Tuesday, October 19

Christmas Lists

Many will protest that it's much too early to be talking about Christmas lists, but I have to disagree. 

I have, since I was a little girl, with the exception of a year or two, made my Christmas wish list as early as September.  As an Elmore, if you don't make a Christmas list, you're guaranteed to receive a gift that you do not like, nor will you ever use.  When you make the list, you're pretty sure you'll get the majority of the things on your list, with a few surprises. 

Now, there is, of course, the argument, "it's the thought that counts."  And I totally agree it should be.  My brother, whom I love dearly, typically buys my mom, my dad, and myself one item on our list and one surprise.  He knows us very well, so his surprises are usually great successes.  Unfortunately, many people do not have the wonderful ability my brother has.  They try with all their might to pick out what they think their loved one will adore but often fall short.  The reason I disagree with "it's the thought that counts" is because if I'm going to be spending my hard earned money on someone dear to me, I want to make sure it's not going to be a waste.  I don't want to give them something they'll feel obligated to display or use when I come over, when they really think it's hideous, stoopid, or annoying.  The point of giving a gift to begin with it to show that person how important they are to you and how much you love them and appreciate them in your life.  It should, therefore, be thought out and something you genuinely know or think they will like.

Thus the importance of the list.  It's a fool proof way to buy a gift that you know won't sit in the closet all year round or wind up at Goodwill (not that there's anything wrong with Goodwill) the week or month after Christmas.

The reason I make my list as early as September (sometimes I wait until October...) is because I wish other people would do the same.  I love buying presents for others.  I love to dote on them, and I get just as excited about watching others open their presents, and I do opening my own.  However, I hate shopping during crunch time or on weekends during the holidays.  I prefer to shop online, hit up the mall on a weekday evening, or buy my gifts a while in advance.  Last year, I bought my mom a nativity at Trinity Church in NYC while I was there on Spring Break.  I do not like the crowds at the mall, and I especially do not like the 'wanderers' who have no idea what they want to buy, they just amble up and down the aisles trying to think of the perfect gift for their friends or family.  My patience doesn't handle those people very well, nor do I enjoy trying to find a parking spot at the mall...and by finding a spot, I do not mean one close to the door.  I just mean a spot.  In general.

If everyone made their lists in September or October, I could space out my money to buy the best possible presents, have plenty of time to wrap them and enjoy the holiday season while not stressing about getting everything done. 

Now, this year, I'm sure I'll buy my mom something book related...probably an Amazon gift card to put toward a book for her Kindle.  She's addicted to that thing, which is no surprise since she's addicted to real books, too.  I'll probably get my dad some wine or golf gear, and I've got a few ideas up my sleeve for my brother, but I'll have to see what sparks my interest on his list.  I love buying my family presents, it makes me feel good.  Plain and simple.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure we're the only family that is adamantly stuck in the list world.  This is M and I's first official Christmas.  We started dating in early December last year, and although we talked on the phone when I went to visit my relatives in Alabama and on Christmas day with my family, we had only been on 3 or 4 dates when Christmas rolled around.  We went ice skating the weekend before and went to a Predators game the day after Christmas, but that was the extent of our celebrating together.  We didn't know each other well enough for gifts.

He's not really a list kinda guy.  He hasn't received a "non-practical" Christmas gift in a long time.  He receives things for his house or clothes but nothing especially fun.  For his birthday, he bought himself a ladder.  Awesome.  So I've been racking my brain for about six months trying to think of something particularly great to get him.  He deserves it more than anyone else in this world.  But I keep coming up short.  I've thought of some stuff we need for our kitchen that I know he'd like, but then I think, "but that would be for me, too."  I want to get him something fun, exclusively for him to enjoy.  Everything I keep thinking of is inexpensive.  Then I think "well, all together, many small things would make a great gift," but I kinda want to buy him something that absolutely makes his Christmas spectacular.  It doesn't help that no matter how much you love him, guys are just really, really hard to buy for.

At least I still have two months to think about this.  I keep hoping something great will just burst into my mind, and I'll think, "gee, why didn't I think of that before?!"  Then I start to think about the fact that if I have this much trouble coming up with a birthday or Christmas gift, a wedding gift will be nearly impossible! 

Anyway, my Christmas list is quite amazing.  Included on the list with a KitchenAid stand mixer, is some Tom's shoes, so at least it's charitable!  I've also figured out what I'm going to do for all my friends, and I'm pretty excited about it! :)

Now all I really need to do is come up with some stocking stuffer ideas for M and I to give my mom.  This is precisely why I start early!  C'mon Christmas!


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