that go to the Midwest this morning. This used to be a big accomplishment, but today I walked into the post office carrying only three small boxes containing, in all, six gifts. Wow. What a difference a decade-and-a-half makes.
I used to buy gifts for a whole slew of people. I'd get out my luggage carrier and strap a tower of boxes into it for the annual trip to the post office. But a few years ago we discontinued the practice of drawing names amongst the siblings, my mom died, my dad decided he didn't want gifts anymore, and the nieces and nephews grew up.
Is it easier? Sure. But it's not nearly as much fun. No more wandering the aisles at specialty shops and bookstores, no more keeping track (or trying to, anyway) of nieces' and nephews' changing interests, no more satisfaction at finding the perfect - and perfectly odd - item for so-and-so. I miss it. Not to wax too mundanely sentimental, but I've always enjoyed the giving more than the getting.
Ah well. There's still the Christmas letter to be written. I'm a long way from giving that practice up, no matter what the Grinches (those sad souls who find Christmas letters a massive irritation) say.