‘Tis the Seasonal Mayhem

I could breathe through both nostrils today, from which I must conclude that the end of this horribly stubborn cold is in sight. I’ve been sick for eleven days now, and it’s been terrible, because I haven’t been able to sing a single Christmas song without sounding like a frog. And not even that frog that could sing really well.

The beginning of the end of the cold means that I have to actually get up and start being productive.


Apparently sitting in Starbucks all day with eggnog chai and Overwatch is not “productive” or “conducive to a social life”.

And one of those things that I was putting off, besides flossing my teeth and finalizing my healthcare plan, was putting together the last of the Christmas presents.

My immediate family was already taken care of, but my employers very nicely give me gifts on Christmas and my birthday, and it’s only decent that I purchase something for them. And for their three to six children. And somehow, this year, I’m participating in two secret Santa gift exchanges. So in addition to the three to six children, I had four more gifts to put together.

Thankfully, none of these people read my blog, so I can post what I’m getting them.


Employers are hard. As it turns out, it’s moderately difficult to buy things for your bosses, because they’re richer than you and they’re not quite your friends, even though you’re friendly with them. I decided to put together gift bags.

  • Two coffees. Or “cawfees” if you say it like my employers do. They like Starbucks and they like coffee.
  • Two chocolates. Because that’s a good default gift.
  • Two nice, Christmas-y candles. Also a good default gift.
  • Two scarves. I tried to buy what I thought they might wear; they’re both very conservative in their dressing, so I went for that “rainy day in a post office” look.
  • Two different Christmas ornaments. Mrs. Parent got a cute little reindeer because the Christmas aisle in Target was low on stock, and Mr. Parent got a mustache, because, wait for it… he has a mustache. It will be a hit with the kids, anyway.

In my head, this is thoughtful yet impersonal enough to be gifts for your employers whose house you happen to live in. I mean, probably.


Secret Santa gift #1 had to be a bit smaller, because we had a limited budget to work with. Contents include:

  • The same scarf that Mrs. Parent is getting, although the owner of this one will wear it brighter, somehow.
  • More chocolate!
  • A littler, mild candle. I give mild candles to people I don’t know quite as well, in case they have some kind of reaction to strong smells. I understand this, as I am frequently forced to kill anyone who gets me a cinnamon-scented monstrosity.
  • Two little sets of dangly earrings that I didn’t think to pull out. This lady always wears dangly earrings. I figure she must not have cats.
  • Also that box with a bow. Most of these items will be stuffed into it.


Also, these things, for secret Santa #2. Just… just turn your head sideways, if you would. It’s far too difficult to rotate this thing and upload it again. If there’s a way to rotate a picture while in WordPress, I’d love to hear it.

  • Two absolutely outrageous earrings for an outrageous lady.
  • Two boxes of Lord of the Rings flavored tea. I buy the Bilbo Baggins Breakfast Blend for myself on the regular.
  • Chocolate. Creatively.
  • Another mild candle.

These things, in addition to the three to six identical extreme dot-to-dot books I am buying for the boys, mercifully conclude my Christmas shopping. It somehow doesn’t feel right to be doing this now; in Idaho we have snow by now. Here, it’s 50 degrees and I’m running my errands without a jacket, and this strikes me as “Halloween is coming up” weather. C’est la vie.


Bonus: I can’t just sit in this house. I am a perpetual jungle gym.


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