Who, me? Oh, not much. I’m very easy to please. Here’s a list…
a two-car garage,
a couple of vehicles that don’t have acres of rust on them,
a MIG welder, drill press and milling machine,
unlimited funds and sufficient time to finish some of the unfinished projects around the house,
40 pounds off my midsection,
a new MacBook Pro,
a new job,
hair like I had twenty years ago,
a river-side acreage somewhere near Sioux Falls,
time to read and write the way I’d like to,
a set of bagpipes and lessons,
See? I really am easy to please. But man, do I hate hearing that question. Yes, there are some things I’d like to receive as gifts for Christmas, but generally when I really need something, I buy it for myself. Likewise if I really want something that isn’t too costly; for the costlier items, I bide my time for a windfall of some sort (and permission from the wife) before I buy. But the things that I’d like to have that I don’t purchase myself are also too costly to ask someone else to buy for me. Hence the reluctance to answer that question.
Every year for Christmas with Yvonne’s family we draw names and give gifts that way, and every year I get that question, and every year I have a tough time with it. I don’t want to throw out costly suggestions and possibly oblige someone to fork out a lot of money on me (although it would be nice), but then again the last thing I need is more stuff; clutter is already an issue around our house.
My family dispensed with the gift buying/giving/returning thing at our usually annual Thanks-Mas events years ago, and went to a White Elephant Gift Exchange. That has been a blast, with lots of gaudy not so favorites making repeat appearances year after year. I wish we could do that with Yvonne’s family too, but old traditions are hard to change.
One other hesitation I have about the whole White Elephant thing is that it mocks Christmas in a way; the whole gift giving thing is supposedly to honor the Greatest Gift of All, Jesus Christ, who was God’s gift to us. So does giving a known rotten gift mock that tradition? I dunno; haven’t quite made up my mind on that. What I do know is that the White Elephant is a lot of fun, doesn’t require anyone to spend a ton of money, and doesn’t (always) add more stuff to my house.
I wrote a while back about the World Vision Gift Catalog; actually, if someone is going to spend money on a gift for me, I’d actually rather have them spend it there rather than on me. Or if they really want to give me something, how about dinner with them. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy; just any old thing at your house or my house, along with an evening to converse & catch up.
That’s not asking too much, is it?