Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Tis better giving than receiving....

Most of my Christmas shopping is done!  Hooray!  Generally I find it pretty easy to think of things for people I love.  My problem is usually reining myself in.  Not the case with Mr. P, "Eccentric Genius" that he is.  He has difficulty this time of year. From his point of view, you'd think the stars have aligned to conspire against him: there's my birthday, our wedding anniversary, and Christmas...1-2-3-!! They tend to stack up on him and his solution is to generally sigh a lot and purse his lips.  (Actually I'm playing fast and loose with that last part about the lips; I can't be sure, they're under his moustache and no one, other than his dentist, has seen them in decades.)

Holiday fatigue had already set in by #2, our anniversary.  By some mysterious consensus, we didn't exchange gifts.  Sadly, we didn't even exchange cards!  (And I love cards!)  Mr. P suggested that we could go to the card store, pick out cards, and pretend we had given them to each other. (Lame!) I suggested a nifty follow-up would be to go to the jewelry store and look at all the fancy jewelry that we didn't give each other.  Then we could go to the luxury car dealership and pick out our new car that we didn't give each other.  The possibilities are endless! (For some reason I think he interpreted my cleverness as sarcasm.  C'est la vie!)

I'm starting to get the impression that I am something of a burden to buy for.  This is probably brought on by the fact that I hardly "need" anything--that is totally what I call a "champagne problem." You know, like super rich guys sitting over their prime rib dinners complaining about all the taxes they have to pay because (you can only surmise?) they've made so much money that year!  And speaking of expensive dinners.....

Over the Thanksgiving break we went out to dinner with my step-son and his girlfriend. It was not a grand affair--really just getting a bite at a decent restaurant the evening before the big feast.  The bill for four of us came to $150.00.  Not to sound petty (ok, this will probably sound petty) but my entree was $14.00.  Mr. P purses his lips (I assume) and pays it--afterall, the bill always seems to be placed in front of the oldest male at the table and nobody quibbles with this quaint custom. For example, we have yet to see the girlfriend (who has a high-paying job in middle management with a Fortune 500 company, as they say) ever, ever pay for a meal.  So, pettiness aside, where am I going with this?....Logically, if one can plunk down $150 for a bite, everything being relative, what should one plunk down for a Christmas present? Something that will last longer than 1.5 hours and hopefully not leave you with indigestion?! Hmmmm....has the ante been upped?

So here's a helpful list of ideas (some of these I even managed to create a link, just scroll the cursor over the words):

1) Firstly, I have to make a disclaimer (Lutheran guilt; all Scandinavians have it).  We have given to our favorite charities already. The holidays aren't only about us, yada yada yada.  Our favorites are Doctors Without Borders, our local Animal Shelter, Project Zawadi, Amnesty International and our local United Fund.

2) I know plenty of women who refuse to even consider the joy of receiving a housework-related gift, such as a vacuum or mixer.  My Mom always said that if it's something that makes your life easier, then it truly is a gift!   (In all fairness, my friend who received the dustbuster would have been far more thrilled if a piece of jewelry was attached to the handle. Gentlemen take note.) My housework related choice:
Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven, 7 1/4-Qt.
Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven, 7 1/4-Qt., Cobalt Blue

The practicality of this choice astounds me--I may never have to pony up for another one of these things in my lifetime! Really, everyone in the household benefits with this one. (Shipping might be a little pricey for something this substantial, but there's some good deals out $30 and get "free" shipping for a year! Woot!)

2) Pajamas....who doesn't need new pajamas? However, I'm tall and I hate pajama pants that are too short.  Have you ever noticed that in practically every clothing store there's a "petite" section, but there's never a "tall" section for women?!  There's usually a tall section in men's.... alas, I guess women are supposed to be average or short, and if you're tall you already have a leg up on the other gals and you have no right to complain (or so it seems). Hrrmmmph! So...walking into just any clothing store is out of the question for Mr. P.  (On the upside, I cannot begin to calculate the amount of money and time I have saved by seldom bothering to go into clothing stores! :)

3) Jewelry--yeah, it's cliche.  So what's your point?!

4) Scarves, preferably of the silky or woven linen-like variety, not the actually there to keep you warm variety.  Does that make sense? 

5) Antiques.  Hmmm...that's kind of broad. Just putting that out there...

6) Antique Mercury Glass Pillar candle holders--Should probably say "antique" here... don't "need" them, but like 'em!  (And free shipping, folks!)

Antique Mercury Glass Pillar Holders
Phew! I am plumb out of ideas! Now what to do about Festivus?!

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