I had so many honorable and noble intentions this year, I really did!
Firstly, there was starting a shopping list for Xmas (and I do distinguish Xmas and Christmas) in October of this year, amid rumours that we may be spending the 25th of December in the cold confines of a New York apartment.
As time went by, and the rumours started to gain an unearthly momentum, we started to shop. Shop, shop, and more shop. Window shopping, trinket shopping, senseless shopping, online shopping. It never ended! And then we got confirmation that we were going to New York!
Shopping heated up. Our preparations intensified (while our productive preparations remained slow). We began to book our hotels, changed our departure dates so we could stay home with family for Christmas, and did some more shopping.
Fast forward about six weeks and it still feels like we are on high alert status. Shopping still isn't complete, travel stuff still isn't complete, and we are leaving in two days!!
What makes this all the more troublesome is that we have friends who would have joined us on our trip to the States had we all understood a mutual desire to go, in addition to so many dear friends and family coming back for the precious week before Christmas Day, while we are still nowhere near perfectly planned as I would have liked us to be.
Enter a frantic juggling stage of friends, family, travel plans, and Xmas shopping, and you know where this is going for us.
I'm sitting here with regrets that Kat and I haven't (a) had more time with family, (b) had more time with friends, (c) stopped worrying about the travel and just enjoy being spontaneous, and (d) spent so much on trinkets and trivia for Xmas!
We've had many late nights, very few moments together, and a mishmash of time with the ones that matter to us most.
Hopefully next year (God willing) we'll know to get shopping done in a weekend in October (and stop worrying about stupid obligation presents or waste-of-time trinkets), make time for each other and also friends / family. Maybe also (God willing) we can do another trip and just let it happen!!
Hopefully we'll have both learnt a very valuable lesson from this year, but I fear I'm playing a very old and very familiar tune right now :(