it sounds awful, but it really isn't. cam and i had planned for awhile to do it up right for our first christmas living together, which meant going to a christmas tree farm to cut down our own tree. unfortunately, our ridiculous schedules have conspired against us, and tonight i convinced him that we just can't wait till the 14th... what we need to get us de-stressed and excited about the holidays is a tree, fragrant and glowing in our living room. so tonight we climbed into lucy (his old ford pickup, she's awesome) and headed to a lot just slightly out of town. not 10 minutes later we had a perfect tree in the back of the truck, and now the cats are chasing each other around it, we've got christmas carols on pandora, and all is right in the world. plus, after about an hour on the computer, i'm nearly done my christmas shopping.
the whole recession thing is making for a strange holiday season, in some ways. a week ago, my work sent out a notice about the so-called holiday happenings around the building. conspicuously absent? any mention of a holiday party. my work used to really do it up this time of year, with a huge party to which all our loved ones were invited. this year, there's a hot chocolate happy hour. that's it. no bands, no santa for the kids, no disco in the mail room, no booze. it's kind of depressing, and i'm not sad i'll be missing it. then, today, cam emailed me the notice from his work, announcing the all-out cancellation of their holiday party. and then i heard the promo for all things considered this evening: "the latest casualty of the recession? the office holiday party."
the weird thing is, even though i'm a little put out that work's not putting on the dog and plying me with cocktails this december, i'm not that upset about spending less on gifts. there are few things i love so much as finding the perfect gifts for friends and family that make each recipient feel pampered and understood, and working in tighter financial parameters just makes it a little more challenging. i know i'm fortunate - for some families santa's not coming at all, and that's true every year - but it's changed my focus a little, and so far, i'm making the best of it. i do wish i had more time for homemade gifts (or better follow-through?), and that i'd make some headway on my christmas cards, but for now, i'm happy with a cartful of etsy purchases and a tree in the living room.