It’s eight days until Christmas, and I’ve still got a bunch of gifts to buy. I don’t particularly like shopping for gifts, because I’m a really lousy gift giver, and I feel bad about that. Someone who enjoys observing others as much as I do really should be able to learn enough to give a good gift once in a while, wouldn’t you think? But no, I give the worst gifts, and I don’t know how this keeps happening. I’ve tried tricks—buying only what I like, buying only the opposite of what I like, even asking the intended receiver outright, and nothing works! It’s sad. My gifts are destined to end up on a shelf, collecting dust, never to be used with the joy I’d intended to bestow on the giftee. There’s always gift cards, of course, but those are a signal to the entire world that I have simply given up, and I don’t want to send that message to the world, even if it’s mostly true. So, I trudge on, like the good little trooper I am, hoping that perhaps this will be the year that I score and give my friends and family stuff they actually want.
Here’s a list of some of the gifts I’ve given that no one really liked.
For Adam, a cashmere sweater. Come on, cashmere! Adam likes luxury, so I decided to splurge for my little clothes horse. Has he ever worn it? Yeah, he wore it that Christmas morning. I haven’t seen that sucker since.
For my sister-in-law (I won’t say which one), big comfy slippers. Did she like them? No, she didn’t. She later gave them to Ed, without batting an eye, with a bunch of her other junk to sell at our yard sale. Really?
For Ed, a tall model skeleton, like those you see in biology class. Ed likes kooky stuff. I thought he’d enjoy moving the arms and legs like a puppeteer and making up voices or whatever, I don’t know. He took one look at the skeleton and said, “What the @#^$*’s this?”
For my Dad, tickets to the Kimmel Center to see The Color Purple. He complained that I shouldn’t have spent so much money. And this wasn’t the “Aw shucks you shouldn’t have” type of complaining, it was the “Young lady stop being a spendthrift” kind of complaining. Sigh. He really enjoyed the show, though.
For my boss, audiotapes of Laura Ingraham’s The Obama Diaries, since he enjoyed criticizing President Obama. He never listened to the tapes. I know because I asked, and he said, “Nah. She’s mean. She doesn’t want to give the guy credit for anything.” Yeah, I knew that, but I didn’t think he knew (or cared). So much for trying to meet people where they are (or where you think they are).
Christian has invited me to go Christmas shopping later this week. Wish me luck!