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Sometimes I worry about myself.  I fear that I may be turning into some version of “Mrs. Crankypants” with what I am about to say.  Nevertheless, here goes:  it’s now officially the holiday shopping season and there is not very much that I want to buy.

I know, I know…we’re supposed to.  And it does stimulate the economy. And right at this very minute, my younger daughter is Out There Somewhere, doing her part at the Black Friday sales.  And yeah, it’s true that right now, money is pretty darned tight for us.  And I suppose that does influence my thinking, to some extent.  But even when I think about what would be on my ‘wish list’ if money wasn’t an issue, there’s not a whole lot that I can come up with!

Sure, I would like to go on a nice vacation somewhere warm in the winter.  And I always like a little bling.  But really, what do I need or want?  I don’t need another cashmere sweater.  I love Chico’s (God knows I look like an ad for the company, most of the time) but I don’t really need more clothes. I don’t want a Keurig single-cup coffee thingie…I brew mine by the pot and like it that way.  And I don’t really want a George Foreman grill, even though my friends love them…my gas grill and my broiler pan work just fine.

I’ve got an iPod Touch and don’t really need an iPhone.  An iPad would be a fun toy, but one more gadget isn’t necessary.  And mostly, my husband and I seem to keep cleaning out stuff that we don’t need, rather than adding more to the pile. And all those gimmics advertised for “just $19.95”??  Nope, don’t need those either.  The Obama Chia Head, however…now that might make me think twice!  No, this year, as for the last couple, my husband and I will have a pretty short list of what we want, and we will be making a lot of our holiday gifts.

Ben is a fine artist, and he loves making our holiday greeting cards. This year’s design is finished, a text selected and — in a departure from the last ten or so years — we actually may get it done and hand-painted and in the mail before Christmas, rather than waiting till February (procrastination being a fine art to be honed).  I’ll be making some of the twelve-plus types of Christmas cookies that have been a part of my family tradition since I was a little girl…and then sharing them with friends and family.  Ben will be making part of the gift we give to our family and friends…as a fine woodworker, Ben makes beautiful items that we are glad to share with our loved ones.  And I’ll be adding some consumables, from my catering business, to go with the items Ben makes…homemade preserves and pickles, savory and sweet items, all made in my kitchen.  We feel like these are the most meaningful gifts, the ones made with our hands…and we look forward to sharing them.

Yes, we know our children will have their wish lists, and Ben and I will do our best to fulfill some of their wishes.  But for us – not a long list.  It is the season of giving, and we will be reaching out to family and friends, focusing on the gifts that we give to one another by just being, rather than by buying more things and stuff.  But that Chia head?  Might have to have that!

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