So Xmas shopping. I haven't done very much. I know I want to. Like when Rachel's trying to fly to London to break up Ross and Emily's wedding and she forgets her passport but can tell the counter airline ticketing lady "exactly where it is on (her) nightstand." If you do not know who Ross and Rachel are, you are too young for this blog. But seriously, I usually go nuts at Christmas, it is my Absolute Favorite Celebration because it is the one where we have zero obligations to parents and etc - thereby allowing us to do whatever the hell we want, form our own little family tradition. No One Cares is sometimes music to my ears when it comes to extended family obligations.
But well we got the tree. Yes, I saw the "Why does a tree have to die every time you want to feel the Xmas spirit" Facebook comment. We got to Lily's Flowers with me still undecided about getting a real one (was also hoping to find something in a pot), except as we climbed up stone steps past umpteen trussed-up trees, I let the excuses come: They've already been chopped down (and imported in from the States). You don't do this every year, you're usually traveling at Christmas. You can't even remember when was the last time you bought fresh flowers, because of the whole they're-already-dead thing. This is the first tree Rockstar remembers. HELL, just out with the number one selfish reason already - YOU LOVE THE SMELL OF REAL CHRISTMAS TREES.
Why smells are so dear to me now will be revealed eventually. Like Danielle Steel, I shall attempt to drop clever hints every now and again, in what is supposed to pass for the unfurling of a plot <cough>. The tree btw, is HKD 1,200 - quite a bit more expensive than I remember from several years ago and a slightly smaller tree (under HKD 900 I think), bought in Great supermarket, Pacific Place (I mention, since this is atas supermarket - come to think of it Wellcome Westwood has 6-7ft trees for HKD 888 this year - we passed some guys shaving off the trunks so they fit the stands, in a cloud of sawdust.) But well I had forgotten at the time what trees cost and the service from what looks like a family business here - there's a little shack set up where they are all having lunch when we arrive - is good. They offer to untie any trees we want to look at, and then they get out the feed and entertain Rockstar at their fish ponds.
As for gifts...No real surprises, No. 1 Kiddie Gift This Season according to this Bloomberg Article is..... an iPad.
Yes, yes, Gwenn O’Keeffe, Boston pediatrician who has studied the effects of technology on children and works with the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend iPads for kids under 2. (Hah! Rockstar was probably about 3 when he started! We did something right! The Obsessive Parenting Gods shalt award us a point!)
There's other gift giving going on too - Rockstar has another December-born classmate who has a big party over the weekend and so when we went shopping I got, "I asked him what (he) want(ed) for his birthday and he said Red Truck Please. So you have to get red." We can swing that, sure.
I had to find some way to drop that a girlfriend told me at the most popular international school here, you would be looking at say, HKD 4,000 bikes - I'm still awestruck that a 14-year old girl's birthday party goodie bags included silver pendant-and-necklaces from, wait for it, Tiffany's. Us kucing kuraps get candy or little toys, much to Rockstar's delight. In fact, let's get two trucks. <Feel so generous.>
OK so for us mere mortals here are a few more things I liked:
All of USD 20 from Shopbop.com, for the girl who, while joyously celebrating her new motherhood status, guiltily finds a tiny bit of her mourns The Carefree Shopping Days of Pristine White Gucci Cruise Handbags and Linen That Can Be Stained By Baby Burp Even If Your Baby Just Looks At It. (What, have all the Laws of Nature and Physics already been discovered and written in stone?)
(I know That Girl's in there somewhere. Deep down. Like, maybe a shrink can reach her through hypnosis. I can't remember without digging in, what it's like anymore to not have a child, how would I remember what it's like to shop like I didn't have one? Well anyway I didn't make good money earlier in my working life (you would be amazed at Kings' and my starting salaries), that came from 6 or 7 fairly aggressive job changes (each) so almost when I could finally afford the white Gucci was when I could no longer afford the white Gucci. By the time I could pay for it comfortably, it wasn't much longer before I could never use it comfortably, for baby Rockstar.
Rockstar's getting a serious wooden marble run, because the much cheaper plastic ones keep coming undone which means he hardly gets to do any marble-running. I can spend a small amount of money on an un-marble run, or buy a real one. Rockstar is constantly fascinated by how the marbles navigate the maize, how they slow down in some places, and I smelled an interesting conversation about friction and momentum and gravity, so...
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York store is having a sale for a day, so I've been busy; who knew their MetKids Store had so much stuff?
Kings of course got me the iMac (and I an Hermes tie but as with all my early gifts I will usually end up getting a second gift for him closer to de date, what with all the festive), so my gift to myself will be a clutch that I can put the laptop in. Because I have a perpetual back problem that I'm too lazy to get fixed at the chiropractor's and can either resort to backpacks all the time or carry empty-save-for-my-wallet-and-sanitiser nice shoulder bags. (Have you any idea how hard it is to find a trendy backpack?)
And last but not least - the nicest dog jacket I've seen in a long time - custom handmade, recycled materials, reversible, and keeping a shivering chihuahua cozy next to our table this morning (it's about 12 degrees Celsius at the Peak). Our neighbors got it here.
And then in church today, we heard the pastor say, "The best gifts aren't the ones you want, they're exactly the ones you need...." It reminded me we brought baby Rockstar home from the hospital on Christmas Day 2007. When I hadn't even known to want a child, just a crazy all-consuming career, we were blessed with the Rockstar.