Saturday, December 17, 2005

The most wonderful time of the year

Christmastime is when Mickey and I switch personalities. As December draws near, his eyes begin lighting up, his lips unfurl and begin curling upwards, and his cadences acquire a strange, almost musical lilt. A week into his birth month, he is positively radiating good cheer: Christmas CDs come off the shelves and into the CD player, Christmas TV adverts get hearty applause, and there's humming and help from him as I trim the tree. He is impossible to annoy in December: "I love Christmas!" he sings. "Let's buy lots and lots of presents for everybody!"

"By "we" of course, you mean me," I snarl back. While my husband has metamorphosed into Mr. Sunshine, I've turned into a toal stresscase. And that's the nub of this personality switch: he delegates, and I agonize. There seems to never be enough: time, money or thoughtfulness to buy your near and dear precisely the right present. I am constantly reminded of this as I trudge through shopping malls, troll scores of shopping websites, make lists and check them twice, etc. I keep waiting for that time when I transform into the masterful perfect-gift giver all my years of shopping have prepared me for. Instead I see my presents magically change from the wonderful, unique -- but well-priced -- thing it was in the store into a cheap looking, mass-produced, made in China tchotchke.

Then there is the added stress of schlepping the stuff back home. For the past 5 years, my Christmas ritual has been to load up my suitcase with one change of clothes and 50 pounds worth of presents and other pabilin. What can't fit into the suitcase is creatively repackaged into a hand-carryable package that's dragged around the airport and forced into the overhead bins. This year I wised up and mailed 10kg of gifts home. But I was still left with a bunch of fragile and unwieldy items I didn't dare check in.

So there I was early yesterday afternoon, all checked-in at the Airport Express station, lugging my oversized shopping bag full of crap, looking for a place to get a decent sandwich since I wasn't particularly looking forward to Cathay's ham and cheese drek, and groaning at the lunch lines, pharmacy lines and crowds and crowds of people. To top it off I was sweating like a piglet from the exertion and too many layers of clothing. Merry Christmas indeed. Merry fucking Christmas.


Blogger Bandit said...

Mayapapaya you crack me up. I can totally visualize you and Mickey at home and then you at the airport. Have a merry f@&%ing christmas!

10:16 PM, December 17, 2005  
Blogger Pam said...

Miss Scrougette! I hope the holidays treated you much better than you felt. Being with family usually brings out the best in us... well, after the christmas presents and pabilins that we dragged home for them, they'd better make us feel good!

11:03 PM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger mayapapaya said...

Heheh. Yeth, I'm back in Hongkers and somewhat recovered from the Christmas break. I was Little Miss Grumpy, but all that food and alcohol numbed my emotions somewhat.

How's about the Ange and Brad spawn, eh?

10:32 PM, January 12, 2006  
Blogger shyguy said...

Either their kid is going to be drop dead super blindingly gorgeous or, to quote Perez Hilton, "absolutely whoreanus barfugly!"

10:57 PM, January 12, 2006  
Blogger ragamuffin girl said...

I love Christmas! :) Go mickey! (good thing you're back to being Maya-happy-papaya, I wouldn't want to be at the receiving end of that scary-sounding snarl).

6:41 PM, January 17, 2006  

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