I hate shopping. I hate crowds. I hate mass consumerism. Ikea is my idea of hell. Yeah, I'm a ball of fun for the holidays.
Predictably, Christmas gift-giving, for me, has turned into an excuse to plan days throughout the rest of the year when I'll visit, cook, take people out, meet up with them in a cool locale or even [if I must] take them shopping (the little sister and mom often go for this option).
Obviously, there's an exception for children. I'll elbow my way through hordes of bitter soccer moms if it means getting the last leapfrog for my niece. (On a side note, they have leapfrog products for high-school students? Cheating never felt so cute!)
But, the last few years, I've noticed that I've gotten better about shopping. Growing more tolerant with age? No. Getting sucked into the American way? Perhaps. But really, it's the magic of the Interweb. On-line shopping was designed for people like me. So much of the reason I don't buy crap (other than the fact that most of it's crap) is the whole process of buying crap. The lines, the crowds, the stupid stores, the noise, the huge selection of a bunch of stuff you couldn't pay me to take home... you see where I'm going here, right?
Last year, I completed much of my Christmas shopping before I arrived in my hometown and actually gave out material presents, I even wrapped them. Granted, I had some of them shipped to my Mother's house and all I had to do was show up, pick out a roll of wrapping paper from her selection of 1 billion and I was good to go. But I call this efficiency, not laziness.
Anyways, the point I'm oh-so-slowing getting to here is that the timing of finals before the holidays has made me a better Christmas shopper. On-line shopping for family and friends is preferable to studying for the 14th straight hour. So far, I've taken care of my dad (even recruited some siblings, so I'm up on the Karma scale), several friends, E, and I also managed to order some books for myself for the break, as well as a self-indulgence I couldn't resist:
A GPS timer and trainer for my running escapades. It is the coolest gadget I've acquired in the last few years. Tonight, as a study break, E and I took it outside, allowed it to sync up with the satellites and walked around the yard, laughing at the 23-40 minute mile pace it desperately tried to average into a useful metric.
Oh, and studying is going well, thanks for asking. I'm meeting and surpassing my goals. No. Really...