LAS CRUCES — It’s August. Have you finished your Christmas shopping?
If you’re like most of my friends and relatives, you haven’t, and furthermore, you don’t want to hear about it. If I share my elation at having most of my holiday shopping done, I’m likely to be met with stony glares and dark mutterings, rather than the congratulations I feel I deserve.
I thought with all the “Christmas in July” brouhaha at shops and arts and crafts markets in recent years, my early bird proclivities would finally be embraced and appreciated.
But no. I still have a hard time recruiting amigos to join me on my super-early holiday shopping expeditions.
That’s okay. More bargains for me —and actually for you, too: I’ll feel free to get your gifts, since I won’t have to worry about hiding them from you.
Although chances are, you might have time to forget what I got you, since I started my shopping for December 2010 during the 2009 post-Christmas sales.
And alas, I might, too. Forgetting just what was intended for whom is among an increasing number of reasons I’ve begun to question my system for the first time.
There are lots of good reasons to shop early, of course. You can often find exactly the right gift for a hard-to-please or hard-to-shop-for amigo when you always have your radar out for the perfect present.
You can save a lot of money by taking advantage of sales, seasonal clearances and going-out-of-business events. When the holidays come around, you can relax and enjoy the season. You don’t have to worry about crowds and scarce popular items selling out before you can find them.
But this year, my system is falling apart. I blame it on the Leos and Virgos I love. Most of the people on my birthday list now were born in August and September.
I used to have a gift closet: A couple of shelves in my big, two-door, hall linen closet. Now, the gifts have taken over all three long shelves and the floor and part of the newly-designated linen armoire in one guest bedroom.
There’s another room, formerly the guest lair of grandson Alex the Great, that I’d planned to finish converting to a home office with the laptop, printer and accessories that dear friends gave me for Christmas last year.
Alas, again. It’s August and I still haven’t selected and brought home those 2009 gifts, a shocking lapse for an early bird like me.
But I have a good excuse: The office room floors, daybed, desk and file cabinet tops are currently covered with wrapping paper, ribbons, gift bags and birthday gifts, and yes, I admit it, a few more Christmas presents.
I’m working hard to rectify the situation. In early July, I packed up and shipped off all the gifts for out-of-town recipients born in June through September. Gifts for locals have been stashed in designated eco-friendly reusable totes, so I don’t have to worry about forgetting who gets which carefully-wrapped presents.
Before long, they’ll all be out of here and I’ll have some floor space, a staging area for phase two.
This year, I’m determined to clear out all the gift closets and cupboards and armoire. If I’ve been holding on to it because I forgot it, or the intended recipient’s size or tastes have changed, I’ll give it to someone else or donate it to charity.
I’ll acknowledge what I suspect are the true desires and needs of recipients and give cash and consumables whenever possible. I know some of my aging recipients have just about everything they need, except, for instance, fresh green chiles. For the last few years, I’ve relied on the nice folks at New Mexico Catalog in Fairacres to procure and (my least favorite part of gift-giving) pack and send the always-appreciated hot stuff.
This year, I’m determined to clear the decks before it’s time to deck the halls. And reclaim enough territory so I finally have room to claim and use my own 2009 Christmas presents.
Sometimes, it’s not only better but also necessary to give before you receive.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to www.lcsun-news.com and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style.