It’s Christmas time

5 11 2009

Or so they say… ‘They’ being the shopping malls, advertorials, some radio stations, and even people’s houses here in my hometown.

Christmas seems to come earlier with each passing year. I’ve seen people’s Christmas lights, various decorations and expansive ornaments adorning their houses and front yards. Blinding amounts of lights winking at you as you drive past, causing Rorschach inkblots to appear burnt on your retinas. What do you see on first blink? Can you feel the insanity yet? It kind of makes me want to load all my Christmas music (and the vast collection in my mother’s CD rack) onto my laptop, then to connect my laptop to the largest set of speakers I can find, and ultimately blaring it out for all the world to hear while I bang my head repeatedly against large, pointy – or metal – pain-inducing objects.

Don’t get me wrong, please don’t. I love Christmas. It’s a wonderfully symbolic time of family, friendship, gratitude, giving, and love in abundance. Some people just tend to overdo it a little… maybe more than a little… okay, okay, a LOT. My younger sister and I have an ongoing joke, something silly really: we count down the months until Christmas, supplying my mother with updates, and how many shopping months/weeks are left, then start giggling like two schoolgirls (she is allowed to, after all, for she is still in high school; I, on the other hand, need to have my mentality checked. Perhaps a few of those Rorschach test thingies)…

You must be told, at this point, that I am not a deeply religious person. I used to be, when I was younger. Now, I like to think of myself as more open-minded. I have no problem with people and religion. There is nothing wrong with having faith, of wanting something to believe in – and even though they are so vastly different, the core of each and every religion is the same. Anyway, that aside, my mother and I were having a chat a while ago, one morning while she was busy getting ready for work. I have no idea how she linked what we were talking about at that very moment to Christmas, although I suppose it is understandable, due to the fact that Commercial Society is already trying to sap money from the members of Social (and also Not-So-Social) Society. My mother first asked me whether I would be converting to Judaism, since my Significant Other’s family is Jewish. His mother was a Christian, but ‘turned Jewish’ (I hope that doesn’t sound bad! I don’t want to offend anyone, I just don’t know how to phrase it better) before she married his father. My Significant Other always tells people that he is Jewish “by name, not by trade”, and neither of us really wants to bring in a great religious debate come our wedding day, so I told my mother that of course I wouldn’t be taking on the Jewish religion, although I do find it quite interesting. She then wanted to know if we would thus be having a Christian ceremony, to which I answered no, obviously, because we don’t want religion to be an issue. At this point she already raised her eyebrows at me, then (a) told me that I might as well get married in court in a pair of jeans (!), and (b) commenced to ask whether that meant that Christmas is only about the presents to me (!!)

I was speechless… for a few seconds, at least. And it’s comments like that that really gets me to see raging red, viva ze bool (‘viva the bull’ – I just finished reading Stephen King’s ROSE MADDER again). But let’s not go into that. Let’s keep it nice and low-key, and not work at my throbbing migraine. So, the holiday season. I like to buy my gifts early; one cannot really afford to do otherwise, unless of course you like long queues, hours wasted fruitlessly to find what has already been sold out, and much agitation that works against the ‘holiday spirit’. Bah, humbug. I’ve started making a list of gifts I should possibly buy the special people in my life. Only problem is, in my family, it never seems to be easy… Can anyone ever honestly say that it is?

Buying gifts for my sisters is great. Although we differ greatly, our tastes are still eerily the same. I’ve gotten my younger sister interested in the works of Stephen King, Sydney Sheldon and Jeffrey Deaver, so getting her a gift is a no-brainer. I just select something to go with the book(s), be it jewellery, cosmetics, or a home-made something (and I love being creative!), then voila! Problem solved. My older sister is the same: she likes reading witty, funny, sarcastic books about females – not the too typical type of female reads – and their experiences, books I got her reading, which means that, once more, I’ll be buying her something like that, and adding something practical, the everyday essentials one needs but also treasures. Of course I’ll be adding small boxes of chocolates and Turkish Delight, but that’s just an added bonus. The main thing with me, though, is books – you probably wouldn’t have guessed otherwise, would you, my dear readers? Constant Readers, I hope, to borrow a Stephen King term.

