Sunday, December 06, 2009

Reminder: 'Tis Better to Give Than to Receive

I'm going to visit David for Christmas, partly so we can continue our "streak" of spending every Christmas together (we've missed every other holiday at least once) and partly so I will be the closest I will ever be to Santa's Workshop (unless Santa makes all my dreams come true and invites me to intern as an elf at the North Pole!).

The people on D's floor decided to do a Secret Santa gift exchange, and I was included in the drawing. Secret Santa gift exchanges always make me nervous. I really put in some good effort to give great gifts, but don't always get the luck of the draw. But...the gift is in the giving, right? 'Tis better to give than to receive.

(My best Secret Santa ever was "Backpack" at Camp Lawrence Christmas in July. She spoiled me with all kinds of scrapbooking goodies. I think that year, I was buying for my camp director, Batty. He loves cashews, so he got some variety of cashews every day. I may have cured him of his cashew habit that summer.)

The instructions were to list "three likes and three dislikes". And that's what your Secret Santa has to work with. The Secret Santa who has never met me. This assignment was very difficult for me. How specific should I get? I don't want to sound picky, but I want to give this person some guidance, you know? I like a lot of things... but if I put "reading" on the list, how does that really help my SS? If I list "reading-fiction", that's still pretty darn vague. But if I get more specific and say, "reading-Jodi Picoult books," then what if I end up getting the ones that I've already read? I didn't really feel comfortable putting "knitting" on the list, because a non-knitter really probably has no idea what a knitter would want, where to get it, etc. Same issue with "scrapbooking"... what if my SS doesn't know a thing about scrapbooking and I end up with a pack of construction paper and some Hallmark stickers, which are great for putting on envelopes, but not exactly my scrapping-style, kwim? So I reminded myself that 'tis better to give than to receive, and tried to give my SS a little guidance with a good price-range. The likes I decided upon? Cooking & Baking, Christmas Decorations, and Flavored Lip Gloss. If I got this list, I'd be pretty good... maybe some kitchen gadgets, a cookbook or magazine, fun cookie cutters, pot holder or an apron, a cute Christmas ornament, candle holder, candy dish, or table-topper, and round it off with an assortment of LipSmackers. And probably a Burt's Bees for when you really need your chapped lips to feel good instead of just smell good.  Worst case scenario, I end up with $25 worth of plain colored ball ornaments. But... the gift is in the giving. 
Oh, I listed my dislikes as coffee, black licorice, and things that taste or smell like cinnamon candy.

So, when D came here to visit, he brought 2 slips of paper and I got to choose one. He assured me that I would be happy with either one. And, I ended up buying the gifts for both of them anyway. The one I picked listed (I am fairly certain he doesn't read my blog and so I can say here without spoiling the secret) "Ohio State T-Shirts, Ohio State Sweatshirts, Ohio State Sweatpants, Ohio State Slippers." So....a Michigan fan! Ha ha... I was happy enough to buy for this guy, because a---it was one-stop shopping! and b---I like Ohio State! As my "almost alma mater", the school I would've gone to had I not gone to Carthage, that's my fan school. Because Carthage football isn't even something I subjected myself to when I was in school there.
D's list had only one like, "Chicago Bears". So I had fun shopping for that one too!

Well, last night, I talked to David and he said he had some bad news. Of the dozen people participating in the gift exchange, guess whose Secret Santa had to leave unexpectedly and won't be back for Christmas? Mine. Of course. Good thing the gift is in the giving, because that will be the only Secret Santa gift I'm getting (until my SS returns after Christmas and has David mail me my presents). Except for the gift I bought for myself, just in case something like this were to happen. Yes, 'tis better to give than to receive... but you've got to remember to give to yourself too!


Anonymous said...
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Dogeared said...

You poor thing! I'd have bought you some cute cookie cutter shapes, and then some awesome Christmas tree decorations. Or possibly made some myself - I know how to make 3D paper snowflakes!

I hope you get thoroughly spoiled for the rest of Christmas though, to make up for no SS!

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Krista Lund said...

yah! you get to be with DAvid for Christmas. i think it is so sweet that you make it a point to spend Christmas together. i love it!

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