I never really got around to posting about all the great stuff I got for Christmas. I didn’t get an iPhone, which is what I truly wanted deep down inside, but I did get a lot of stuff from my wish list and a few other things I didn’t ask for that were awesome.
For the past few years my sister and I have just asked each other point blank: what do you want? We tell each other one specific thing and just agree to buy that. No surprises, no guessing, no tiresome searching. This year I asked for season one of Breaking Bad and she asked for the movie Monster and a sun-visor CD sleeve for her car. Sweet and simple.
Colin also got me a Breaking Bad t-shirt, which was my favorite gift this year:
He also got me a book of Charles Bukowski’s poetry, seasons 1 & 2 of King of the Hill, and a Half Price Books gift card, which I combined with the other HPB gift card I got from the gift exchange at work to buy these books:
Getting closer to my goal of owning everything Kurt Vonnegut’s ever written.
While shopping around for my niece and nephew I decided that I really wanted to get Bop-It for them because even I love that game, so I assumed they would like it too. I texted my brother to verify before I bought it, only to find out that they actually already have two Bop-Its at their house. They each have one! A game that is meant to be multi-player, and one isn’t enough for the two of them. Kids these days. But then, Gretchen got Bop-It for me for Christmas and I was completely ecstatic about it. Did you guys know that the new Bop-It has a “shout it” feature, though? Totally lame and obnoxious, but luckily you can disable it. Seriously…kids these days.
Gretchen also got me a Sküüzi, which is so clutch for those winter walks across the apartment complex to Lamar and Amy’s. I’m legitimately upset we didn’t know these existed when we were in college:
Every year for Christmas my dad gets me and my sister socks. I don’t know how the tradition started, but it’s turned into a sort of joke that we always know to expect those from him. He usually gets us one or two other things, but we always know there will be a package of socks. I really appreciate his utilitarian approach to gift-giving, because honestly, I can never have enough socks. This year he also got me a Brita water filtering pitcher, which I asked for specifically and which was the best gift I got other than the LPH t-shirt. The water at our apartment tastes and smells weird, so the filter is key.
The holiday season is always a struggle with my mom because she’s one of those people who likes to give gifts just for the sake of giving gifts. She doesn’t care about how useful or enjoyable an item might be for the receiver- if it’s on sale she’ll buy it just to take up space under the tree. We get into a fight on Christmas almost every year because she never, ever buys what I ask for. When I was younger she would always ask me for a list of movies, CDs, and books that I wanted, but then instead of buying from the list she would get me books from the best seller rack at Wal-mart and VHS tapes from the $3 bin at Big Lots. Then when I wasn’t excited about my new Patricia Cornwall hardback or my Friends: Best of Season 5 VHS tape, she would accuse me of being ungrateful. For three years in a row I gave her the exact same list, and I don’t think she ever bought anything from it.
I always think of that Jim Gaffigan bit about gift-giving, where he’s like “I’d rather throw it out than return it…don’t give me an errand.” My mom is notorious for buying me things she knows I won’t like and then saying, “oh you can return it!” but she has almost certainly lost the receipt by that time, so it’s hopeless. This year I just asked for a fleece blanket for our living room, which she did get me. She also got some inexplicably random odds and ends like crossword puzzle books, Gone With the Wind on DVD, and gel in-soles for high heels, but it could have been worse, I guess. It was good seeing her even if she is a nutball, and I’m grateful that my family is healthy and that I’m in a position to be spoiled with unnecessary material things even as an adult.
Still holding out for that iPhone, though.