I guess I’m too uncomfortable with crowds

to have ever been happy with a Black Friday-type “shopping event”. My skin crawls just going into the grocery store in the 4pm – 6pm evening rush. So I chuckled to myself that all those folks were lining up at the doors, yesterday morning or yesterday evening or in the wee hours today. They’re welcome to it.
But I am a tad twitchy this year about the idea that all my Christmas-giving is going to be from this calendar I’m putting together. Questions about “is it nice enough”, “what if they don’t like it”, “what if they think it’s dumb”, all the standard questions regarding the suitability of the gift. I’m also constantly questioning myself whether the time I’m investing in making it, is a good use of my time (now that I care about managing such things). I’m trying to remind myself that this is a unique expression of us which we share with family and friends, and as such they can’t “get it at the store”, so comparisons to store-bought items is rather pointless. I’m also reminding myself that the time I put into it is not only relaxing for me, but it is part of how I’m saving money on the purchase price. That might not be a big deal for one or two gifts, but multiply that by a dozen recipient households and suddenly that means something.

I think there’s always going to be an aspect of “is this a good thing I’m choosing to share with my loved ones?” aspect of holiday giving. I figure it’s the intent and the motivation that counts. For the grownups on our giving list, we want to share some piece of our lives because travel back and forth hasn’t been very practical. For the little ones, of which there are only six, I’ll probably go ahead and buy something small but unique for each of them that they can have to themselves. Something that doesn’t require a great deal of philosophical reflection to understand the meaning, but rather “this is for you, this is about you, this is your special gift, from us.” That’s how we’re answering the call of holiday giving this year.