Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Dread of Christmas Shopping

 

What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?  I’m talking tangibles here.  Answers like “the birth of my first born” or “eternal salvation” or “a sense of peace” — while all lovely and important things to be thankful for — will not help me one iota with my Christmas shopping. 

The intensity of my dislike for Christmas shopping is not quite on par with my dislike for filing taxes, but ranks perhaps alongside taking out the compost bucket, a smelly and occasionally messy task.  It’s the impossible parking lots, and the crowds, and the long lines, and hearing Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time” at least five times an hour.  I’m just not one of those people who likes to wander through store after store browsing at things in hopes that something will jump out at me.  I like to have specific ideas — black sweater for mom, power drill for dad — so that I can go in, zero in on the sweater and tool sections of the department store, pick up the items, pay, and get out.

I need ideas and inspiration.  ¡Ayúdeme!

There are 16 comments.

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  1. Rob Long Founder

    Um, Diane? Have you considered a year-long membership to Ricochet? A gift that keeps on giving.

    Wait. Do we offer those? And if we don’t, shouldn’t we?

    • #1
    • December 2, 2010, at 1:01 AM PST
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  2. Diane Ellis Contributor
    Diane Ellis

    Rob Long: Um, Diane? Have you considered a year-long membership to Ricochet? A gift that keeps on giving.

    Wait. Do we offer those? And if we don’t, shouldn’t we? · Dec 1 at 12:01pm

    We don’t. But we should. Something to make our busy system administrator even busier!

    • #2
    • December 2, 2010, at 1:11 AM PST
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  3. Matthew Gilley Inactive
    Diane Ellis, Ed. Answers like “the birth of my first born” or “eternal salvation” or “a sense of peace” — while all lovely and important things to be thankful for — will not help me one iota with my Christmas shopping.

    You mean you can’t offer us salvation or peace? Bummer.

    Kenneth: Firearms are always a welcome gift. · Dec 1 at 11:05am

    Kenneth, quit wasting your time in California. You were put on this earth to live in South Carolina. C’mon down.

    • #3
    • December 2, 2010, at 2:13 AM PST
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  4. Nick Stuart Inactive

    The Annotated Sherlock Holmes is probably the Christmas present I most enjoyed. It was awful random, I didn’t know I wanted it and the in-law that gave it to me had no idea who Sherlock Holmes even was. Somehow it clicked.

    Then when I was in 4th grade for some unfathomable reason I wanted an abacus. I still have it (I’m 60 now) hanging on the wall in arm’s reach from where I now sit. I tell people if my PC crashes the abacus is my backup.

    • #4
    • December 2, 2010, at 2:25 AM PST
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  5. katievs Member
    katievs Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I hate Christmas shopping too, Diane. The other day I spent an hour and half driving to 3 or 4 different box stores looking in vain for Advent candles and draining dry my entire reservoir of shopping tolerance. The rest I will do online.

    Gifts I have loved receiving: a beautifully framed, blown up photo of my littlest child from my older children. Tickets to a show. 2 folding chairs for the car (which come in very handy at soccer games.) A flowering shrub for my garden.

    My kids knew how much I love golden retrievers, and know we can’t have one because our yard is too small. One year I got a retriever puppy calendar with a “Flower you heart, Mother!” note attached. I also love the Reagan calendar that (a year later) replaced that one on my kitchen wall.

    Gifts I have loved giving: maple syrup tapped at my own trees and boiled on my own stove with a personalized label from myownlabels.com, and honey from my own bees with same. (My bee-keeping starter kit was a gift from my in-laws for my 40th birthday.

    Magazine subscriptions are fun too.

    • #5
    • December 2, 2010, at 2:28 AM PST
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  6. Diane Ellis Contributor
    Diane Ellis

    katievs: … honey from my own bees with same. (My bee-keeping starter kit was a gift from my in-laws for my 40th birthday

    Katievs — Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas! I love giving and getting special honey. I may look into a bee-keeping starter kit for my parents. Guess I better make sure neither of them is allergic.

    The gift I’m most excited about giving this year is a photo I took blown up onto a large canvas.

