It's been a week of denial, or rather the gradual erosion of denial. Most startling was the realisation that a whole week has passed since my last post. Really, it felt like only yesterday...
Most famously I was in total denial about the need to do any shopping for the upcoming orgy of gift giving that I feel obliged to participate in. (I bought the most important gift online a few weeks ago and the ensuing smugness obliterated any perspective regarding the other near and dears).
Surrounded by office-mates covering their desks in wrapping paper and filling the air with the farting sounds of cellotape as it is wrenched from the roll still didn't make much of an impression. Until a colleague asked how my Christmas shopping was going. To which I blithely replied that "I'll just stop at a service station on Christmas Eve and pick up a few things on my way to Hamilton".
Goodness! I might as well have announced that I would be convening a devil worshipping ritual in the middle of the Christmas feast. Such outrage! Such incredulity! Such public shaming! Um, guys, I was sort of only joking. But at lunchtime I slunk out, blitzed two of my favourite shops and managed to purchase pleasing gifts for almost all the important folk in less than half an hour, while sticking (more or less) to my budget and my loosely applied purchasing policy of hand made/ NZ-made/fair trade/organic/good cause. And then I forgot all that self-righteous consumer- activism when I was suckered into a bookshop on the way back to work.
Rest assured, friends and family, no service station/liquor store/supermarket gifts will be inflicted by me! I'm afraid though, that on the whole I will be introducing more pretty yet useless objects into your life and so you will have to find somewhere to put them, and probably spend an extra few seconds a year dusting them or find a discreet opportunity for regifting (perfectly acceptable after you've read the books). Oh, and because I left it so late, anything arriving in the USA by post will be, um, more of a Purim gift in timing. Sorry.
I do wish I had been as organised as some of my workmates who are giving dolphins, goats and chickens away (as certificates of sponsorship for various worthy causes). If only I hadn't been in denial, I too would have had enough time to buy on line, and next Tuesday my family members would be trying to look thrilled with a card announcing that someone in the developing world has got a new goat thanks to my anti-consumerism. And so there's one less goat bringing prosperity to a dirt-floored hut somewhere. Sorry about that too.
Anyway, getting into the spirit at this 11th hour I am pleasantly surprised to find myself feeling more enthusiastic about Christmas than I have for a long time. I hope, dear readers, that you all enjoy the time off, the company, the gift giving and receiving, and the special foods as much as I intend to.