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The holiday season is fast approaching and that means gift-giving. Personally, I love to give gifts, although limited funds makes it something of a challenge. Hence, I do a lot of knitting, crocheting, sewing, and painting, all of it beginning far later than it should. Procrastination, they name is me.
My serious problem is not with the gift-giving as much as it is with gift-getting. Firstly, I feel somewhat guilty about anyone I know spending money on me, and secondly, with a few notable exceptions, no one who ever asks me what I want pays any attention whatsoever to what I actually respond. More accurately, perhaps,they don't believe that I want what I say I want. One year, when asked by my two oldest children, I told them that I wanted them to pool their resousrces and get me an inexpensive power drill.
“You don't want a power drill,” said my daughter firmly.
“I really do,” I assured her.
“Too bad,” she told me. “I'm not getting my mother a power drill for Christmas.”
“You'd get your father a power drill,” I argued.
“You're not Dad,” she pointed out.
“I'm not,” I agreed, “But I am a single mother with no man in my life who came in a gift wrapped box with a power drill as an accessory, and I need a power drill for all the same reasons your father would, to do jobs where a power drill is a valuable asset.”
“I don't care, Mom,” she insisted. “I'm not getting you a power drill. I'm getting you something pretty.”
“Power drills are pretty,” I pleaded. They are red or orange and black and shiny and they come with drill bits and screwdriver heads and power. In fact, when you are assembling something or putting up shelves they are drop dead gorgeous. A power drill is the Angelina Jolie of tools.”
I never got the power drill. I had to buy it myself.
One year I told everyone that I wanted a crock-pot. My oldest son told me that he couldn't possibly get me a crock-pot because according to every sit-com ever made if a guy gets his wife or mother a crock-pot it always causes a big fight and raucous audience laughter, not to mention the guy looks really stupid. Thanks to dumb American sit-coms I had to buy my own crock-pot.
When asked, I have also requested a socket set, bath towels, socks, pot holders, and dishtowels. One year I asked for new bed pillows. I don't know about anyone else, but I tend to keep bed pillows until they are so deflated and pathetic than you could fold them up and put them in a gallon zip-lock bag. Bed pillows are a fantastic gift. So are nice bath towels that don't have strings hanging from them and accidental bleach stains. Dish towels are also a nice gift, particularly if they are actually able to absorb water instead of just spreading it around. And who can argue with pot-holders? I don't like seasonal pot-holders. I don't want to be pulling something out of the oven in July that has a picture of Santa and his Reindeer on it, but non-seasonal specific pot-holders that keep me from getting burned are nice.
Batteries are a fabulous gift. I would love it if someone gave me a holiday basket with a nice red ribbon full of various size batteries. I hate buying batteries and half my existence seems to run on them. The television remote has batteries, the DVD player has batteries, my flashlights have batteries, my hiking/camping headlamps have batteries, and numerous electronic gadgets belonging to my teenage son have batteries. I would love to get a potpourri of batteries in a Christmas stocking.
I gave up asking for practical stuff for Christmas, which worked out fairly well since my kids now ask me what I want with caveats attached, like, “What do you want and don't tell me anything stupid like crock-pots or dish towels”. I've totally changed direction with my requests and now ask for ridiculous things. I told my oldest that I wanted a Honda hybrid sedan. He laughed at me. I told my daughter that I wanted a video game system that I can use to virtually hit tennis balls and kick field goals. She scoffed. I told my youngest, Chuck, that I wanted the complete works of William Shakespeare bound in leather with gold leaf lettering on the volumes.
“You may have to settle for some pot-holders, Mom,” he said dryly.
It just goes to prove that life is irony. Ask for something practical and someone will try to get you a moon rock. Ask for the moon and you might get some pot-holders.
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