we now interrupt this regularly scheduled program

The Week of Updates was humming along just fine, until I decided to write about Christmas lists today instead.

Every year, we (meaning my brothers and sisters and our significant others) get the mandate from my mother to send her our Christmas lists.  Since our family has started getting larger and larger, we have adopted the system of choosing names and you only get a gift for one other person.   This has worked well the past few years, but it also means different categories for our Christmas list.  We are to send:

  1. stocking stuffer ideas (someday I should try to explain the history of the stockings tradition in my family…)
  2. exchange gift ideas (in a specific price range – these are the ideas my mom will send to whoever drew your name for their gift-buying)
  3. parent gift ideas (since we are all Grown Ups now, my parents no longer know about our favorite things, so some direction is helpful for them to get us gifts we’ll actually use)
  4. sizes (for the inevitable pajamas) (and last year, for the less-inevitable but highly appreciated smartwool socks!)

Since Derek and I live in Texas, we have a major expense of physically getting home for the holidays that some of our family members don’t have, and since we usually fly, we have tried the “we don’t need presents” route (since we can’t fit them in our suitcases) and the “just give us some $ to help with our plane tickets” route, but we have found that regardless, there are always things to unwrap on Christmas morning, so we’ve decided that at least if we have a list, the gifts won’t be totally from left field.  However, that means trying to come up with multiple things in various categories so when you unwrap, it’s still somewhat of a surprise.

Every year, I’ve got some standbys for my stocking stuffer category: my favorite chapstick, sugar-free gum, maybe some hair things or makeup products that I wouldn’t normally purchase for myself, but when it comes to the other categories, I have more trouble.  I wish I would remember this throughout the rest of the year, so I could slowly be compiling a list that, come Nov. 1, I can email to my mother before being reminded about it five times, but that has not been the case thus far, so I am looking for suggestions…

Anyone…?  Anyone…?

Thank you for bearing with me on this tangent.  Tomorrow, we will return to the regularly scheduled program.

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