I think that this year S and I did a pretty good job with the Christmas gift giving.  We thought about the people we were buying for and what they might need or want or really, really like. We started thinking about the gifts in November and there were some ideas that were tossed out there and then rejected.  Only the best ideas made it to Christmas shopping weekend.

I had a fairly solid budget of what we could afford to spend and thankfully it worked nicely with the presents we wanted to buy.  I didn’t pick some magical cash number for what we were going to spend equally on each person/couple on our list, some gifts would cost more than others, but each person would get the perfect gift.  Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? 

S’s family seemed fairly easy this year.  I knew exactly what we should get for each of them and we were able to find everything easily.  Watching them open their gifts this year was even better than last year.  Everyone loved what they got and some of them were even a wee bit jealous of a gift or two that we gave to someone else.  It was cool.  S’s mom has called us twice since Christmas to thank us again and again for her MP3 player (not an Ipod, as we are anti-Apple).  That is a great feeling.  The other night we went to a post-Christmas party at brother el ‘Jeffe’s house and it was nice to see that the box of hand picked ornaments we gave to his wife were on their tree.  Gil couldn’t have been more thrilled with the large selection of exotic beers that we gave him.  Seriously a great feeling.

My family was a little more difficult.  Well, Shaggy was easy because that remote controlled dragonfly was amazing and needed to be given to someone.  Her older sister, L, was harder.  She is eleven years old and she already has everything she could want.  When asked if there was anything special on her list, her mother told me “money”.  No way.  Slipping a ten dollar bill in a birthday card is fine, but not for Christmas.  We ended up getting her a video game for her Nintendo DS, but it didn’t feel special enough.  I was disappointed.  She thanked us for it but then tossed it into a pile of other DS games that she got.

DK the Asshat has always been weird about gifts.  He is reluctant to open them and then he acts ashamed when he finally gets around to it.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it is no good for me to put too much effort into his gifts.  I end up disappointed and he ends up miserable.  This year we gave him a beers of the world six pack and it was still as awkward as ever.  S picked a physics/mathematics book for my brother, MK, and he was over the moon about it.  We gave MK’s girlfriend, Ginni, an easy to use cookbook, as she is new to the whole world of cooking.  It has step by step pictures along side the recipes, which I thought would be helpful to a new cook.  For DK the Asshat’s wife, Satan, I picked a “book” by Keith Olberman about the worst people in the world.  I meant for it to be ironic.  The funny thing was, she had given my brother the exact same book that morning.

My mother has too much of everything already.  Like last year, I chose to give her restaurant gift cards because now that my grandmother is gone, my mother is even less inclined to cook.  She likes to go out to eat and she really likes to go out for lunch and sandwiches.  I also gave her a bunch of cookies that I had baked because she really wasn’t inclined to bake this year.  I didn’t get to see her open many of her gifts since we arrived so late in the evening, but she was given an HD video camera/still camera from MK and Ginni.  I was jealous.  The thing is, she still hasn’t used the VCR we gave her 10 years ago, so she probably isn’t going to learn to use her new fancy camera.  Maybe she’ll give it to me…

MK and Ginni went a little crazy this year with the gifts.  Not that I am not grateful.  In fact, I am quite grateful, but it did make me feel uncomfortable (which made me relate to DK the Asshat and I hate that).  They gave S and mea GPS thing.  Not a Tom-Tom or a Garvin or anything with a service.  Ours is just the unit and it works with the free military GPS stuff.  S is over the moon about it.  We’ve named it Chuck even though it has a woman’s voice.  Sis directionally challenged and thinks that GPS will save the free world.  I have an inner GPS that astounds probably even the military, so Chuck does not impress me.  In fact, when S tells me that Chuck wants us to turn right at the next light, I feel the need to tell her that I already knew that.  Chuck pisses me off.  But I tolerate him because it makes S so happy.

Ginni had also gone online and found some guy who had a ton of old 1930’s Chicago Bears photos.  Great quality pictures.  She gave six of them to me and my brothers because our grandfather played for the Bears back then.  It was such an amazingly thoughtful gift.  I don’t know how she found them exactly because I had been on the lookout for that kind of stuff too.  Ginni has some strange internet shopping powers, I think.  Oh, and she also bought nine minutes of footage from a game our grandfather played in.  But she only got one copy and couldn’t make copies for the rest of us.  I want her powers.


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