Emphasis on little.
Coming down to the wire here, and I've bought gifts only for co-workers. I've shopped for John, but haven't bought. Somewhere near my feet is a robotic gift to my godson, whose birthday was today or tomorrow or Sunday; I forget. Between work, the dog and frankly, the mild depression that's gripped me since Tuffy was diagnosed, I haven't managed to get it sent out. I'm going to have to do Amazon, and tell his parents that the other gift will be about a week late.
See, I wasn't kidding that my entire shopping list this year involves Amazon.
Except for the co-workers and John, that is. I had plans to replace John's old iPod, which has had glitches and compatibility issues for years. But when I got to Target, half the models were sold out, and I couldn't quite remember which kind he had mentioned possibly buying next year. Was it the almost-iPhone with touchscreen and video but not much storage, or the Classic with ten times as much storage? If the latter, then 40 GB or 80 GB? Only one of the two was in stock anyway, and only in white. So I put off buying it.
Then tonight I had the following conversation, more or less:
Me: I have to go back out shopping tonight.
John: No you don't.
Me: Yes, I do. I haven't bought your main present yet.
John: Then don't buy it. I can make do with the old one.
Since he obviously knew what present I was talking about, I asked him which one it was he'd liked. He wouldn't even tell me. He sincerely doesn't want us spending the money on that right now. He's gearing up to work on redoing the plaster and the tile on both bathrooms, and a roof over a section of patio, and would much rather spend the money on that.
But he's still one up on me, even considering our five gift limit. He's gotten me "a few little things." I've gotten him nothing. There is one item he's mentioned wanting a couple of times, but beyond that I have no clue.
What he really wants is the house fixed up, cleaned and cleared out, repaired and decent looking. I'm going to do a bunch of dishes in a few minutes, and tomorrow I'll finish cleaning up the kitchen and start on my office and do the bedroom. John's got most of the rest of 2007 off from work, and intends to spend most of it working on the renovations and repairs. And we need to decide which fake tree to put up, as I'm graciously giving up my real tree compulsion for this year at least.
Meanwhile we have five boxes and counting from Amazon, courtesy of my dad and Ruth. We have a few little gifts from my office, and presumably the usual gift card from my godson's parents. We'll have things to open, although John keeps saying that brown cardboard boxes are the new wrapping paper.
So Christmas will be sparse on the ground, by mutual agreement. Really, 20 presents at this stage wouldn't make me happier than five. I worked out today that Tuffy has cost us about $4000 in vet bills since September, and the Museum of the Weird is stuffed to the gills with our collections as it is. If the combined gifts and gift cards from all sources yield a few books and videos, perhaps a sweater and a pair of slacks, and (longshot) a Doctor Who Magazine subscription, I'll be more than satisfied.
And the we'll have the new Doctor Who Christmas special to watch as well. From the reviews I've read so far, that may be the best present of all. And today I switched over my clock radio at work from my Doctor Who CDs to all-Christmas programming on a local soft rock station. Several of those songs had me in tears. I wasn't subjected to The Christmas Shoes, but some recent artist had the original sad versions of the opening and closing of this song from Meet Me in St. Louis:
Have yourself a merry little Christmas;
Let your heart be light.
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight....
Someday soon we all will be together,
If the fates allow.
Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.