I’m a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Xmas. It’s loud, it’s noisy, it’s crowds, it’s commercialism, it’s complaining children, it’s overspending, it’s overeating…. Okay, maybe I don’t mind that last one so much, but in general, Xmas is just a bit too much for me.
A big reason is likely because of how tense a time Xmas was growing up. My mom was an elementary school secretary supporting 4 young girls on her own, and December meant 3 things: not enough money to keep up with the Jones’, crowds and chaos (my mom is a RAGING introvert) and report cards. (Unless you know someone well in the education system, you might not get that last one, but trust me: you did NOT talk to my mom during report card time.)
Anyway, when I first started dating Mr. Chatty, I tried hard to convince him that with all the other gift giving we were obligated to do, we should skip giving Xmas gifts to each other. He tried to go along with that plan, but it brought him great sadness. For Mr. Chatty, Xmas is EVERYTHING. It’s music, it’s loved ones, it’s parties, it’s drinking, it’s gifts, it’s singing, it’s sappy TV specials, it’s jazzy decorations, it’s magic.
So, I sucked it up, and we do Xmas gifts.
Buying gifts for Mr. Chatty is challenging. It’s been mandated that I MUST buy off The List, and any attempts at creative outside-the-box thinking has resulted in near tears and certain returns.
I learned that lesson early and have obeyed well enough these past 4 years together, but this year I simply had to veer from instruction.
Every time (and I’m talking EVERY TIME) Mr. Chatty and I would go to Zone (a funky kitchen-bath-and-what-not store downtown), Mr. Chatty would yearn for these: a set of smiley-face cheese knives.
A bit ironic considering Mr. Chatty’s campaign against cheese eating (he’s a health nut), but the dude cannot resist anything with a happy face on them.
We’d go into the store and each time Mr. Chatty would nearly squeal with glee, giggling back at the knives as he no doubt imagined them giggling at him.
But Mr. Chatty is a man of utmost practically and never purchased them. So this year, I did.
I gave them to him last night since we serve cheese in the house exactly once a year for Mr. Chatty’s Xmas Open House, which is this Sunday. I was nervous as I knew I had broken the gift purchasing rule and had bought something not on The List.
The risk paid off. Never have I seen Mr. Chatty’s face light up like that. He was overjoyed, as if 4 long-lost friends had shown up unexpectedly on his doorstep. And then he giggled.
I suppose sometimes Xmas isn’t so bad after all.