There's the obvious: it's going to be the first Christmas with Dad gone. Even typing that made me weepy. Yeesh.
There's the conscious decision to spend less. Frankly, I really can't afford to get stuff just so I have stuff to give to people. Don't get me wrong - I adore giving gifts, far more than I enjoy receiving them. It's just that I want what I give to mean something. I don't know if I have time for a whole lot of handmade gifts, but I'm going to do my best. Also, I plan to donate to charities in people's names.
Then there's the fully ingrained in blood and bone and psyche "But I MUST Get The Perfect _______ for ______!" It's ingrained. Knowing it's there is one thing; making it go away all at once? Not so easy.
Since I was sort of trapped at home today, I had a lot of time to think of this (well, in between my car being rather shockingly compromised by the tow-truck, laundry, chopping kindling and trying to coax the insane kitten back into the basement, seeing as that's where the litter boxes are). While I can't say I've made any real progress, I've at least made a start on each point.
As to the first: I've finally begun writing my sympathy thank-you cards. Mind, when I sat down to organize cards and addresses, I fully lost it. Finally got it together, though, and have finished all but a few. Apologies to anyone who thinks I've forgotten their kindnesses. I haven't. I'm just a mess and I'm hoping that there's a bit more leeway in sending cards in this instance than say, for wedding gifts. For which, in fact, I still owe people thank-you cards and I've been married ten years now, so relatively speaking I'm not doing as badly as I might.
As to the second: I finally made a donation to kiva.org. I've been meaning to for absolutely forever. I'd heard of it on NPR, and then - of course - on brotherhood 2.0, but I didn't have the ready funds, or the time, or the focus to remember I meant to donate. It isn't in anyone's name and it isn't a huge amount, but it sets the precedent. I'm only sorry I didn't do it sooner.
As to the third: I'm never going to get over wanting to get something particularly special for my husband. It usually takes me forever to figure something out, and let me tell you it's anxiety-creating when I actually have to make it, as with his Starman jacket. So, November 27th: special gift is done. I ordered this, and also a case. Now, I know it's something he wants; in fact, he sort of babbles about it every so often. Very cute. Much as I'd like to surprise him, I'd rather be sure he has something he'll use and really appreciate.
Oh, and he checks LJ about every third never, so no worries about him seeing this post.