past high school age. We like real stuff: wine, cash, jewelry, my almost-annual gift to Dad of a new sweater.
I get creative with this, because I’m that eccentric family member who cares how things look and are presented. I am fussy about wrapping paper and elaborate with ribbon. While the gifts are arranged under the tree, in my home, they should look pretty.
Oh and the tree! Last year a dear friend gave me a small pink tree as a gift. I think it was intended as a joke but the possibilities excited me. So this year it’s on a bookcase in the little dining area, clear glass stones and candleholders at the base, with a mirror to reflect all that pink. It’s cheerful and less orthodox than the normal green one in the living room. (Which itself isn’t the usual ceiling-scraper: it’s about three feet high in a gold urn, on a round mid-century side table.)
This time of year I try to be unique. I’ve done the conventional, house-in-the-‘burbs thing, and it was nice, but so is this. I am grateful for this annual chance to create, mostly with things I already have and love.