Saturday, December 20, 2008

Clothes Only Come in Gift Bags

Every year and almost every occasion, whether it is a birthday, Easter or Christmas, one thing always stays the same at my house:

"Clothes only come in gift bags."

This doesn't mean that other items can't be found in a gift bag but there is a 98% chance that if you receive a gift bag from me, it means I got you clothes. I'm not sure where I started this. I don't remember gift bags as a kid and I think it became a traditional thing after I moved to Ontario and started celebrating holidays with my in-laws.

Although I began using and enjoying gift bags after I moved to Ontario, I rarely received clothes in the gift bags. Instead I received all sorts of little goodies and my husband's grandmother would always load up gift bags with nuts and chocolates and all the other little treats that people indulge in. So it leaves me wondering why gift bags have become the wrapping of choice for clothes.

I think part of the reason is that I don't like to have frumpy packages under the tree. I prefer to have beautiful wrapped boxes intermingled with boxes. The whole aesthetic thing, you know. It has become such a common thing that my children will immediately say, "Oh, a gift bag, that's just clothes."

This year; however, I have decided to break from the norm and every gift bag under the tree will hold other items besides clothes. The kids will be in for a shock of their life and I will have to deal with frumpy packages (unless I run down to the store to pick up a few gift boxes).

And that sort of brings me to Christmas. Although it is only five days away, I haven't really felt that Christmassy. I am finished shopping outside of a few odds and ends (namely stocking stuffers) but I still have about 80% of the wrapping to do. I'm hoping that I will be in the Christmas mood soon enough but if not, it will kick in a few hours before Christmas morning.

That is always a tradition too. No matter how off I feel or how worn out, I stay awake most of Christmas Eve waiting for 6 o'clock so I can sneak downstairs, turn on all the Christmas lights, and set up the coffee pot so it is ready while the kids are opening their stockings. I used to go and wake the kids up after I had everything done but now I go back upstairs around quarter to seven and lay in bed, pretending to sleep so the kids can burst into the room and experience all the joys of waking their parents up on Christmas morning.

My planning may seem a bit silly but I never leave Christmas lights on when I sleep (call me overly cautious) and I want the kids to come down the stairs to a fully lit tree. There is so much magic in that first glimpse of the tree; fully lit, the angel shining brightly in the darkened living room, the presents piled under and around it. Magic on Christmas morning.

Well, on that note, I should sign off. I have presents to wrap and I told my husband I would wrap them tonight.

Have a good night and Happy Holidays.


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