There have been so many beautiful Nelson Mandela posts floating around the web since his passing that I had trouble choosing just one to post here. So I decided to post three. I seriously thank God for the figures that have come before my generation and helped make all my opportunities a reality.

December 10th marks the day I became overwhelmed by the fact that I have to do Christmas shopping this year. As an unmarried woman with zero kids, I fully expect to only ever have to buy a present for Moms come December 25th, but there are all these incredibly wonderful people in my life who continue to ask what's on my wish list, which means they're plotting to get me something, which means I have to add them to my shopping list, which means there's now all this pressure to find something special. Receiving gifts is easy; giving them is the hard part, and I take pride in my gift-giving abilities. Picking out that perfect something takes some real thought, but that's not all that counts, because when you receive a handpicked present from a friend, it always stands as a subliminal test of how well that person knows you.

I once had an ex-boyfriend buy me chocolates for Valentines Day. I don't like chocolate. White chocolate? Sure. Caramel? Give me all of it. Standard, Forrest Gump box of chocolates? NO. He had never seen me eat any, ever. I had previously mentioned (multiple times) how I don't much care for chocolate, but he bought it anyway. That's the worry that creeps in while I'm out shopping for someone. Even my own mother. What if s/he doesn't like it? If s/he doesn't use it, it's a waste of my money, and I'll have cool points knocked off my friendship score. Not literally, but here I am - years later - still remembering that time a boyfriend bought me chocolate for Valentine's Day. In hindsight, I do so very much appreciate the fact that he tried, and almost got it right. I just don't like not getting it right.

I love my people. I really do. But it would be much easier if we could all just gather 'round a bottle of wine and call it Christmas.

Mom (who just creepily texted me as I typed 'mom'...) has decided she wants a new laptop this year, and apparently I'm Santa Claus. I told her I'd have to double check my naughty list and make sure she's in the clear, but I already know I'll be in a Best Buy frenzy with the rest of the last-minute shoppers. What do laptops even retail for these days? I haven't bought one since college, and that Macbook is still getting the job done.