Friday, 13 November 2009

Christmas wishlists

My mother has asked me for a list of possible gifts for TSC and me for Christmas, which she wants to distribute to the wider family. This is a very organised way of doing things, even if it does take the surprise out of what you might find under the tree on Christmas morning. It may, however, mean that for the first time in three years, I stand a chance of getting something other than hand towels from my grandparents. And I'm all for that!

The thing is, twee as it sounds, I pretty much have everything I need. Of course there are things I would like to have, such as a small garden bench so that I can indulge my bizarre veggie-watching tendancies, tickets to Cinderella on Ice, or a decent pair of sunglasses (instead of the R50 pairs I am prone to buying at flea-markets), but by and large, TSC and I are incredibly blessed. We have an amazing house and garden, two wonderful cats, a car each, food in the pantry, clothes in the cupboard, a computer in the study... We are more fortunate than most people, especially at our age.

This strikes me often as I'm enjoying a late afternoon walk with TSC up to the local Woolworths Food to pick up some or other supper ingredient. I love our neighbourhood, I love our relationship and I love enjoying a Woolies ice cold gingerbeer on my way home ;-)

It's so easy, especially in materialistic Jo'burg, to get caught up in the need to have nice things. Or just to have more money. Because everything costs money. It's not like we can walk 10 minutes to the beach with a picnic lunch and enjoy a free day of entertainment like we used to do in Cape Town (when we had no spare money whatsoever). Here, aside from a distinct lack of beach, everything is spread out across a large distance. So spending a day out usually means driving a fair distance and paying an entrance fee, or hanging out in a shopping centre, the ultimate temptation zone. I am not a fan of shopping centres.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy the pace and the variety of Jo'burg, and love the opportunities here. But when I catch myself thinking, "I wish we could afford to go see that show / re-do our bathrooms / buy that blue-ray player", I want to be able to remind myself how very fortunate we are and to re-focus on the stuff that actually matters.

What I really want for Christmas is time out away from the bustle with the ones I love, espeically my aging grandparents. And that is already planned. So for now, all I can think of for my Christmas wish list is a new beach towel (mine is about 1o years old and worn through) and a subscription to SA Garden magazine. And that makes me happy!

Of course it makes things challenging for my mother. We both love to give presents and will happily spend forever hunting for the perfect gift for a specific person. Still, I've been struggling to find meaningful gifts for both my folks for years, so I'm sure the rest of the family can manage ;-)

12 comments:

Louisa said...

I am clueless as to what to get my family members for Christmas this year - which is actually very unlike me.

Also the shops make me tired - I don't even like thinking about the shops.

I love your outlook Tamara. Time with family is much more important than anything you could wrap and stick under a tree. :-)

Tamara said...

One word: Kalahari.net!

Ches said...

Books say everything and last a life time. They also look good on a shelf.... :)

Being Brazen said...

Have a great weekend, T :)

Tamara said...

Ches: True. But I'd rather have a voucher for a shop that sells books secondhand - more for your money and less trees killed ;-)

Brazen: You too!

Meriel said...

lekker to be blessed. especially after having lived through tough times. God is so good.

Damaria Senne said...

You are so blessed. As for your Christma gift list, include Cultivating Flavour - Kitchen Gardening for Kindred Spirits by Toni B. Walters. I've been reading it to help give me ideas for my garden, and I think the suggestions would suit you very much. For e.g. she's not one for orderly rows of plants in the garden, and recommends mixing your veges with flowers (and herbs where possible). And the recipes are simple, easy to do, no stress, no schlepp. Sorry. Didn't mean to review the book on your blog, but seriously, I love it:-)

po said...

Cool post Tamara. I love that you have bizarre veggie watching tendencies. I find it so weird that people like me who work with plants are actually clueless and could not grow a thing out of the lab, while you and Damaria, who both work with words for a living are so enthusiastic about plants and so good at getting them to grow. WEIRD!

Paula said...

I wish I could say that about my life but I really don't know how to live up to my budgets. The budgets would work if I applied them. That's why I think I always want...

Tamara said...

Meriel: He is indeed.

Damaria: I love your mini review. Sounds like it's a great addition to the list ;-)

Po: It's kinda like how I find it weird that although I work with words all day and you work with weeds (bet you wouldn't have a problem growing those), your blogging is so much more eloquent than mine!

Paula: Budgets are a necessary evil. But not much fun ;-)

angel said...

Thats a nice idea! We get to make lists like that for a birthday once in a blue moon, and it is so awesome to see someone's face light up with every single gift!

Shayne said...

What about those cool gardening shoes? or you get really pretty garden utensils - i just love the way they look. Or the pretty gardening gloves?

I know how you feel tho. When I did my Birthday Wishlist on my blog i went way over the top for the same reason, I'm very blessed to have everything i need.