The Christmas tree is up giving our living room that cozy, “please nap here and consume lots of snacks” feel. The countdown until break is on at school and we’ve had a couple perfect snowfalls that brought with them a large dose of holiday spirit. I spend my lunch breaks buying with-one-click and evenings trying to remember what I ordered and when I should start checking tracking numbers online.
I love this time of year. Not the feel of hemorrhaging money and the relentless so-much-crap-to-do stress but the overall feeling of anticipation is the best. More than that, as a gal who loves indulgence, what could be better than an entire month where not only is that extra cookie or glass of wine acceptable, it’s encouraged. And if all that were not enough, it is impossible not to feel the holiday vibe when you have a crazed 6 year-old with a Santa obsession under foot. All hail the holiday season!!!!
But there is one thing about the season that is killing me and if I were Commissioner Gordon, I’d send up the Bat-signal. My husband, The Turk, is in desperate need of help this holiday season. Years and years ago my husband was the best gift giver in the world. He’d plan ahead and fill his little tokens of love with thought. It wasn’t about how much he spent (Because trust me, we never had two dimes to spare in those years) but it was what he chose. For years I’ve worn a tiny evil eye charm from him around my neck that cost little to nothing and it still makes me smile. Fast forward thirteen years and that Turk is gone leaving me with a man who gives me poorly wrapped laundry baskets and can openers from major holidays and all I can say is, “What the hell fool?”
“Mom, we tried.” Number One (One of the best mama’s boys around) is always first to absolve himself of any association to these crap gifts. “But you know Baba…”
“Yeth. Baba buys crappy stuff. Thorry Mom.” Nugget adds.
Occasionally the Turk tries to blame his heritage, “Turkey is Muslim country and there is no Christmas so…” but it doesn’t work. He’s been Americanized in a nation that overdoes Christmas like no other for close to 20 years. Spare me dude.
He also tries to use the husband line, “You are so hard to buy for.”
Really? Am I? I literally texted you photos and a link for the slippers I wanted yet I still got slippers akin to those worn by your Turkish grandmother, you know, the one who’s 95 and wears a babushka-like headscarf.
Occasionally he’ll try, “Just buy it and I wrap. We not tell the kids.”
Seriously? I’m a major fan of the surprise and not a major fan of wrapping so that’s a hard pass from me.
Now that the kids are old enough to join him, I have a better chance because they will lobby for me. Like the year I taught Nugget to say “InstaPot” which was more like, “Inthpoth” but it worked, I got one. It would’ve been better had it been filled with gold and chocolate but it worked. However last year, he hit a new low. Undoubtedly, Christmas 2018 shook the ridiculous meter. Was it because he left the boys at home and attempted to shop alone? Or was it because, judging by his purchases, he had a few drinks prior to purchase?
Here’s the Christmas of 2018 in a nutshell:
Gift 1: Turkish grandma slippers. (Again.)
Gift 2: A red cowbell that had, “Ring For Beer” painted on it. (I was unaware we moved into a frat house.)
Gift 3: A giant O that holds wine corks. (Ok that one was useful and might already be filled. Don’t judge.)
Gift 4: A beer opener that was also a Plinko board for bottle caps with things like “Take a Shot” or “Chug” as the winning slots. (See previous frat house comment.)
Gift 5: A laundry hamper. “Well, we need one.” (Ahhhhh hells no.)
And the pièces de résistance…….
Gift 6: A hot dog cooker – you know, like the kind they have at 7-11 with the spinning metal rods. Here’s the irony…I don’t eat hot dogs. I don’t even eat meat!
“What? Everyone like a sausage cooker right?” Was his only reply to my less-than-enthusiastic response. He kept up the year of giving with a can opener for Valentines day, “What? It is Kitchenaid.” And he rounded out the year last month with an anniversary gift of …”Oh, sorry. I forget.”
So now we are t-minus 10 days and I can sense his fear. My perfect little babies have berated him for an entire year and I think it’s working. “Baba, don’t blow it this year.”
As of today there are three poorly wrapped boxes under the tree with my name on them and countless promises from my boys, “This year Mom, you will actually like it.” The boxes are too big for chocolate diamonds but also way too big for Turkish grandma slippers so I’m cautiously optimistic. After all, it’s the thought that counts…unless it’s a fricken’ hotdog cooker and then all bets are off.