Today marks two weeks — 14 whole days — until Christmas Day. If you’re like most people, you likely haven’t even budged when it comes to shopping for presents; if you’re like me, you have bought one or two items but worry if that’ll be enough to satiate your loved ones’ gift expectations. (“Really? You bought me this little thing? I am so going to exchange this when the stores reopen.”)
And if your family is anything like mine, you limit yourselves to drawing names out of a hat at your Thanksgiving get-together and by only for that one person. My family has been doing that for the past several years, in part so that we keep our shopping costs down and none of us will be tempted to splurge on everyone else (our dollar limit is in the $25-$30 range). That’s not to say I don’t go above and beyond on this; as the proud uncle of 4 nieces (and godparent to one of them), I still try to find a little something for each of them.
When it comes to what we want for Christmas, our family’s tastes rarely venture outside of the usual, “I always need/want this” type of gift requests: The women want something utilitarian for the kitchen or a gift from Bath & Body Works, the men will settle for work shirts and jeans from Mills Fleet Farm, or at least a gift card from that same hunting/fishing/farm equipment establishment.
As for me, I’ve never thought of myself as being too hard to shop for for Christmas gifts. Which is why, without fail, I just jot down one or two very simple things on my gift wish list at Thanksgiving, the top of the list (aka the first thing I think of) always consisting of a gift card. No, not from Fleet Farm (I’ve never been the outdoorsy, farm-living type), but from department stores like Target or Kohl’s or Barnes & Noble, if not a card for Amazon.com (yes, I have an account there, though I don’t do very much in the way of online shopping).
When it comes to specific material things that are not any form of gift cards, I’m pretty limited there, too. Just as with gift cards, I tend to only ask for kitchen or bath towels and accessories. My bath towels tend to wear out a bit over time, my kitchen towels even more so. One year, my brother-in-law pulled my name from our family draw and saw that I pretty much wanted only kitchen accessories. So, with the assistance of his youngest daughter (my youngest niece), he picked out a set of kitchen cloths/towels with a chickens-in-barns motif, along with a set of red oven mitts. After I opened the present on Christmas Day, the aforementioned niece confirmed that she picked out the towels and mitts with her daddy, and announced that, referring to her happy uncle (me), “he loves the color red, and he loves chickens.” *LOL* Which was news to me, as I don’t have a preferred color or favorite farm animal. But since this was Christmas Day, I was never going to look this proverbial gift horse in the mouth.
Now, you notice I haven’t talked too much about clothing items on my annual gift wish list. The reason for that is twofold: For one, Male Mode Me is very particular when it comes to sizes on jeans and slacks; I tend to prefer waist size 34/length 30, whereas Mom and my sisters look at me and tend to think, “No, you really should go one waist size smaller; your waist size isn’t that big.” But because waist size 32 tends to feel way to tight on me (Note to self: Always watch how much you’re eating), I tend to prefer the 34×30 size, baggy appearance be dammed. (Comfort level rules in my male mode mind.) So, that’s when a department store gift card can come in handy: It can fit inside your wallet or shirt pocket, yet can magically turn into something that will fit you comfortably and that you’ll be content with.
But the second reason for lack of clothing requests on my lists is… well, the faux girl writing this blog. If Male Mode Me is content with the clothing he has on his side of the closet (“Yeah, these should still fit me for another year yet, and they don’t look too worn out”), Allison will want in on some fashion gift action. Of course, she won’t put Male Mode Me into gender jeopardy and make him ask for something from Ann Taylor or New York & Company (“No, it’s okay, Target and Kohl’s will be fine for me”). So, that’s when the gift card can have a dual use: Perhaps a little item for my male side, but a little something fabulous for Allison.
So, that’s my annual wish list. Yeah, I know it varies very little from year to year, but I’ve grown accustomed to not asking for a lot. What are you wishing for this holiday season? Feel free to add in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and have a happy holiday season. xoxo