For me, the holidays aren’t a particularly stressful time, because by the time the holidays get here, my work is usually more than done. I start scouting out gifts for people in September. Well, who am I kidding? I start looking in earnest in the summer, and sometimes, if I find something throughout the year that I think would make a great gift for someone on my list, I’ll buy it any time of year and stow it away until the holidays.
I’ve also considered and occasionally made home-made gifts. If you came into my apartment right now, it is akin to Santa’s Workshop. I’ve got stacks of cards, envelopes, stamps, gifts, boxes, wrapping paper, and plenty of tape. I have the stack of gifts for family that I will take home with me when I go for the holidays. And I have a bag full that will go to the post office. In some years, I’ve basically bought all gifts from one store or all gifts online. This year, some things have been ordered online, but I’ve thought really hard what to get people, and have made mini trips in order to accomplish all the gifs on my list. I have to be honest, though. Over the years, I have cut down both my card-only and my gift list. No matter how you swing it, holiday shopping is a lot of work, whether you do it over the course of many months or a few days or weeks. While I do maintain, that at least for me, my way of spreading out gift shopping is more manageable, it can certainly take its toll.
For me, being this anal works for a lot of reasons:
1. As I said before, by the time the holidays come around, I’m not super stressed because I’ve accomplished tasks in manageable loads.
2. By not waiting until the last minute, not only do I avoid all the last minute shoppers (I love the mall, but I can’t stand it when everybody and their mother is there), but if I’m not feeling well or am flaring, that hasn’t put a damper on my holiday shopping plans.
3. I also avoid long lines at the post office. All that line avoiding is good for my joints.
4. Avoiding lines and throngs of people is also a good strategy if you are significantly immune-suppressed due to medication.
5. If you do have significant mobility issues, online shopping might be the best option. A lot of places offer free shipping, and you can have the gift sent directly to the recipient, rather than having to make a trip to the post office or UPS to send it. You can also order boxes from the post office or have them delivered, print postage, and have packages picked up. Visit www.usps.com for more information.
6. While I always do handwritten cards, I’ve always been jealous of the specialty ones some of my friends send out that they ordered online. I am thinking that next year, I will probably go this route. That way, it will be less writing for my hands.
I guess the point is that for me, gift giving takes a lot of thought, time, and energy. But I love doing it, so I do it in a way that works for me. Sure, my friends and family think that I’m nuts. They can’t believe that by the time we hit late October or early November, I’m finishing my gift quest. On the other hand, while holiday gift giving doesn’t cause me to break out into a cold sweat, holiday traveling certainly does…
Published On: November 26, 2012