    • #6
    • December 2, 2010, at 2:50 AM PST
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  7. Ultron Will Inject You Now Coolidge
    Ultron Will Inject You Now Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve had good results with items from Levenger’s catalog, particularly anything in leather. I am toying with the idea of introducing a relative to a quality fountain pen.

    • #7
    • December 2, 2010, at 4:31 AM PST
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  8. Talleyrand Inactive

    My favourite gift occured when I was a child of about eight. I ask for rolls of coloured cardboard, and sticky tape, so that I could build models of the buildings I had created in my imagination. My parents were sceptical at first, but I persisted, and Father Christmas came thru with the goods. The best fun I ever had.

    Now I suspect, we reduce our kids to the Nintendo DS game of the month, (perhaps I am just getting middle-aged)

    • #8
    • December 2, 2010, at 6:05 AM PST
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  9. Diane Ellis Contributor
    Diane Ellis

    Talleyrand: My favourite gift occured when I was a child of about eight. I ask for rolls of coloured cardboard, and sticky tape, so that I could build models of the buildings I had created in my imagination. My parents were sceptical at first, but I persisted, and Father Christmas came thru with the goods. The best fun I ever had.

    Now I suspect, we reduce our kids to the Nintendo DS game of the month, (perhaps I am just getting middle-aged) · Dec 2 at 5:05am

    Edited on Dec 02 at 05:06 am

    This reminds me of the year I asked for a cardboard box for my birthday! (I wanted it so that I could turn it into a treasure chest for my pictures and keepsakes).

    • #9
    • December 2, 2010, at 9:53 AM PST
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  10. :thinking: no superfluity of n… Member
    :thinking: no superfluity of n… Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Amazon, et al. If you already have your ideas, just go there. As long as you’re not last minute, you can get it by Christmas. And I think they even have gift options or something. And if you don’t know what you’re getting yet, you can peruse without the hassle of going to the store.

    • #10
    • December 2, 2010, at 12:03 PM PST
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  11. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    How about a black sweater for Mom and a power drill for Dad?

    • #11
    • December 2, 2010, at 12:03 PM PST
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  12. Profile Photo Member

    Firearms are always a welcome gift.

    • #12
    • December 2, 2010, at 12:05 PM PST
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  13. Profile Photo Member

    This is nerdy–but how about a nice leather-bound planner?

    • #13
    • December 2, 2010, at 12:10 PM PST
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  14. Humza Ahmad Member
    Humza Ahmad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve never given or received a Christmas present (not counting the Italian sweet bread that Brooks Bros. CEO Claudio del Vecchio sent all employees in 2006) so perhaps I’m the least qualified person here to comment.

    I love not having to go through the rounds of shopping every Christmas. You and others around you are free to enjoy the parties, decorations, music, TV specials, traditions, Chinese food and the like when you’re not wrapped up in spreading material wealth through commercial means.

    But I digress. Here’s my idea, which I get from my mother. When our community was raising money to buy an old Knights of Columbus hall to convert to a mosque, my mother made cash donations in the name of her parents, both deceased, in the hopes that the charity would lead to blessings for their souls in heaven. Why not do the same for Christmas? Make donations to charities that you think your loved ones would donate to themselves, and pray that God’s favor fall on them as though the money was given from their pockets.

    • #14
    • December 2, 2010, at 12:11 PM PST
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  15. Pilgrim Inactive
    Pilgrim Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The best gift I ever got: Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays

    Bah, Humbug!

    (All of our family gifts are either cash or pre-requested down to the model and part number.)

    • #15
    • December 2, 2010, at 12:29 PM PST
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  16. Profile Photo Member

    As a child: My first BB gun.

    As a young, married adult: An agreement with my wife to go to Europe during the Christmas holidays.

    As a more (ahem) “mature” adult: A “gift certificate” announcing a charitable contribution in my name.

    Gifts we often give: gift cards to nice restaurants or, especially, a hand made gift certificate (my wife does beautiful stamping of custom cards) entitling the bearer to a free dinner out with us; the point being to deepen family or friend relationships.

    • #16
    • December 2, 2010, at 12:48 PM PST
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