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Do you have your Christmas shopping done yet?

There is a question I ask myself every year at about this time, the same question every year.

“What the heck happened to (insert number of year here)? Wasn’t it just yesterday it was New Year’s Day? Now you’re telling me it’s less than a week until Christmas.”

That reminds me: I should probably start my Christmas shopping fairly soon. I’m kidding. I’ve actually got my shopping done already.

It makes it pretty easy when you don’t have a lot of people you give gifts to, and most of them are more than happy to get a gift card for one of their favourite stores (or cash) so they can pick out their own present.

Many (many, many) years ago, when I was a young person, I used to get a directive from Mom and Dad around October 1: No more buying books until after Christmas. They didn’t want me buying a book someone else was getting me for Christmas.

It made sense. Without that directive, someone who wanted to buy me a book for Christmas would have to think of something a little off-the-wall, which I was less likely to buy myself.

I look at the pictures Mom has of Christmases years ago, with the three of us kids surrounded by presents in the living room. We had our parents, of course, and then the various aunts and uncles, and then, after a few years, we got gifts for each other as well.

Now, the gift count is a lot smaller, and I don’t mind at all. I get gifts for the three family members who live in Prince George, and our family has a gift exchange set up where everyone gets one other person’s name to buy for.

I remember the first year we used the gift exchange program, I got my Mom’s name.

I very quickly got in touch with my sister, who was organizing the whole thing and asked if that meant I was supposed to get two presents for Mom, since I was already getting her one as a fellow Prince George resident.

I was informed (in admirably polite language) that some other members of the family had reported the same problem, and she was working on a solution.

Within a day, we all got an email telling us to ignore the original draw. She found something in the program which allowed you to define the possibilities for each person better, and within another day, we had our REAL giftees.

Merry Christmas to all my readers (both of you).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find out where I put April through July of this year. They seem to have vanished.

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