October 31, 2003
Gift Rapping

It is that time of year, almost exactly between my wife's birthday and mine. For this month we are the same age in whole numerals, but it's also the time when one of our main differences rears its ugly head: choosing gifts for each other. I was raised in a house where birthday and Christmas presents were wonderful surprises, things you never knew you wanted until you unwrapped something special and unique. My wife's family takes the opposite approach: to avoid long return lines, they make lists and coordinate purchases with each other. The lists often consisting of fun stuff like books, movies, and toys, but have socks, undergarments and other practical items thrown in for balance.

Our first Christmas (we had been dating nine months), I racked my brain for the perfect gift for my (then) girlfriend. Knowing her penchant for wanting something practical, yet wanting to surprise her, I picked her up something that to this day she says is her best Christmas present ever: an electric drill. (Some back history: my wife is the handyman in our house, I'm just her cheap labor. When we go to the hardware store, she talks to the salesmen and I play with the bright and shiny objects.)

We've compromised a little in seven years together. I'll make a list and remember to drop hints for what I want, and my wife will accept that the perfect gift does not necessarily come from a list. And hon, if you're reading this, an engraved iPod would be sweet and useful...

Posted by david on October 31, 2003

Hey - I'm fairly handy around the house, too. I don't know if I would've wanted a drill as a present, though. :-)

I love to buy gifts for loved ones, family, friends, etc. I am horrible about keeping it a secret, though. Last year I practically begged D. to open one of the gifts I'd gotten him for Christmas early. He's also one of those freaks that can look at a wrapped gift and guess what's inside. One year he even guessed the color of the sweater I'd gotten him.

Personally, I like surprises.

Posted by: kelly on October 31, 2003 02:32 PM

It strikes me that gift giving is a token representation of what you know about, love about, find inspiring about someone. The best gift is one where you really pay attention to THEM.

My family recently started making these sort of questionaires that ask all sorts of questions...like what kind of experiences do you want in your life or Where do you want to travel, what is your favorite fragrance. What don't you want?...etc...it's nice cause it's not just a list of items but a list that helps you learn more about the person.

Posted by: Pea on October 31, 2003 03:09 PM

Kelly: I'm horrible at keeping gifts secret, I get so excited giving tehe gift that I almost alwasys give it away.

Pea: Just paying attention to someone is the best gift you can give, taking the time to really listen. Speaking of listening, I spinned "Mistaking Airplanes For Stars" today at work, and as always was amazed how much I love it and how it stands the test of time... so thank you.

Posted by: david on October 31, 2003 06:10 PM

I must agree that an ipod will be the BEST ever gift. Of course, it will be better for the receiving party though..:)

Posted by: sharon on October 31, 2003 09:21 PM

Cool title!

Posted by: Indigo on October 31, 2003 10:30 PM

You want a CD/MP3 player AND an iPod?

Currently in the discussion stage in my little holiday world is the notion of giving what would have been spent on presents to a charity ... feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc. Two days ago I walked through a Sears to reach an in-mall post office. In the aisles were scores of cheap crap, the stuff that I cannot remember ever having been put out as early as October, the stuff soulessly (sic?) designed and gawdily packaged for meaningless gift giving. And I want no part of that.

Posted by: highronimus on October 31, 2003 11:16 PM

Thanks, Indigo, but the title was borrowed from the waitresses' Christmas song.

Highronimus: we did that this year for Halloween, going to local hospitals and giving candy to the children, even involving our 12 year old niece in the process. Why the iPod and CD/mp3 player? I really don't expect the iPod...

Posted by: david on November 1, 2003 10:08 AM

Thanks for the kind, kind words about Gritty Kitty music standing the test of time. That really makes me happy to hear.

Posted by: Pea on November 3, 2003 08:38 AM
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