Christmas, I’m Running Late

These are busy, busy days. Christmas parties, holiday trips, and weekend after weekend spent braving the crowds at the mall and struggling home laden with packages. Not for me, though. Usually by this time, I’d be almost done with shopping for family members and am already planning the noche buena menu. But my schedule during the past months have been extra hectic and so with only one more weekend to go before the 24th, none of the items on my usual list has been ticked off. I am now as panicked as an elf with a backlog on Christmas Eve.

Being crunched for time to pick out nice gifts for my Ma and sisters does not worry me. That part’s easy because we essentially like the same things. Shopping for the nephews and nieces also follow a set pattern — I buy them toys that are either compact and clever or extra large and cheap, haha. What I dread is doing all these along with my most challenging Christmas task, the one I keep putting off: finding gifts for men — my Mr., my Dad, my brother and brothers-in-law.

Why is it so hard to buy gifts for members of the male species? Each year, I spend hours roaming the mall, puzzling over whether I should get another shirt, another book, something for the toolbox, a briefcase, a wallet, another tie. It does not help that the merchandise in the Men’s Section is limited to only three types: high-end, low-end, and utterly mediocre. Of course, history has shown that even the wisest men can be stumped for good gift ideas for their fellows (two words: frankincense and myrrh) but that’s not much comfort in crunch times like these.

Picking out something for the Mr. is even trickier because he often comes along when I shop (I help him choose gifts for his side of the family). Splitting up at the mall to purchase our gifts for each other does not mean there won’t be awkward moments.  

A few Christmases ago, I entered a favorite store and saw the Mr. paying for what I instantly knew would be my gift. He did not see me and the look of gleeful surprise that I feigned on Christmas morning could’ve brought me an Oscar.

All the stress and hassle are self-inflicted, of course, for we don’t really need to do this. We don’t have to make lists, spend hours checking them off, wait in line over and over to pay for purchases, for free gift-wrapping, for a cab. But tired as we are, our shopping energy does not wane because we know we are on a quest to find the perfect gifts for our loved ones. Then as they unwrap those gifts on Christmas Day, we watch and hope they’ll be delighted. They usually are and once again, the pain in our joints and the slight burn at the edges of our credit cards are soon forgotten (or ignored).

Next year, I have no doubt, this thing will be on repeat.

*****

So, how are you doing on the Christmas shopping? Any gift ideas for men? 😀

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37 thoughts on “Christmas, I’m Running Late

  1. Yes, it’s a good job they’re lovable isn’t it or the guys would get zero presents! We’ve sort of reached the age where we don’t spend money on each other, but on flights to the Algarve instead. Just as challenging to find something small and interesting for a man. I mean, there has to be something under the tree doesn’t there?

    • The thing with my husband is every year, when I ask him what he wants, he says I don’t need to give him any presents, it’s not big deal, etc. Then on Christmas Day, he almost can’t wait to open his presents, hahaha.

      But, you just gave me an idea, Johanna. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Season tickets to the PBA? If he’s into it. And you know what else? men dig a full body rub down, too. Not just the barber type of deal but the kind complete with white, terry cloth, cucumber eye patches and zen music.

    Merry Christmas! I love the photo.

    • Unfortunately, he stopped watching the PBA after it became all about the (fake) Fil-Ams, hehe.
      That’s a stock photo and I actually laughed when I found it ’cause it’s so apt. 🙂

  3. The picture above cracks me up! Hahahaha!

    Regarding gift ideas, you can give us anything gadget-related. Earphones, protective cases (for laptops, phone, ipod)?

    Massage maybe?

    • Good for you! I am usually at that stage, too at this time. 🙂
      My Mr. is into sports but he’s got more than enough (I think) of the jerseys and sneakers and water bottles, etc, etc., hahaha. But maybe, he wants more…

  4. Count me in. I’ve been swamped with a lot of work lately that I forgot I just have a week more to go to buy gifts. I might buy my hubby some sports apparel or workout clothes as he has been turned into a gym rat, hahaha!

    • It’s kind of stressful realizing how crunched we are for time now, isn’t it? Every year, I also think of getting the Mr. some sports gear and every year they seem to get more and more expensive, args.
      Thanks for dropping by and for the suggestion. 🙂

    • It’s so much a tradition in my family now, Rumps, (and we are in a Catholic country so it’s really a big deal) that we don’t let the awful commercialization that it’s been subjected to stop us from celebrating it. Besides, the kids will be so disappointed if ”Santa Claus” does not drop by on Christmas Eve. 🙂

  5. Love the pic…. we’re off to Orlando so not under pressure to buy gifts as such. Have told my girls they get to pick something when they go to see the whole Harry Potter world – although I have secretly stashed some extras for them. My hubby is v. difficult to buy for, I don’t know what to get. I am thinking something for the car…

  6. Boods, I totally agree. I have already have gifts (or at least gift ideas) for my mom, sisters, mother-in-law, sisters-in-law (wink!), but none yet for the guys. Kid has only one item in his wishlist – an Ipad 2 (so it’s either mahirapan ako mag-isip o bilhin ko na lang).

    Buti na lang I read the comments, I won’t buy a tie anymore. 😀

    • My gulay, it is soo hard to even come up with gift ideas for guys. Buti na lang this Christmas, I’ll only have one brother-in-law present, hehe!

  7. I kind of solved the men problem by asking straight out! Boring, I know but I got tired of getting it wrong every time. I do miss giving that surprise element though. What is worse is that the man gets it spot on every time without needing to ask. Then again I’m much easier to shop for…

  8. I just ask the Husband what he wants and I have a list and off I go. Kind of ridiculous at our age, I wrap what he’s told me he would like that I have bought and we sit there Christmas morning and open them. Even the “surprises” aren’t surprises anymore but it is still a kick! Can’t forget his assortment of Samuel Adams and Red Stripe. Take Care Tita Buds, Ima running late too! And we do our family Christmas on the 18th-that’s next weekend!!!!

    • That’s so sweet and funny, wrapping up something that he already knows.
      This Sunday? Waah, it must be pretty hectic in your house right now. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your family Christmas, though!

  9. I ask my husband what he’d like, or he just bluntly tells me “this year I want XXX for Christmas”. He hates surprises, so I am saved. He’s even worse with buying me gifts. It usually ends with him me to store (any store, but he always starts with jewelry) and saying “choose something please, it is your Christmas/birthday/anniversary present 🙂

  10. Girl, I feel your pain. Dudes are the hardest to shop for! I quite literally bought my dad a bb gun last year, that’s how desperate I was!

    Hope you get to enjoy the season!

    • A bb gun? Did your Dad say, ”thanks Kate this is very …. interesting.”, haha.
      Thanks, I’ve actually started enjoying it, now that I’ve written about it. So weird. 🙂

  11. Tita Buds, I know the drill. I do keep the receipts of stuffs I buy in case I may need to return them to the shop in exchange for something else that the Mr. prefers. That happened a couple of times already.

      • The Dutch are very practical with presents. Hubby at times even give me the receipts in case I want to return them and exchange for something else.

        Or typical is also to give a gift certificate for present…

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