Ah, the shopping season…what torture

I hate shopping for Christmas. It’s so much pressure to come up with the perfect gift. Or not even the perfect gift, how about just any gift that the recipient will actually and genuinely enjoy. I usually want to give up year after year. I know I’m like years behind, but last month I started an Amazon wish list because sometimes I do things I wish other people would do. I wish everyone I had to shop for at Christmas had a freaking wish list!!

I was reviewing my list last night so I could email my loved ones and was thinking to myself what a random mix of stuff it was. I mean, it’s all stuff I want and I purposely picked items in a range of prices, but I wonder if it takes the fun out of getting Christmas gifts because it takes away the element of surprise.

In recent years, I’ve begged family members to send me Christmas wish lists and sometimes I look at the things on there and think…I can’t get them this as a Christmas present — it’s too practical, or not special enough. My father is the worst to shop for. He has everything he needs, doesn’t send a list, and never intimates he has an especial desire for anything. And this year I missed his birthday because I was out of the country and now I have to make sure his gifts are doubly wonderful. My sister is the best at giving gifts; she always pleasantly surprises me with something. Special too is when you get an unexpected gift from a family member — that’s always sweet.

I’d like to put cash on my Christmas list. I think we Americans are too ambivalent about cash gifts. Other cultures seem to think nothing of it, but we seem to think it’s a cop out or impersonal, and only gift it when specifically asked for it. I say cash is the universal gift. Give it freely people. I’ll distribute it equally into in my writing fund, my whisky fund (almost the same as my writing fund), my new car fund, and my bathroom remodel fund. But before I do that, I’ll buy a drink and toast you for your special gift.

And in case you thought I had no holiday cheer, I leave you with one of my very, very favorite holiday songs. I listen to this song every year and I love both the original Vandals version and the No Doubt one below:

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