Thursday, September 24, 2015


Lola's always in the Christmas spirit.

Don’t hate me.

I bought a Christmas gift the other day.

It’s just a stocking stuffer, but I thought, when I saw it, “Let me be organized and smart for once and get this now.”

Every year, I hope to do better: start earlier, ship earlier, avoid crowds …

… And most importantly, spend time musing about what each person on my list might actually want. I think that’s a good, spiritual exercise – to get outside myself and think about others for a change – and it can get lost in the rush.

Incidentally, there’s a big difference between getting someone something they like and getting them something that reflects well on you, your taste, your money.

Some people are easier to buy for than others. I love shopping for people who have interests. People who like to read are, in particular, easy.

Some people will say they don’t want anything. In our family, such people are told, “Cough up some ideas or I will buy you a spider monkey.”

And there’s pickiness. For example, there is simply no way for me to choose clothing for my daughter. In fact, I suspect, me liking something is reason enough for her not to. And I’m not sure she’d return it, which is like setting money on fire.

I’m against gag gifts. It hurts my flinty Yankee heart to spend money on crap that’s just going to end up in the landfill. (Except I do like goody bags for children’s birthday parties … Hey, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”)

I’m also against tchotchkes. I like edible gifts: eat, hopefully enjoy, and then it’s gone.

Oh, and those “easy” grab-bag gifts, something that’s good for everyone and stays within a strict spending limit? Those are a pain in the ass.

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