I love Christmas shopping. I usually start making idea lists in July of things I can get for the people I love. My amazon.com wish list is 4 to 5 pages long with items I have seen that I think JB, the kids, or any of my other family will love. I spend weeks plotting, buying and wrapping the perfect gifts. It is possibly the most fun I can have (legally). My family will tell you I am a GREAT gift giver.
Remember the scene in Christmas Story where Ralphie is so excited to open his present and is convinced it is going to be the Red Ryder air rifle he has been asking for? He opens gift after gift expecting to find the rifle but keeps getting things like socks and bunny pajamas. Well over the years I have gotten socks, a winter coat, an alarm clock, a box to hold my books, a lapel pin (shaped like an angel) and a jar of spaghetti sauce. Needless to say, I have had plenty of practice at pretending I like my gifts. I should be a pro by now. But I’m not. I’m horrible at it.
I can’t even make the right face when I like the gift. You know the one. The look that is surprised, excited and overjoyed all at once. I’ve seen other people pull it off but I have never been able to master it. I just end up looking constipated or like I’m about to cry. When I opened the lapel pin I actually said, “What am I supposed to do with this?” I’m a horrible, horrible person.
Just thinking about opening presents gives me anxiety. Christmas with its multiple gifts and social settings is my ultimate nightmare. I think I should be allowed to give everyone their presents, watch them open them and then fade stage left. But alas, no one will let me do this. So, I am asking everyone I know for advice on how to overcome the social awkwardness that is Christmas gift opening.