Oh my gosh, I don't have much time to write this, because it's CHRISTMAS, and I have to go shopping. Natalie is about two feet away from me right now, I'm working on a column and she's studying for exams, supposedly, except every two or three seconds she's turning her laptop toward me and going, ohhh, look at that, at some ever-cuter doll that may become a Christmas present for our daughter. The current favourite is Bamboletta, a series of limited-edition hand-crafted natural-wool dolls that are so progressive and exclusive that some Birkenstocked company rep actually visits your place, and audits the toys you already own, before they decide whether you're organic enough to buy one. Anything that isn't Plan Toys, and you're out of there.
No, but really, they release like 14 at a time at certain designated occasions and the web site says they usually sell out in "a few minutes."
"It's so cute," Natalie keeps saying, turning the laptop toward me to show me various pictures of the dolls. And then, to my grouchy look, she says, "It is!"
Natalie gets so excited around Christmas time, and I become an enormous grouch. It's not even the first of December, and it's already happened. I don't know what it is. No wait, I do know what it is. I know exactly what it is. I get stressed out. I got overwhelmed when it was just Natalie and I, and now we have two children and we have to blow their minds every year. The pressure!
But this year I am not going to let it get to me. This year, I have resolved to Natalie, I am not going to turn into my usual Christmas grouch. This year, I am going to enjoy Christmas. And the way I am going to do that, is, I am going to buy my Christmas gifts early, and I am not going to blow my brains out, cost-wise, and I am going to concentrate on gifts that mean things rather than crappy consumer crap.
Target Christmas shopping completion date: Two weeks from tomorrow. Dec. 14. And then once my shopping's done I will saunter through the holiday parties and open-houses, enjoying myself and my kids through the holiday season. The vow has been made. Here goes. Stay tuned.