Holiday foibles….in which fate and the mysteries conspire to save my ass

I’ll begin this post by admitting that my memory for dates and names is seriously atrocious. I mix dates up all the time and, unless I write them down or add an e-reminder, all bets are off. I suspect this has something to do with my use of a not-entirely-compatible-with-my-energies body, but it is also likely related to bouts of depression and being busy in a scattered kind of way.

I signed up for a Secret Santa thing at work. I do not personally indulge in much Christmas stuff, but I enjoy the challenge of gift giving and thought it would be fun. This was before I discovered that on the Secret Santa participant list, everyone put down items they want. The person I drew had exactly two things on her list, both gift cards.

When I drew her name all inspiration left me. Buying a gift card is soooo boring! I might as well just hand her cash. And if I give her a gift card, and someone else gives me a gift card, then maybe we should have just kept our money and not exchanged gifts as the outcome would be identical.

Anyway, back onto scheduling. I asked the person organizing it when I needed to have the gift by, and I could have sworn she said the 19th. So of course, me being me, I procrastinate—not entirely out of laziness but because the places on the giftee’s gift card list are not places that are really in my circle of travel. And I ride the bus. So I can’t just run out at lunch and buy a gift card.

Now, complaining is not the best holiday activity in the world, but I do it anyway. This morning I was out in the warehouse complaining to a co-worker how boring it is to buy someone a gift card, and then telling him I thought of a way to make it more interesting by adding the card or cash to some small item or other that I could wrap. Then he remarked that I better hurry and go get something. And that’s when I found out the exchange was TODAY.

Holy crap, memory foibles strike again. In a mild panic, I thought about making a card and putting cash inside, even though it would be tacky. And then I remembered that I had two gifts sitting in my desk drawer in my office—one for another co-worker and one for an ex-boss. The co-worker one could not be gifted to my Secret Santa person, as it was purchased specifically for the co-worker. However, the ex-boss’s gift, some nice handmade soaps, could be.

So I took out the colorfully wrapped soaps, cut up an old Xmas card lying around in my desk and made a little envelope out of it, and put some cash inside the envelope and stuck it on the soap package. Voila, instant Secret Santa gift.

And I was very grateful that: 1) I had brought the two gifts into work on Monday so that I would have less to carry later in the week; 2) that I happened to complain to the warehouse worker about the exchange and found out that it was today; 3) that my guides/ancestors/lwa/deities inspired me and/or I am resourceful enough to think about making use of what I had on hand (meaning, the two gifts in the desk) and 4) that I had cash in my wallet (yesterday I nearly gave my cash to the girlfriend, who had offered to pick up a gift card for me. Because of the extra fees attached to some gift cards, I had decided against it).

It would have been very embarrassing to flake out on my Secret Santa commitment. I don’t know if I am going to participate next year though, as I still think buying gift cards is kind of boring, although I will do it for people who are otherwise difficult to shop for. However, one of guys I like in sales got my name and gave me two horror DVDs and some candy, so score!

And to conclude on an ironic note: Another friend gave me a gift a couple of weeks ago—a game to improve your memory. Perfect!

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