Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Joys of Giving

It's that time of the year again.


And Christmas!!

That's right internets! Miss Ally B swings both ways.

OK... I know what I just said.

Moving on.

I am a very lucky Ally B since my family celebrates BOTH holidays.

(Can you say awesome, albeit slightly spoiled, childhood?)

Growing up we would get little gifts (think socks and such) for those eight crazy nights, and then presents on Christmas morning.

And then we would go to the movies and get Chinese food with all of the other Jews.

(There was a time when it was only Jews at the movie theater Christmas day... now you have to buy your tickets in advance... I yearn for simpler times... if for nothing else than not having to stand in line for my popcorn.)

Well, things change as we grow up.

First, since the family is no longer together for all eight nights, we just get together one night and get some little surprises.

(Last year was a whole box of groceries! The Hanukkah fairy ROCKS!!)

Also, Mike and I are living together, and this year I have decided that after six Christmases, we are actually going to get to spend the whole day together (usually we split up for our separate family activities, and then meet mid-day).

And finally, my brother is on the other side of the globe, so this year will be very different without him.

(I'm very sad about that. Every year for the past 20 years we have spent Christmas Eve night together playing games and watching movies. I may have to convince him to play Scrabble with me using IChat...)

But perhaps the biggest difference from being little is having to buy gifts for others.

Let me change that. I used to buy gifts for my family when I was little (I know... perfect little angel...), but I just got a twenty from Mom and Dad and went shopping!

Yeah, that doesn't really work anymore.

I usually LOVE to buy presents. I love seeing the look on people's faces when I give them their gifts.

(I am a very talented present-picker-outer... hmmm... note to self: check CraigsList for any "present-picker-outer" listings.)

And even though I have a (pretty) strict budget this year, I'm still very excited to go Christmas shopping.

That is, for some people.

Some people will be getting some kick-ass gifts.

But OTHER people are driving me crazy because I have no idea what to get them.

SOME people have no ideas for themselves.

Or if they do have an idea, it's for something HUGE that I cannot afford.

(I mean really, if I could, I would get you a new road bike, or that camera lens... but I can't... maybe if I ever get a book deal, then we'll talk. Hell, if I get a book deal, you all can have a camera lens! On sale... of course.)

But the biggest problem is this:

SOMEONE rationalizes himself out of every gift. Let's just call this someone (for total anonymity) Kevin. What I mean by this is that every time I think of something, Kevin comes up with a rational reason for why he doesn't need it.

"No, I don't need a stereo for my car... I can sing to myself."

"No, I don't want a pass to the climbing gym... I don't have health insurance."

(OK, that was actually a good one... maybe I should just get him things that will help him avoid having to deal with that whole health insurance issue. Knee pads and helmet anyone?)

"No, I'll never wear that."

"No, my current Ipod may have a bum battery, but it's usually fine."

And on and on and on.

I really want to get Kev something nice. Looking back, most of the presents that I have gotten for him in the past are sitting somewhere covered in dust.

(Actually, everything in the house is covered in dust... but that's beyond the point. Note to self: add "cleaning service" to Holiday Wish List. JUST KIDDING SANTA and THE HANUKKAH FAIRY!)

I want to get him something great, because he's great, and he deserves it.

So, if Kevin is out there reading this (and he BETTER be), please start thinking of something that you want, or stop rationalizing every possibility out there so that I can feel comfortable enough to find something.

And no, Kev, an XBOX 360 is not an option... I have rationalized that the XBOX induced arguments are not worth the money...

We can have other arguments for free.