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   Volume 81 - Issue 48   email:   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"Teaching has been an enjoyable journey and a great joy of mine."
- Aggie Mitchell  


New Girl In TownWhile it would be nice if the passing of fall and the increasingly frequent downpour of white, fluffy, no-two-are-the-same precipitation would spark a feeling of festive cheer and excitement inside of me, I find that as I get older that slips a little further and further away.
For the first 17 years of my life, the coming of Christmas meant I was getting closer and closer to having two weeks off from school, that my mother, grandmother and sister would be hard at work preparing delicious baked goods from which my father and I would gain our “Christmas 15”, that I would get to spend time with the extended family you only see a handful of times per year, that my home would be filled with noisy and colourful decorations, and that it would all pay off with one frenzied morning of exchanging carefully selected and crafted gifts with my family and friends.
December 1st meant presents and time off school were getting closer and my advent calendar was fair game.
These days, December 1st means the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting darker and colder, and there are only three weeks for me to get all of my
shopping done.
In the past five years that I have struggled to support myself and pass myself off as a
responsible, independent adult, getting Christmas gifts for my loved ones has become an increasingly difficult and stressful task.
If you know me well, you know how ardently I love giving gifts to other people.
I will show up at a friend’s house in the middle of the week in June with a gift, for no other reason than to let them know I care.
I am the girl whose roommates would find movies, clothes, books and other items laid out for them on their beds when they got home from school every time the student loan cheques came in.
I’m the girl who spent all of her spare vacation money for her trips to Scotland, England, Portland and San Francisco procuring awesome, thoughtful gifts for the dozen-or-so main important people in my life.
What I’m trying to say is that my issue with Christmas lies not in having to buy gifts for others - that is actually one of my favourite parts.
My issue is having only so much time in which to do that, and having to discover some item that my loved ones actually need or want that they don’t already own.
It’s different when you go on vacation and can find something unique that they don’t have, or when you can organically come across something that is so perfect for that person that you cannot pass it up.
But being forced to find something, anything, that they would not only use / appreciate, but actually like – under a deadline, no less - that is what stresses me out.
My mother and sister are the most difficult to buy for.
My brother-in-law will always appreciate a funny t-shirt and a DVD, and my father can always be trusted to welcome an addition to his tool, electronics, music, or film collection.
However, my mother and sister not only have everything they need and want but are incapable of telling me anything that might make them happy.
“What do you want for
Christmas,” I ask. “Nothing,” is
always their response.
Since I was 17, my mother and sister have always told me to focus only on buying presents for my nephews (the oldest of which is now six, the second-born a whopping four, and the youngest, one).
Buying gifts for the oldest was fun and easy when he was little and the only child.
Anything I found that was cute, noisy and colourful, he would love - and I knew what he did and did not have.
Since the birth of his brothers, who inevitably received all of his old toys, it gets harder and harder to find something for any of them.
They don’t need toys – they have every toy known to man.
The hardest is buying something for the youngest, because any item I could buy him has
already been purchased every year for the past six years for either of his brothers.
So my sister tells me to buy him clothes, but who wants to be the auntie who buys the kids clothes for Christmas?
I hated it when my aunties bought me clothes – they got tossed aside in the search for
Barbies and Polly Pockets.
My other problem is that I never get a head start on my Christmas shopping.
I always leave it all until
December and then there is no possible way that I can afford to buy it all in the span of a few weeks.
So I’m not completely sure what I’m going to do this year.
I know what I will give my mother and sister – it will be something I make for them, and which no one else can give them.
My father and brother-in-law will probably receive the sort of thing they get from me every year, which I know they will not complain about.
My nephews will be the “fun” part. I honestly don’t know what to get them yet.
My friends and cousins are a little more fun to buy for, as most of them have similar tastes and
interests to myself, and I can
basically find something I would like and pop it in the bag for any one of them.
While it would comfort me to know that someone else knows the pain that is Christmas shopping for a family like mine, I hope you get the chance to focus on what Christmas is actually about, and don’t have to spend this whole month as stressed as I will be.
Love, Kimberley
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   Volume 81 - Issue 48   email:   $1.00   
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