My annual thinking-about-presents post

This would’ve been Schulz’s 88th birthday. I assume you were all out buying him presents early this morning?

Me, I skipped the early morning madness. For one thing, there is little that I need in terms of the sort of thins which go on sale. We have computers that work, our GPS is fine, and while some day I’d like one of them big flatscreen TVs, it seems wisest to wait until the existing set ceases to work.

Which is not to say that I’ve not bought anything over the past couple of days. Online, I picked up good deals on a Wii game and remote, and a refurbished Nook (yes, I collect books, but it will be nice to have this as well. Plus as a publisher, I’m working on downloadable books, so I really should experience it myself.) And I did go out to the stores this morning, just not so early. I have a local advantage; one of the big chains here is, due to some sort of zoning law, forbidden to open before 9 AM. So I could wake at a normal time, get dressed, break fast, hang out a bit, and still get the early-bird deal (in this case, a Roomba).

With Christmas barreling around the corner and Hannukah already ready to run over our toes, I reckoned it was time for my annual gift-getting thoughts, not that they’ve changed much from the past.

  • The holiday need not be about gifts. Believing that doesn’t mean that you have to go stand on stage quoting the gospel to a roomful of people disappointed with the tree. It doesn’t even mean that you don’t give and get gifts, but pay more attention to the presence of your loved ones, rather than the presents for them.
  • Give a gift to the community. Times are hard. The same economics that have driven up demand there have driven down donations.
  • Give your time, even to your friends. Buying someone the perfect DVD box set may not mean as much to them as you taking them to even a lousy movie, or to a half-decent restaurant for a good evening of chatting. (And a great gift for a couple may be a night of babysitting for them.)
  • If you have to battle in gift-giving, keep score in the right way. If you’re competing over who can get just-the-right-thing for the other, you both win. Competing over who can buy the most expensive gift will cost you both in the long term.
  • If you’re buying something for someone far away, ordering online can be a great convenience. You can have the gift shipped right to them, avoiding a trip to the post office and the effort of packaging. Even if you’re flying out to see them for the holidays, in these days of security check-in limitations and checked bag fees, you may be wise to have your gifts shipped right to your destination.
  • If you plan to order through Amazon, please get there by clicking on one of the various links in my messages. It doesn’t cost you any more, and Amazon does kick some money back to me, even if you don’t order the thing I linked to. This income isn’t huge, but it helps me justify spending a lot of time on the AAUGH blog and related efforts.
  • May you find love, hope, and opportunity this season. Those things rarely come wrapped with a bow.
  • I don’t have an iPad yet. I’m just sayin’.

  As these two ads, from 1954 and 1961 respectively, show, Patty and Violet had a rather consistent relationship… living on slightly different planes, and not introducing themselves, but giving a name to each other. 40 SHARES Share Tweet this thing Follow the AAUGH Blog

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