mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas bow)
[personal profile] mellicious
I hate getting gifts that are useless. I guess that makes me a bad receiver of gifts, I don't know. But I hate it when somebody gives me something that's a big waste of money. I don't mean that I need my gifts to be something practical, like a vacuum cleaner, although I don't mind practical gifts. But mostly I'm just talking about the, well, bad gifts. Things I don't want, don't like, won't use. When I get one of these, I drive myself crazy because I keep thinking of all the things I could have bought with that money instead.

The funny thing is, I'm not so much that way when I'm buying gifts for other people. I mean, I'd much rather get them something they will like and be happy to get, but in real life, it's not always possible to read people's minds with that much accuracy. I try - on the whole I try pretty hard, I think - but I know I'm going to miss with this once in a while, and for the most part I can let that go. It's the receiving end I have trouble with.

And this is why I tend to buy my own gifts, when I can. Sometimes I feel like it's sort of unnatural - which I suppose is the reason for the two-paragraph preface up there before I could actually get around to saying it - but it's true. I've tried making lists and giving hints and all of that, but when it comes right down to it, the best way is if you can pick it out yourself.

(I'm not sure about the origins of this tendency of mine, but it might partly be because we never had a lot of money when I was little, and I never had a lot of money as an adult, either, and there's just something basically frugal in me that doesn't like wasting money. Time, I can waste like a pro, but money drives me crazy.)


So now that I've started talking about it, I'm wanting to analyze my gifts to see if they fit, which really wasn't what I meant when I started talking about it. I got two expensive-ish gifts (meaning $100+) that I bought myself. Rob knew about them, but he didn't actually have any hand at all in buying them, or even wrapping them. One was the iPod Nano, which I know I will use - it's mostly for the car, but I did pick up a pair of those little Skullcandy earbuds to go with them, in case I decide to use it with headphones. The other one is a little iffier, but I'm going to make myself use it - a Miche bag (warning: that site plays video at you; here's a different one which doesn't) which, if you haven't seen the commercials, is a purse with interchangeable covers - they call them "shells" - that pop on and off with magnets which are supposed to be credit-card safe. We will see, I guess. (I already put all of my credit cards into it so they damn well better be right about that.) I had bought the bag, in a set with four shells and the long handles, before the layoff or I would have foregone it. I thought about sending it back but decided not to. I haven't had a new purse in over a year, and I sort of need one!

Rob always gets me some surprise gifts, and he did pretty good with that this year. He bought a collector's DVD or something of Escape from New York and a Dexter book of some kind - I think it's a novel, I didn't really look at it too closely yet. (That's not something I would have picked out for myself but I'm sure I will read it.) I had also picked up a couple more DVDs for myself - one was Sleeping Beauty, I know - and a couple that were really for both of us, like Ironman. A lot of this stuff I had bought back before the layoffs, too, which saved me from having to feel too horribly guilty about it. And a lot of the videos came from Sam's Club and didn't cost a whole lot, anyhow.

Let me see, what did I get him? The thing he really wanted, and has been reading ever since yesterday, too, was some anthologies of old EC Comics, with names like Vault of Secrets and Vault of Mysteries, although I wouldn't swear to either one of those names. His gifts are almost always books and DVDs, and sometimes I throw some clothes in for good measure. Those two books were fairly expensive so that saved me from having to get as many other things as I do a lot of years, but I know I got him I Am Legend on DVD, among others. I can't think what else, but it was a good little pile of movies and he seemed happy with it. Usually there are a whole lot of horror movies but the fact is, he's gotten to the point where he already has practically every horror movie he cares about having. I could probably go back and work on filling in Hammer Dracula movies and some harder-to-find stuff like that, but mostly, if he likes it, he's got it. (We each had stockings this year, for the first time ever, really, and the thing that I put in his stocking was a big chocolate Santa that I bought at Central Market, because he has a weakness for chocolate.)

Last year I was feeling sort of wealthy, relatively speaking, and I got all carried away and got nice gifts for every one of my cousins, kids and grown-ups too. This year I didn't do that, except I did buy some stuff for my aunt, but what I did for everybody else was, I hauled all my boxes and boxes of beads up there and made jewelry to order. The guys kind of got stiffed, because I didn't have much in the way of guy-suitable jewelry, but luckily my family runs heavily female, anyway, and the jewelry went over really well with all the females over the age of three. (I thought of trying to make a bracelet or something for Layla, who is about two-and-a-half, but I was afraid she would end up swallowing something. And I didn't really have any beads big enough to be child-safe.)

So since I had bought all these nice gifts for everybody last year and they didn't buy anything like that for us, at the time, this year everybody gave us really nice gifts. I felt sort of bad about it but I guess it all evens out in the end. And I also think everybody felt bad for us because of the storm and everything too. Anyway, we got one of those big George Foreman grills - which we will probably use - and a set of nice towels, and a fairly hefty Wal-Mart gift card, among other things. My aunt gave me a bunch of jewelry-making things, too, and she guessed well and it was all stuff that I can use. (My in-laws sent us cash as usual, and we will exchange gifts with my dad later.) So on the whole, everything worked out well this year.

(It occurred to me again that I really miss giving gifts to my mother, though. She was lots of fun to buy for.)

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