All I Want For Christmas……

This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any.  Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.

In the past couple of years, both my wife’s and my own family have chosen to get involved in a gift exchange where each person in the family picks another from a hat – this has significantly cut down on the number of presents I need to buy, but at the same time has really monetized Christmas.  I really enjoy finding presents for my niece and nephews, but the family “adult” gift exchange has essentially turned into people trading the same amount of money back and forth – doesn’t exactly get me into the Christmas spirit wondering what $50 gift I’m going to get in return for the $50 gift I bought them. 🙂

My wife has explained that this is perhaps not the point of the gift exchange and it should be fun.  She also knows that I am a terrible person to buy gifts for because I rarely want anything and when I do, I research most major purchases (over $50) extensively in order to ensure that I actually need the “thing” in question.  I understand that I am not really all that fun to buy for, but I did provide a list of stuff that I would like to receive from the people buying presents for me.  Some were specific, but others were more broad-based:

Stuff I would have bought for myself, but have held off on buying for Christmas:  There were several books that I can’t find at the library and a couple of video games that I should have time to play over the next couple of months that were added to this list.

Stuff that I don’t need right now, but will come in useful soon: Things like socks, underwear, and other basic clothes that I own currently but will wear out over the next few months.  Normally I’d just buy these in bulk when they’re on sale but if people are looking for things to get me, these are things that I would appreciate and actually put to use.

Homemade stuff: One of my favourite presents I’ve received over the past few years was a handmade canoe paddle that my brother made for me last Christmas.  This Christmas my sister-in-law didn’t know what to get me and I asked for baked goods.  I love baked goods, but rarely make them for myself as it’s kind of a pain – but I do enjoy other people’s baking.

Those were my basic ideas for people getting me Christmas presents this year.  I really hate to ask for anything because it seems greedy, but rather than people “wasting” their present on me, getting something that I really won’t like or use a list seems like a good idea.  Really, simple things are the best – as most of my friends and family know, if they totally have no idea – any kind of beer is much appreciated. 😉

Do you create a list for Christmas?  How does your gift exchange work in your family?  What would you like most for Christmas this year?

5 thoughts on “All I Want For Christmas……”

  1. We have a variety of Christmas “types”.
    @Moms – small gift, nice lunch, good visit
    @Dads – no gifts, good supper
    @Moms family – tons of gifts (too many?), massive supper
    @Mrs. SPFs folks – multi day visit, small number of gifts
    This year I asked for and hope to get new toys that I can use on our new Weber BBQ. Yum.

  2. My husband and I agreed not to exchange gifts: what we want we buy throughout the year. He doesn’t know what I want and it seemed silly to point out three sweaters in a store for him to choose from.

    I remember Nancy and Ronald Reagan saying they exchanged painting a room or buying a truck!

    What really gets me is the waste — everyone buying others things they don’t need or particularly want.
    Small gestures and kindness throughout the year are what count.

  3. I’m terribly judgemental about the gifts given to me and I know “it’s the thought that counts”, but… why do people ask for lists and then not follow them? Why do they not believe us when we say, “treats, food, books, CDs”?

    No, I’m not interested in a watch, wallet, or wind-up wallaby. If I need socks, shirts, or shoes, I’ll ask for them.

    And yes, I’ve reached the age where I don’t need “stuff” (unless it’s a really clever garden ornament that fits into the theme of mythical monsters we have going on… and plastic fairies with lights are NOT one of them!).

  4. On my husband’s side of the family, we only buy for the parents and for the children. The siblings do not buy gifts for each other.

    On my side of the family, we buy for everyone and yes we ABSOLUTELY send lists to each other. All the women are working moms and we essentially do all the buying – so we really appreciate having a list of what everyone would like.

    Does it spoil the surprise? You still don’t know what on the list you are getting. I would rather have a little less of a surprise than disappointment and the children LOVE creating the lists.

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