Two weeks ago I started poking around on the wishlist program Richard wrote a few years back for both our families. Last week I selected a few items (and got ideas from the list for the rest), and late last week we made a bunch of orders. So almost every day this week there have been boxes in our mailbox, or sitting on our porch – boxes from all manner of places, all bearing the same marvelous thing. Yes, folks, this year we managed the unthinkable. We have successfully done every single bit of our Christmas shopping online!
It gives me a little thrill each time we open another box and pull out another soon-to-be-present. We're carefully stacking everything away in a closet (and saving all receipts, just in case), and as each box arrives I check off one more name on our list. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around we should have every single gift accounted for. By the time December hits, all that will be left to prepare for the holidays is filling out and mailing the cards, putting up the decorations, getting and decorating a tree, and doing all the required baking. It's still a lot of work, but my little early Christmas present to myself this year is the gift of mall avoidance during the pre-holiday season. No searching for parking in an overfull lot; no jostling with hundreds of sweaty, tired shoppers and their screaming kids, no forced exposure to tacky department store holiday music (otherwise known as 'how many different ways can we expose shoppers to 'Jingle Bells' before the first one goes postal?'). Ah, what blissful relief.