By ◆ Juppie on Saturday, December 12, 2009 @ 8:32 PM

My mother seems to think all the gifts that I pick out are pretty much useless. I missed some of my friends' birthdays, so I figured I should just go get Christmas gifts for them. I went shopping today and picked out a few things. I think the items were somewhat useful but my mom thinks they are impractical, especially because of the cost (though we had coupons, so it wasn't so bad). When we got home, my mother started digging through our old stuff...The main reason for that was my dad's work - they were having a "White Elephant" event. That's where the workers bring in a gift and the gifts are mixed up and handed out to people. Last year my dad brought in a singing bird (not a real bird!). It was a nice thing that we got from my dad's friend's daughters, but we never really used it, so it was better off in someone else's hands.

Anyhow, while my mom was looking through our old stuff she discovered various things we never even touched again, like goodie bags from parties. She deemed it all useless things that money is spent on. I think it's necessary, though, because for one thing, it's good for the economy (especially in these not-so-stable times), and for another thing, it would be really sad if no one got gifts, right? Even if the gifts weren't particularly helpful, or cost too much to be "worth" it, it's still good that people can give gifts to each other. I mean, a gift isn't only something material, it can also make you feel like people do care about you (unless it's a gift that was insulting or showed no thought).

I really am a packrat, though. Sometimes my family tries to clean things - especially the dining table, which gets heaped with newspapers, random scratch paper with math diagrams, food dishes, and the objects that are always there, like the napkin holder. My dad complained about how he wants to throw things out, but I always insist on keeping them, so he ends up having to stash it all elsewhere. Then when we're actually trying to find something we have trouble finding it. But throwing it away seems like a waste to me. It's better we keep our trash out of the Pacific Gyre. (That's a trash heap in the Pacific Ocean, I believe. I heard it was the size of Texas...Talk about scary.) And did you know what I heard once? The two things on Earth that are visible from Outer Space are the Great Wall of China and a garbage dump in New Jersey. Wow.

On to some other news. Today, since I was at a local mall, I stopped by at Coldstone Creamery. It is still, and will remain, my favorite ice cream store. I heard some noise, so I found the source of it...A band from an elementary school was playing Christmas music on a lower level of the mall. I realized that it could even be my elementary school because my band teacher in elementary school was there. I could recognize the music because I had played it myself, several years back. It's so weird not to be playing band anymore. I know I wouldn't be good at a wind instrument because I can't breathe that well (though I don't have asthma), but still. Sure does bring back memories of the old times.

Lately, the weather has been funny. It's quite cold - in fact, my mother said it was ten degrees colder than it usually is (well, at this time of year, in this area, I would assume). It even snowed on the nearby mountains, which was really pretty. It's been either foggy or cloudy these days and so it rains often. The fog makes me confused about the time of day since it covers up the sun. I end up getting up late some mornings because of it (not schooldays, I have to get up as normal then). I also get shocked at how dark it is early in the evening. I suppose I have to get used to it. The winter hasn't even "officially" started yet, I think. So there are still a few more months to go. I figure the summer will also be extreme to balance out the unusually cold winter. Probably it'll be roasting and no one except for those cyclists in matching suits will even try to go outside.

Maybe I should go travel somewhere in the summer, to get away from the extreme weather. What kind of place would have mild weather? I would like to go to Europe - like Barcelona, Spain, or Venice, Italy - and a cruise ship would be preferred, but we still haven't made up our minds. You always need to book these kinds of things way ahead of time so I suppose I have to make a decision so we can go somewhere in the summer. I decided to stay home this winter break, which is rare for me. But I don't want to spend money on traveling anymore because I end up getting airsick, carsick, or seasick from it. XD

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