The holiday season is almost upon us, and you know what that means. Everyone gets a gift!
I’m not good at gifts. First of all, I don’t like to shop. Unless it’s books or kitchen stuff for myself. Second, I am not good at listening to others and making note of the books, music or games they’re coveting, and have to ask outright, “What do you want?” or go with a (Thank-God-they-make-them-or-you’d-all-get-sausage-and-cheese-gift-sets) gift card.
Almost everyone collects something. Figurines, sports memorabilia, antique hat pins. Makes it easy to shop for them for Christmas and birthdays—just buy the latest bear figurine in the collection. But I didn’t collect anything. (Well, books. I find them everywhere—gift shops, antique shops, even in actual book stores. And, no, I’m not a book hoarder. Don’t listen to my husband; I never do.)
People have tried to force me to collect things. When I asked my 90-year-old grandmother for something meaningful to remember her by, she gave me an ugly frog figurine. People thought it was so funny my one heirloom was a hideous frog they started bringing me more.
Then I confessed my loathing for squirrels (see my blog post Squirrel Dreams for my rational and intellectual reasons why), and certain family members now look for squirrelly items to torture me with.
So in self defense I decided on a collection I could live with, nightmare-free. (If that doesn’t make sense to you, I remind you of the Squirrel Dreams post mentioned previously. Now maybe you’ll listen the first time I tell you something.) I settled on salt and pepper sets.
But then I added a codicil. Not just any salt and pepper sets. They had to mean something to me, such as the oxen/covered wagon ones to honor my obsession with the 1800s pioneer journey west. Asparagus ones to memorialize the two summers I spent as a teenager picking asparagus for a cool $1/hour. Corn ones for the incredible sweet corn Uncle LaVern grew and shared with us.
My insistence that the s&p’s mean something to me, though, makes it nearly impossible for others to add to my collection. Oops. Kind of defeated my purpose. So last Christmas most of my gifts were books or gift cards to bookstores.
I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d tried.
Remember, if you don’t want a lovely sausage and cheese gift basket it’s time to throw obvious hints my way. Let the holiday shopping frenzy begin!