Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...I Don't Know What To Do

It snowed in some parts of the state today and was spitting snow most of the day where I was. On a whim, I went to visit Mom and she watched the kids while I did a little Christmas shopping. I'm feeling rather ambivalent about deciding gifts for everyone this year, but seem to be making progress. I think I may opt for something like this for J's parents and his sister and her husband (although, I suspect they may enjoy the organic chocolates basket more) but am trying to decide if it's a cop out or not. I have the obligatory clothing and ornaments for the girls (it's a bit of a tradition for me to buy an ornament each year to build their collection - I do it with the Muffins, too), but am feeling rather unoriginal and uninspired this year (and, you know, those toy recalls are making me a little antsy). And that's on top of the ever present gift stress that comes with having married into J's family.

My in-laws are very weird about gift-giving. When J was growing up, they celebrated Christmas for a few years and then...just didn't. They didn't have much money so J's father decided that they just wouldn't "buy into the commercialization of Christmas anymore." While there is something to be said for believing that the true meaning of the Holidays isn't about how much you spend on someone, it's always made me sad that J and his sister (although she always managed to get what she wanted growing up - the cool clothes, the Cabbage Patch dolls) missed out on any sort of family tradition-building when it came to the Holidays.

I know that my in-laws get stressed about Christmas (and birthdays, and they don't even remember when our anniversary is, much less how long we've been married), which just makes it more stressful for us. We want to do something nice for them, but all my ILs see is the price tag attached to anything we might come up with, and not the thought that goes into to selecting something they might like or enjoy. What I'd like is to spend time with my ILs, to have them come visit and be with their grandchildren, but every time we invite them they find a reason not to come. (This is not to say that they don't visit, they do, it's just always on their terms and they nearly always make it a day trip - hello! It's a 5-hour drive one way! That's 10 hours of driving, people!) It gets a little frustrating.

I'll come up with something. I always do.


Entirely unrelated and worth a wtf: What the hell is wrong with people?

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