Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Christmas lists

Ok, so let me ask you something: list or no list?

See, some people/families I know are in the habit of providing lists of gifts they would like to receive to their loved ones to make the gift hunt easier. Practically speaking, this makes sense. It ensures you get something you want and takes a burden off those who might otherwise spend hours walking the malls at the busiest time of the year.

...But doesn't it take the fun out of Christmas morning? I mean, for me, half the fun is being surprised. Not knowing what's in the box. Of course, this had led to years and years of disappointment in terms of gifts received. ("why did so-and-so think I'd want this?" or "Hm. I guess I wasn't worth the shopping effort if they picked up this generic item.") This has been an accepted risk of my unwillingness to give hints, and it is why I am always so grateful to those who take the time to make an effort and make me feel special (note that "thoughtful" is not linked to expense nor to time spent - simply to the personal nature of the gift).

I've always tried to be a good Santa. I've always tried to give people a thoughtful gift. That seems to take some of the "commercialization" out of Christmas and make it, for me, about really showing someone that you care and have gotten to know them and want to please them. This doesn't always work, of course, as I can't always think of something special or meaningful, especially if giving to someone I don't know very well. But giving someone a token, generic gift has always felt like a #fail to me.

So is it better to be given a list of gifts to choose from, knowing that your gift will be well received, or is it worth rolling the dice on a "blind" gift? For now, I'm sticking with the no list option.

But...um...I might make an exception. To all my potential gift-givers, please feel free to buy me this: