I’m a bad daughter in law.
I’ve posted before about how I’m not a fan of telling people what I want them to buy me for Christmas. If you know me well enough to buy me something I’d love, great. If not, I really don’t need anything, and I don’t know you well enough to expect anything from you.
My in-laws have decided that their Christmas shopping for my whole family now involves a trip to the store. They choose the store, then we choose our gifts.
Honestly, I’d rather receive nothing from my in-laws, and I’d be totally cool with that, but they can’t do that, so off we go to the store.
In the store, my husband immediately decides he could go for a couple new shirt and tie combos. Since there are approximately 25,642,320,483 color and pattern and fabric choices available at any given moment, this takes some time, especially for someone not too confident in the fashion department.
While my husband chooses his presents, I am left to entertain the two bored wee ones who are used to going shopping with me and having a job to do. Unfortunately there aren’t too many possible jobs for the overtired children while Daddy looks at ties, so it’s a full-time gig.
Then Mister Man decides he’s thirsty, so I take him to go find the drinking fountain at the other end of the massive store. Little Miss can’t be left behind, so she catches up to us. As we’re heading back to find Daddy, he has finished and is now helping his mom look for presents for the wee ones.
Not surprisingly, he asks for help. I somehow manage to simultaneously entertain the wee ones and keep them oblivious and also point out some potential choices for them to then figure out.
Realizing that I’m the only one left to choose a present and no opportunity to do so as yet, I ask my husband to watch the wee ones while I head to the front of the store to look at the clothes. Because of course, it’s so easy to choose clothes for yourself when given an eight minute time limit and no opportunity to try anything on.
I do somehow find a sweater that I like, but my size is missing. I see another shirt that may be an opportunity, but without trying it on, I’m not sure. That’s about when my father in law appears and insists that I tell him what I found.
I am now getting the maybe it’ll be ok shirt for Christmas, and he insists on asking one of the workers to look for the sweater in my size. No dice after ten minutes, but they insist I need something else.
Having seen nothing else and at this point soooo not in the mood to shop, I suggest to my husband that he pick out an Oxo super sealing container. We have a bunch at home, but there are never enough. I big puffy heart them. Trust me, a circus of each of us trying to find the others ensues, but I’m working on getting to my point.
We finally meet up, and my husband has apparently been successful, so I know I’m getting at least one of the containers for Christmas, and that’s fine. My in laws wrap the presents and send them home with us since it’s “too much of a hassle” for my retired in laws to visit us over Christmas and come to our house for the first time in eighteen months (yes, that was a direct quote from my father in law).
After we get home, all the presents are placed in the basement to await the tree that I swear we *are* getting at some point this season. I immediately forget about them.
Or, I forget about them until I’m trying to remove all clutter from my house in anticipation of two parties I hosted at my house in the last week. I have a giant box of Cheerios that really doesn’t fit on the counter but has nowhere else to go.
I decide that I could put it into my cereal dispenser if I could find a place for the mostly gone knockoff brand (but surprisingly better for you) rice square cereal. All my handy little containers are in use. Until I remember my Christmas present sitting in the basement.
After all, my in laws aren’t going to see me at Christmas time. They will never know — nor are they likely to care — if I open it early. Right?
It worked out perfectly, and my counter was blissfully clear for both parties. Oddly, I don’t even feel a little guilty. It doesn’t really feel like a Christmas present. But at the same time, when I think about it rationally, I think I should feel like the most evil daughter in law. But isn’t it pretty holding my cereal?
What’s the most Christmas tradition you’ve most gone against?