We don't, typically. As a rule.
Or at least, I didn't think we did.
Until the kids asked what we were going to be doing for the classroom holiday gifts this year. And I'm sure I had the same blank expression then that I have on now because for the life of me, I have no idea what they're talking about. And then it occurred to me, it must've happened during the black-out.
You know, the Christmas shopping black-out that begins the day after Thanksgiving and continues up until about the 23rd of December? It's that place that you go to in order to justify to yourself and to your dwindling bank account and smoking credit cards that you haven't. yet. covered. everyone.
So, evidently, during these black-outs, I've been easily convinced in previous years to purchase classroom gifts for each of my kids' classes. I'm still in a state of shock as to how this actually happens. Apparently, I'm a pretty functional shopaholic. Buying, wrapping, tagging, shipping. Even the postman gets a little sum'n sum'n (no, not THAT kinda sum'n).
So, I'm still staring at Saia, mouth completely agape, as she regales me with tales of our wonderful shopping sprees, and how much she enjoys being able to give something to every single person in her class, so that no one feels left out, and how she's so happy with the gift we picked up for her teacher, and how much she's loved wrapping gifts so early for our family this year, and how it was really cool that we adopted that family last year and that we should really do that again, and how she's already been thinking about what to do for her class this year.
And I felt myself beginning to hyperventilate. Suddenly, it was all beginning to make sense. The flood of bills in January. The inexplicable loss of funds. The utter sense of emptiness and gloom at the end of the year. I was shopping myself into oblivion without even realizing it.
"Mama?" she says. "Are you listening?"
And I grab the corner of the table to stabilize myself.
"So, Mama, can I tell you my idea for this year?" she continues, oblivious to my impending heart attack.
"Sure, sweetheart. What is it?" I eek out, my cheeks all flushed, perspiration beginning to collect on my brow.
"Well, see, we all have pencils at our desks and little pencil sharpeners, but the sharpeners we have are for regular pencils, and they don't work on colored pencils because they're just a little bit thicker, and since we have both regular pencils and colored pencils in our own pencil boxes, it would make more sense if we all had little colored pencil sharpeners at our desks that sharpen BOTH kinds of pencils, so that we wouldn't have to stand in line to wait to use the electric sharpener."
She takes a deep breath.
And as the color begins to seep back into my face, I feel a smile overtaking me from head to toe. I mean, seriously, who is she kidding? She cannot possibly be this adorable. :)
And I'm off to Staples this afternoon.
[Incidentally, as I was googling for an image for this post, I typed in "group gifts." Eww...just don't. Not the combination I was looking for.]