Here it is almost Christmas, and I don't have all of my shopping done. I do have a few gifts bought, but none of them are for my immediate family. These past few years I haven't been able to get over to Somerset for Christmas, I think the last time was back in 2008 when the Marshall area got hit with that massive snowstorm. So I haven't rushed in getting my parents and brother any presents.
My mother and I have said that it's become hard to figure out what the other wants for Christmas. That's mainly because when we want something or see an item that's on a good sale (for me that will be a 75 percent or more off clearance rack), we'll buy it. By the time Christmas rolls around, we're desperately trying to come up with a list; heck, just one item to go on that list can be a challenge. One year I actually requested something I need, blades for my shaver, and by golly, I got them. One past Christmas, my mom told me to pick out what I wanted (we were going shopping the day after Thanksgiving or something), and she'd reimburse me. I got a nifty pair of fleece pajamas, several movies on DVD and a few other things. This year, it was cash. And that promptly went toward paying off my new set of tires (plus an Amazon gift card in which I used to get the first season of "Alice" on instant video).
Luckily I have time to ponder over what to get the other Votrubas in my life for the holidays.
One thing I'm looking forward to is being part of the midnight (actually 10 p.m.) Mass at Holy Redeemer Christmas Eve. I signed up to be one of the lectors, and I'm always in awe of the entire night. It can be a solemn and joyous occasion all in one. I also barely notice being in church for more than an hour, it goes by so fast. On Christmas Day, I have no idea what the day will bring me. I'm not working, so I'll have to play that one by ear.
When I was home after Thanksgiving, my mom mentioned that she never knew I wanted an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. But she does remember going all over creation looking for a Holly Hobbie doll (to tell you the truth, I don't really remember asking for one in the first place). I got the doll, along with a smaller doll called "Little Miss Petticoat" or something like that. She was a little blonde in a bonnet and a long dress, kind of a Holly Hobbie wannabe. My dad recalled the red plastic typewriter I got another Christmas. He said he should've gotten a real typewriter instead, seeing what he paid for a toy. Well several years later I did get that "real" typewriter - a birthday present that came in handy when it came to typing up research papers for my advanced writing course in high school. The margins had to be "just so."
So whether it's a plastic typewriter or a pair of fleece pajamas, I really do cherish all the gifts I've gotten throughout the years.