Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Because in the South, You Do Your Christmas Shopping Early

I received a very nice email from my mother yesterday, reminding me that after two solid months of reminders, I still have not told her what Willow and Matt want for Christmas (my presents and Sydney's presents she's already purchased, the desires of daughters and toddlers likely more transparent than those of ever-changing five-year-olds and sons-in-law).

Do all mothers do this, or just Southern ones? To me, having to declare my Christmas wishes in late summer has its firm place on the seasonal calendar of my childhood with the other mainstays of spring cleaning, a week in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, in the summer, purchasing my Halloween costume from Wal-mart, and eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. I'm not the early bird that my mother is, or my Mama was (I don't remember anything about how my Nana shopped, although Mama surely acquired the habit honestly), but since I make most of the presents that I give to friends and family, right now there's a batch of spearmint and rosemary cold-process soap curing in the basement that, if it turns out well, will be Christmas presents for some, and this weekend's tomato sauce that I make and can will, if it turns out well, be Christmas presents for some others, so I'm no day-before-Christmas do-er, either.

So here, mother, and everyone else in the world, are some things that my husband and my daughter would like for Christmas:

The girls and I have been playing around with our small second-hand set of soft pastels enough to know that my Matt, a wonderful artist and a man who never buys himself ANYTHING nice, would probably really like himself an excellent set of soft pastels of his own:
Willow, too, of course, loves her art, and is as creative and natural an artist as any child could be. I consider it one of the most important responsibilities of my parenting to provide her with as wide a variety of enriching experience as possible, and to give her as many artistic tools and media as I can. How awesome would it be to have a few sets of these blank nesting dolls realistically painted by my Matt, a few sets "abstractly" painted by myself, and a few sets for the girls to paint, not to mention a few sets to keep naked?
Matt is currently in the habit of toting his to-do items back and forth to work in the dumpster-dived cut glass bowl in which I put those items--mail addressed to him, forms and bills, packages to mail, etc. I really would like the nice bowl to actually stay on the shelf on which it lives, dear. Wouldn't you prefer to tote your stuff in something a little more butch--a robot messenger bag, perhaps?
Willow's great love of dinosaurs is legendary by now, but one simply can't wear a dinosaur T-shirt every single day of one's life (this is my claim, not the child's). On the days on which one chooses to instead wear a Star Wars shirt, or a housefly shirt, or a camouflage or tie-dyed shirt, how nice to also be able to still sport a subtle, sophisticated shout-out to the awesomeness that is the dinosaur:
Matt's a good sport when people tease him about his beard, because he's such a nice guy, but frankly, his whiskers are just plain hot:
Will's dream is to have a playground installed in the basement, and I have to say that it doesn't sound unreasonable to me. Matt and I dream about installing in the girls' basement playroom a reading loft, a slide, and something great to climb on: As a digital designer, Matt does most of his work with a keyboard and a mouse, but he's also an excellent freehand artist, and undergoes elaborate permutations twice a week to transform our comic strip, which he draws by hand, into a digital document to send to the newspaper. He has wanted a really good computer stylus and tablet for several years now:
I don't know what it is so appealing about lots of tiny little things. I'd say that it's just a kid obsession, but well...you've seen for yourself my relationship with buttons. As math manipulatives at home or just for playing with--dinosaurs! Or ocean creatures! Or vehicles! Or fruit!
Star Wars plus delicious treats, two things of which Matt highly approves:
Both of the girls, but Will especially, have been really into acrylics lately. I've been making them use the cheap-o craft acrylics that are the best that I can afford, but for works like painting onto canvas or tole painting, how nice to have a set of really super acrylics:

The reason that I can always tell you in a heartbeat what I or anybody else wants is through my etsy Favorites or my wists. I like to keep track of crafty stuff I find online that appeals to me somewhat as a wish list, but also quite largely as inspiration--it's like my own little digital sketchbook, or scrapbook, of stuff to modify or emulate or think about or inspire. My etsy pumpkinbear favorites have all my favorite stuff from other etsy sellers, and my pumpkinbear wists have all my favorites of everything else.

What's the link to your etsy favorites and your wists?


kirsten said...

Well, I do my shopping early, too - but most people here hate me for that. I've not bought tons at this point, but I've got my lists going pretty well. And Halloween is in full swing. ;)

I now NEED those nesting dolls!

p.s.I want to hear about your museum 'system'!

cake said...

if i see something that i know i could give to a relative, i don't care what time of year it is, i will get it, and save it for xmas. some relatives though, are just easy to shop for. carl's brother, a foodie, always gets more gifts than anyone else, from me, because i am always spotting stuff that would be perfect for him.

i have found myself, in the past week or so, sort of setting things in motion for the season of crafting to come. cosmo and i went to hob lob, and cosmo declared, "they have everything we need...for christmas!" how perceptive of him.