Home Life

Washing and Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas

i feel like I have been washing clothes non-stop for the last week or so since my new washer-dryer was installed. Due to its low capacity, I have had to do numerous loads just to try and cut through the mountain of laundry that I have. I might have to break down and send some to the laundromat – especially since I practically had to wash my flannel sheets separately – one load for the fitted sheet and another for the flat sheet. Of course, now if I have accidental food spillage on myself (a more than routine occurrence) I have a quick fix. One thing that continues to elude me is ironing. I tried it on Tara’s iron and ironing board, but I just am not any good at pressing my clothes. I am going to try and send my shirts to a cleaners to see if they can press them.

In the non-laundry front, I have been working lots of hours and it seems like Christmas has snuck up on me again. Since I moved to LA in 1999, I haven’t really noticed that Christmas approaches since the decorations are up at the end of October and I keep thinking that it is way far away. Black Friday usually gets me into the shopping mood, but usually for myself. So the first few weeks of December I begin to think I should really get going and start buying gifts, but alas I always wait until the last week.

This is the point when Christmas turns into a chore because I always want to give everyone a thoughtful gift that they will really like and I always struggle. I certainly am glad that they invented Gift Cards. Some people think of these as cop-out gifts, but I actually like them – as long as they are from places I like to shop. Therein lies the challenge – pick stores that people will actually go to and shop.

Sometimes I feel like I have isolated myself from the family. You would think that these are the people closest to me and I should know them the best. However, I think that as we grow older and we drift apart into our own lives that it actually makes them the hardest to buy for since there is a bit of pressure to get them something more personal. Arrg.

How about this? We should all just go buy our own presents and then wrap them. Then we can all sit around the tree and tell stories to our family about why we wanted these items and what they are and how we are going to use them. Wouldn’t that be great? That would be a cool combination of getting close to your family as well as getting good presents. Of course it sort of gets rid of the real reason behind Christmas presents – to give a little something to someone out of the goodness of you heart. Perhaps this is where gift cards come in – we all give a list of places we like and then it would be a surprise what stores we get. Maybe we can have a gift card grab bag. Everyone puts in a card and then we take turns pulling them out – hoping we get that Home Depot card and pouting when we pull out the Panda Express card (OK, maybe I would be pouting since I don’t care for Panda Express, but you get the point).

The best part about the Very Special Club Josh Christmas Idea(tm) is that if you don’t have a lot of money for Christmas this year, than you don’t buy yourself a lot of things.

At any rate, I am heading off to Phoenix for Christmas Weekend. I will probably have to work on Christmas Day, but I am holding out for a Miracle on Harbor Blvd and I will be able to get out of my shift and stay an extra day. I decided to drive out because I really am over airports. I flew to Australia, Sacramento, Phoenix, and Alabama already this year and I know how much of a pain Sky Harbor Airport is during the holidays. Plus I am looking forward to some deep thoughts and iPod goodness on the way.