Holiday gift-giving stresses me out. It’s not so much the money spent on it, but rather the emotionally draining and utterly exhausting grey matter spent figuring out what people want. And by people, I really mean my family.
Why are my brother and I
forced hounded berated until we hand over a wish list, while my parents get off scott-free, leaving C and I in the dark about what they want or need. I find myself recycling the same gifts, year after year. Similar sweater, different color. Same box set of CDs, different band. Tonight I found myself actually wondering aloud, “Mom, why don’t you have a fucking hobby?”
Burrito was telling me today about some [straight and married] friend of his that collects Santa figurines. Hundreds of Santas. They’re everywhere. Even has a Santa infirmary for the broken ones. Sounded weird and creepy to me this morning, but I think about it now and it sounds like the ideal gift-giving situation. Find yourself in a gift jam, find homeboy a new Santa. Maybe some new glue for the broken ones. Even a nice house where all the Santas can live together in peace and harmony.
Last year my friend K gave her mom a bunch of new chicks. Baby chickens, y’all. She didn’t bring them home; she donated the chicks to an impoverished African village in her mom’s name. The chickens would hatch enough eggs to feed the town. The chickens would mate, make more chickens, etc. It was one of the best, most original gifts I’ve ever heard of. And while I assure you that my mother is a very giving person, if I gave her a herd of little chickens, she would most certainly thank me while simultaneously thinking, “What…the…fuck?”
Me, I try to make it easy. I comply with requests for a Christmas list (even though I’d secretly like for us to do without presents this year, save the money, and go on a trip in 2007.) I volunteer information. My brother didn’t even ask me what I wanted, but I told him so he didn’t have to bother. Sweatpants. Grey. Extra small. That’s it. Done.
Assuredly, the baby J wouldn’t stand for this kind of chaos when it came time to celebrate. No. Jesus would have this shit organized. Ye shall giveth lists to ye neighbors. Amen.
But I gets none. So I’ll be taking a day off work on Friday to brave the godforsaken shopping malls and overspend on stuff that may be way off the mark and will be hard for folks to return since none of us live in the same state.
[Jam of the Day]: Bloc Party, Banquet
[UPDATE: 12. 20. 2006] After finally guilting my mother into giving some inkling as to what she wanted/needed this holiday season, she wrote me an email saying:
“I can’t really think of anything I really need or want, but world peace.”