18 Dec 2005

The Gift That Keeps On Getting More Expensive

I have trouble with gifts. I have no shortage of ideas for people, but have massive trouble sticking to spending limits. I don't know if this is because my tastes are expensive or if the dollar just doesn't stretch as far as I hope it would - but I always get more than I initially plan or promise.

It goes a little like this:
1. I buy gifts for my mom and spend $XXX - maybe just a touch more than I planned on, but 'tis the season, ho ho ho, etc, etc.
2. I bring what I bought home, make a little nest of tissue paper from the bags and nestle all the items for mom into one cute pile on the couch.
3. I step back, look at it and frown. "This pile doesn't LOOK like $XXX worth of stuff. In fact, it doesn't look like much at all!" I bellow.
4. I figure I can afford to get a little more - maybe just enough that I can get her something else to unwrap.
5. I spend $YY, bring it back, place that gift on its own tissue paper nest on the couch.
6. I then look over and the nest I made for my dad nearby catches my eye. I frown and worry, "Now mom's gifts are obviously more than dad's gifts - I need to even that up bit. I'll just need to spend $YY on dad, and it should be pretty equal."
7. I go to the store, spend $YY on dad - a bit more than I planned but it's all about Baby Jesus, claymation specials, etc. etc. - so I excuse it.
8. I bring what I bought home and readjust dad's nest to include the new things I've picked up.
9. I step back, look at it and frown. "This pile doesn't LOOK like $XXX + $YY worth of stuff. In fact, it doesn't look like much at all!" I bellow.

Repeat over and over again, cycling the names of my loved ones in that mix. I can see myself still in that horrible loop of spending right up until I'm pacing through the same three stores in the airport and am somehow convincing myself that adding maple syrup candies and a plush moose wearing a Toronto t-shirt would be a welcome top-up to Patrick's stocking.

Good lord.

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