Another thing I hadn’t mentioned in my last post about house guests is that they double up as postmen and women. Growing up, not one visitor flew to America or the UK without a stack of cards to post. They were mainly loaded down with birthday or anniversary cards, stuffed with those annoying confetti cutouts. The confetti explosion was generally disguised in a seemingly innocent white envelope, adorned with mum’s trademark primary color smiley face sticker. Today, my mum still stuffs letters into TM’s worktrip suitcase, saying: You’ll find a way to get to a post office, post these for me!
As long as my husband and I have been together, we’ve always had family on the other side of the world. Somehow, though, I can never seem to get my act together fast enough to ship letters or packages with the departing postmen. This year, given the endless costs of an international move, I vowed to get my act together. You see, if I could only get myself organized, our house guests would save us literally hundreds of Euros in Christmas postage.
This October, we got pretty lucky to have a postal delivery flying straight to each side of the family. So, before All-Saints holiday, Halloween or Thanksgiving, it’s Christmas in October around here. I wasn’t the only person with
Christmas shopping postal fees on my mind. A bag or two of hand carried Christmas gifts arrived from the US a week ago and now sits in the corner of the office waiting for colder weather. Or until curiosity gets the best of little hands.
Our purchases still have to fit into a suitcase, so Christmas gifting is kept light and small. This keeps presents simple and more symbolic, which suits most of the family perfectly. In a way, the small token of affection seems even sweeter and more purposeful when you live far apart. And, it’s special if you can find something you might not be able to find on the other side of the world. There are fewer and fewer items like that (thanks a lot, China!).
Today, Amani and I zipped around town to nail down simple gifts for my side of the family before my brother takes off tomorrow. It took about a year off my life to shop and make it for school pick ups, and wrap, and deliver in time for their departure – but how cool to be almost done with Christmas shopping in October!
As I raced to wrap gifts for nine family members over the lunch break, the older kids kindly took it upon themselves to approve of each purchase. Of course, they also decided it would be an appropriate time to start their own Christmas wishlist. For starters, our four year old asked for a drawing of a firetruck from his sister for Christmas, please. So, rather pragmatically, he drew it himself and wrapped it for her to give it back to him. For her gift, he would wrap his old football to give to her since he has a spare one anyway.
We have yet to tell them Christmas is a little ways away still…
This post was part of the #Write31Days challenge, on the topic: Our family in global transition.
You can read the other posts written this month, by clicking on the links below!
1 – French Preschool
2 – Making friends in a new land
3 – ‘Yes’ people in a ‘No’ culture
4 – How language affects transition
5 – Not all French people are foodies
6 – The apple juice party
7 – I’m the third-born
8 – French-Mex ridiculous
9 – Busted by the Swiss police
10 – Educational field trip
11 – Visitors: the good and the bad
12 – Christmas in October
13 – A good place to get sick
14 – C’est les vacances!
15 – Playdate anguish
16 – The five year plan
17 – The Q&A edition!
18 – Holidays are for world-schooling
19 – The Granny I want to be.