I heard the phrase: "This Holiday Season." Later, my mother in law called. She'd seen a toy in a catalog and wanted to know if I thought it was appropriate for the boys. My first instinct was to say "for what?" but then I caught up with her and realized that she had Christmas shopping on her brain.
Up until then I was comfortable in autumn. Really, summer lasts so long that we've only just started autumn here. The holidays are in the winter, last I'd checked. Or, at least the one which requires shopping, which is the one in the reference. Winter is a long time away.
I am not there yet. I am so not there. I am in "the school year is well underway" mode. I am in "this is the coasting, life is pretty simple" time of year. I am in the "enjoy those last warm days" clothing. I am not wearing sweaters. I am not making my list and checking it twice.
We are planning for Halloween. If the calendar doesn't cheat, it is still a few weeks away. I'm willing to make plans for Thanksgiving, but only if it is necessary to make them so early. Christmas? No. It is not on the horizon yet.
But the family will need ideas for the boys. I will have about three ideas and I will give them all to the family members who ask first, and then I will panic.
It is a good thing that my kids want so little. It is a good thing that they have the things they need and understand that too much is not better. Does this mean we can skip the retail portion of the holidays? I could suggest that we give to charities instead. I could suggest that we draw names and only buy for one person. I could suggest that but it would never work. The family members who buy presents for them want to buy presents for them. The children who receive presents would not give up the opportunity to receive presents. No, I can't skip it and I can't hide from it. I will have to embrace it and start The List.