City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas
"What do you want for Christmas?"
And the answer, this year as it was last year, is simply unacceptable by most people's Christmas standards for gift buying. I don't really want any more solid stuff. Wedding Gifts have more than filled our kitchen quota - sure, there's a few gadgets here and there I wouldn't mind acquiring, but I don't actually need any of them. I am hoping to soon begin the process of getting rid of half of our clothing. I have a pair of earrings I like to match every color of clothing I own. My knickknack shelf is mostly full (and I haven't even been to Europe yet!) and we have several boxes of holiday stuff for everything from Halloween to Christmas. I am fully set up for my business (unless you're interested in buying me a Tamron wide angle or fisheye lens, in which case, bring it on) and there's a bigger problem.
Having moved so many times in such a short space, I've grown tired of stuff in general. I differ from my family somewhat in that there are very, very few things that are precious to me and the number really hasn't grown much. The ornate lamps and tables I was given with love when I left home and my book collection are probably the things I would miss most were my entire life's collection lost in a fire, and arguably, both those things are useful and sentimental and not merely "stuff" without cause. Without impending disaster, I struggle for an idea or two that might make for acceptable Christmas requests, but so far I think I've failed, because I know people aren't going to be too keen on getting the gifts that I really actually need in lieu of wanting. Things like gift cards to the grocery store, fancy kitchen scrubbing cloths, and dare I say cash. Okay, so I thought of Bath stuff from Lush, because it makes my skin feel soft and I love baths in general and it dissipates down the drain when I'm done, leaving nothing to store. People expect the frivolous.
The truth is, it's always been people who I valued above things. Call it my personality or whatever, but deep down, I'm not much for receiving gifts most of the time. Of course, I'm easy compared to Paul. He's way less of a stuff person than I am. I mean, I actually owned items which qualify as "things" rather than tools when we got together. (Clothing, Kitchen Stuff, Shelves, etc are all tools for something or other, and besides a small rock collection, travel pamphlets from Europe, and a tiny and very cute green glass hippo, Paul was pretty bereft of stuff.)
Christmas these days seems to be all about purchasing luxury items for people. Even people who are boycotting the "marketing" of Christmas are still advocating that you make handmade gifts... I was watching Glee last night and the main character was illustrating how "bad" a present giver he is with a flashback about giving his wife jumper cables. I don't consider that bad at all, because she probably actually needed them. It was her expectations that were out of wack, not his gift giving. This part of Christmas can be tiring, because you have to weed out all the things you actually need in your head before you can ask for something that's somehow acceptable. I think as life goes on, I might start asking people to donate to charity in our names. Every Christmas I experiment with gift giving, and for the first time this year I think will be an experiment in responding to those who ask me what I want for Christmas. So far, I have asked for only things I actually want. I asked a person for their official help in telling people about my business. I asked my parents for the silverware set Paul and I were eyeing at Costco. I think I'm just going to ask for stuff like that this year and see if people actually go for it.
The biggest reason for this? Moving so often. It really makes a person re-evaluate the stuff-centric culture to have to pack things and take them out repeatedly.
Yesterday, Paul bought me flowers - lovely red-orange lilies that are currently brightening our dining area and soaking in the sun. It meant a great deal to me, it always does when he buys me flowers. It reminds me that I have a lifetime of romance to look forward to with the lovely man I married. (And they eventually go away. Though I'd always be open to more plants. Dutch Growers GC anyone?)
In other non-ranty news, business is seriously booming here on account of the new side of Admire - the boudoir side that is! I finally acquired a set of fairly inexpensive but functional studio strobe lights with shoot-through and reflector umbrellas and nice stands - even a case, which will help me to continue to get good gigs. I did quite a bit of work for Equinox recently, too, which has resulted in a nice paycheque. I set up the tree a few days ago and it sparkles with Christmasness and ornaments. I am slowly eating away at the buildup of clutter and dishes that has accompanied doing photoshoots here (a very rare occurrence, actually) combined with Paul's finals misery and tiredness and my slightly insane amount of business.
There's a few reasons for the insanity, chiefmost is that I would really like to take a vacation from Admire this Christmas, or at least as much as I can manage - towards the end of December and beginning of January I have a wedding and at least one and possibly two boudoir shoots in Saskatoon, so I won't be doing as much resting then, but up until then I plan to flat out stop working. Really. I need a break. The other big reason for the busy these days is banking mishaps (to the point of me actually withdrawing my business from one bank and going to another) and working on extant jobs. In the last few weeks I have become fully licensed and insured in two provinces - I was already in SK. I also had to deal with a rent direct deposit error that cost us money and me time. Stupid "Funds Not Cleared." This is why I don't like second rate banking much.
But hey, there's nothing better for a young small business entrepreneur than to be ridiculously busy and making money, right? This month I am actually making a decent wage, which is good for a new business.