With my mother, buying gifts gets a little trickier. She also loves reading, but the problem is finding a book that she hasn’t read yet (books that cater to her taste, of course), or obtaining a newly available book as soon as possible before it (a) is sold out and (b) she acquires it. This means that, by some miracle, we have to keep her from buying the book herself… *sigh* Oh, and did I mention that my mother’s birthday is on the 16th of December? That’s right: just before Christmas… My mother also likes luxuries: bubble bath, perfume, Turkish Delight, things like that – but, seriously, how many bottles of bubble bath does one really need? It’s just as difficult to buy my father something. I’ve bought him red-wine glasses, a new BBQ kit, cologne, and vast amounts of socks… He never seems to want anything, and it’s frustrating because I would love to find something just right for him. Luckily, my Significant Other and I succeeded in finding my dad something nice for his 50th birthday earlier this year. We purchased a large photo frame with the word “FAMILY” in it, then placed photographs of the family (obviously) in each letter: one of my father, one of my mother, one of my sister and her fiancé, one of me and my Significant Other, one of my younger sister, and one of my parents together. Success rating? 150% The frame is now in his special workroom here at home… I know he needs new gym gloves (he’s very fit and active), so I might just go with that… My dad also loves to cook, but I think that he has enough cookbooks already! Not that he needs them – he’s a culinary genius. He can stop doing video camera work for the police and start his own little bistro, if he wanted to. For real, not for play-play… 😉

The great question I have in the early stages of Christmas preparation, though, is what to get my Significant Other. Besides the fact that we have been together for nearly two years, we also got engaged lately, and although that doesn’t have to change my gift giving ideas, it makes me feel just the teensiest bit more pressurized… He loves his gadgets and gizmos, Mr Hot-Shot Flash Developer, über tech-savvy. Yet, as a personage of the just-finished-university-and-looking-for-a-job grouping, I think it is safe to say that I cannot afford any of that. Plus, he cannot tell me what he wants, because in that regard, he is just like my father: he doesn’t want anything… *double sigh* Luckily, being the creative creature I am, I feel reassured (at least to a smidge of what could possibly be termed a hopeful degree) that I shall be able to come up with something. My artistic side hasn’t failed me yet…

Perhaps I should just bake him a large batch of cookies while assaulting his eardrums with Christmassy tunes and lyrics (although I do sign on key) he usually laughs and cringes at. Just to let him know what he’s in for. Although, if he can stand a four-hour road trip with me singing along to Fall Out Boy all the way – and he himself joining in at some parts – I think it is safe to say that this is a relationship that will last a lifetime.

Or at least, until, too many Christmases have come along.

Oh Christmas tree...[Our Christmas tree from last year – yes, it’s a REAL tree! And we have a high ceiling…]

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3 responses

5 11 2009
Lize

Hehe, nou blog jy darem ‘n hond uit ‘n bos!! Ek like dit! Keep it coming! 🙂

Het julle al gedink aan ‘n potential troudatum?

5 11 2009
Liske van Lill

Saterdag, 16 April 2011. Het gedink ‘n herfstroue sal ideaal wees. Jy trou mos April 2010 – gaan jou pa die dominee by jou eie troue wees? 😉

6 11 2009
Lize

Hehe, julle trou dan presies ‘n jaar na ons! Ons troudatum is 17 April 2010!

Jip, hy gaan ons trou! So ons kry ‘n free dominee. Trou kostes is DUUR! Dis eintlik shocking. Het gister gehoor dit kos omtrent so R1000 vir ‘n huweliksvoorwaardekontrak! En ek praat nie eers van trourokke nie!! Dis shocking. Gelukkig werk ek nou al vir 2 jaar en niel vir meer as 5.

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