Friday, December 3, 2010

Things I love, holiday edition: the perfect gift

I am a very awkward gift receiver. I love them, I really really love them...............but if it's not reciprocal, if I do not have a gift to give in exchange for the one I am receiving, I feel all sorts of weird. Unless it is my birthday. In that case, you damn well better have something for me.

But here's the thing with holidays: You never know when someone is going to give you a gift. Which is why starting the second week of December, I generally drive around with a half case of wine and a bag of stocking stuffers in my trunk. A few cute accessories, some random gadgets, a couple of toys and books, and a few small home decor items. I am always prepared.
Like a girl scout.
Except if I was a girl scout my trunk would be stuffed with Thin Mints and Samoas.
Not SamoaNS, by the way. I love my Samoan friends, but they would not appreciate being stuffed in my trunk, let me tell ya. Samoas, on the other hand, travel very well. Just don't leave the car in direct sunlight and it's all good.
Really good.
Goddamn, Samoas are good.

Wow. Tangent.
OK, so my point is, that while I am always prepared for an unexpected gift exchange what I truly love is to give a perfect, unique, useful, unexpected gift that suits the recipient.

Which is why my husband gets socks and underwear and random sporting equipment - whether he wants it or not. He's always thankful later on. At least that's what I tell him when he looks confused.

We don't go overboard for Christmas. Santa brings each child one gift - usually the thing they have been most coveting, if I can swing it. Except for the time that Max wanted a beebee gun. Sorry, but I am not arming my 9 year old. The kid can barely keep his pee in the toilet, why would I expect his aim to be better with a gun?

Lucy is easy - costumes and hair things and art supplies are all she needs to leap around enthusiastically and run across the street to announce her good fortune to the neighbors. And if they maybe have some cookies over there that she could snack on during the visit, much the better.

I am already getting our shopping under control. I do buy little things throughout the year for everyone, but I usually find myself flipping through catalogues and wandering through the local boutiques a few weeks before Christmas, looking for Just The Right Thing for our families and friends. I take it very seriously. Sometimes I have a theme, like the year that I sent everyone reusable shopping totes stuffed with kitchen gadgets and cleaning supplies. This year I have no theme. I don't even have any ideas. I am gift-blocked.

Which is why tomorrow I will walk the two blocks over to our little village, where the shopkeepers are having a little holiday stroll complete with Santa and live music and the lighting of the town star. I'll wander around looking in the stores and chatting with the shop owners and hopefully finding just the thing for the person who has everything. Or I'll get hammered on the free wine they'll be handing out, and take a nap on the sofa.

The holidays. So unpredictable.

No comments: