‘Just right’ gifts

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 2004

It’s the typical Christmas season. It’s almost here and I’m no more ready for it than I was in January.

In my little world, Christmas shopping just isn’t Christmas shopping unless it’s Christmas Eve.

Fortunately for me, and more so for the folks on my Christmas list, I have a wife who is far better at planning Christmas shopping than I. She gets out there right after Thanksgiving and by this time of year she has about 90 percent of the main shopping done.

That’s when I step into the picture. I’m really good at the last second, next to panic style shopping. Now I don’t mean the thoughtless kind of shopping where you walk into a store, ponder over something about five minutes and convince yourself the recipient will adore it… if for no other reason than the fact you took the &uot;time&uot; to pick it out for them.

I actually put the so-called time into trying to find that &uot;just right&uot; gift. My biggest problem is that I can never remember what people want when December rolls around.

I make myself thousands of mental notes throughout the year of things that would make good Christmas gifts, based on what someone will say. But by the time it’s time to actually go out and shop, I’ve forgotten everything.

I suppose this whole shopping thing goes back to my own childhood and getting presents I didn’t want or knew I would never use. Don’t get me wrong, I always smiled and thanked them immensely, because I genuinely did appreciate the gift.

There’s a lot of truth to the saying &uot;it’s the thought that counts.&uot;

However, I don’t want to give people a gift just to be giving them something. If I am going to give someone a gift, I want it to be something they can actually use or something they really want. That has absolutely no reflection on cost because, in all honesty, I can’t afford much in the first place.

Perhaps the dilemma of me finding the &uot;just right&uot; gift is why it is so difficult for me to shop and why I leave so much of it to my wife, Teresa.

Besides the shopping deal, though, I’m ready for Christmas. We… more accurately said – the kids and Teresa – put up the tree and decorated the house about a week ago.

We’ve been listening to Christmas music around the clock and it just seems more like Christmas of old than it has the last few years.

Perhaps more next week on Christmas traditions, but for now, happy shopping to each and everyone.