Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Christmas gift ideas?

Lest I trip over that fine line between good clean fun and celebrity Internet stalking (too late?) maybe we should talk about something else for a while.

I've got about half my Christmas shopping done. The good half. The "oh, what a great idea, it's the absolute perfect gift for so-and-so, I can hardly wait to see his/her face!" Now comes the agonizing, clock-ticking, "I've got no friggin' clue what to get for so-and-so and so I'll just keep throwing money at it until I feel better about my choices" part of the shopping.

I know I make it hard on myself. I take my Christmas gift-giving very seriously. Each gift is carefully chosen based on an offhand remark from some time in the past 360 days, or a known favourite theme, or by divination, ESP and intuition. Gifts are balanced so that everybody gets a more or less proportionally appropriate gift value. I rarely give a gift I wouldn't like to receive. In short, I drive myself CRAZY every year over Christmas shopping.

This is almost entirely my mother's fault. (Sorry, Mom.) She has a knack for the perfect gift, and I have learned a lot from her. Mostly about excess, but also about how gift giving really is a covenant between two people. It's an acknowledgement of how that person has touched your life, made a difference, been a friend. And because my friends and family are, for the most part, on the eccentric side, I find that my taste in gifts runs largely to the quirky and unique.

I like personalized gifts. We make a photo calendar each year, and have given photo mouse pads, coffee mugs and jigsaw puzzles. The boys are *almost* at an age where we can start substituting my handcrafted gifts for theirs (just in the nick of time, too - what's cute from a four year old is a little odd from a thirty-something woman, and I'm running out of macaroni and glitter.)

I need ideas! What is the best gift you ever got? What is your favourite gift to give?