Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Another Christmas come and gone. And I've decided that I truly am the most ungrateful person walking on the Earth right now. But, in my defense...

Each year for K's side of the family, we are required to create and exchange Christmas 'wish lists' of things we'd like to receive as gifts. EVERYONE must make a list. And if you buy something from someone's list that they would only want ONE of, you must notify everyone else IMMEDIATELY so that there's no duplication of gifts. You'd think we were coordinating a NASA lift-off each December.

So K and I agonize over our lists, and W's, because we have to turn in one for him also. Not too much, not too little. Not too expensive, not too cheap. Easily accessible. We've done this since the first Christmas that K and I were together. Almost 10 years.

And I kid you not, we have YET to get ANYTHING that we've EVER put on a list. Some years, the gifts have come close (take, for instance, Christmas 2004 when I asked for 'Finding Nemo' on DVD but got 'Shrek 2'... both animated DVD's, so at least we were in the ballpark...), but it's never been exact.

I have to say, I think this year was the worst, though. And this is what makes me feel ungrateful. Because I will be honest... the St Vincent DePaul society will be at our house early Friday morning to collect items we want to donate, and more than one of these things we got Sunday will be in the box we set out for them...

So, on my list this year I asked for...

*the Dave Matthews Band 'Weekend on the Rocks' 2cd/1dvd box set (at Walmart for $18.99)
*Patricia Cornwell's latest in the Kay Scarpetta series, Predator. Or a gift certificate to a bookstore (let me digress for a moment, because I feel it's important to point out that MY BROTHER-IN-LAW WORKS FOR BARNES & NOBLE)
*a gift certificate for Bath & Body Works (because you an never have too much smelly stuff for the shower)
*a coffee grinder (to use to grind spices, as I am not a coffee drinker)
*a subscription to either 'Southern Living' or 'Martha Stewart Living' magazine (I love the recipes)

... and I got

*a watch - I've already got 3 that I don't wear, and as I was opening it I saw my sister-in-law pull the Patricia Cornwell from a gift bag
*slippers that vibrate (yes, vibrate), that don't fit
*a tub of 'body butter' that smells like the air freshener in a gas station restroom

Obviously, I set my expectations too high. Next year I'm going to ask for 'Dorf on Fishing' and see what it gets me...


justrose said...

ruth - every year my inlaws ask what we want, and some years i say something and others i don't. it is annoying because they hypercomplicate everything. i am a grownup and i have my own money to buy pretty much what i want, i mean not everything, but you know what i mean.

so i think gifts should be something you wouldn't get for yourself. this notion of writing down what to get from anyone (except your spouse, i do that for s because he is clueless otherwise) is a little weird. this year we said "nothing" once again and i got a nice skirt for my bathing suit from their trip to hawaii. and i was happy with that.

and then there is this weird tradition in his family of everyone "sending money toward something" the other person wants. that is strange to me. we long ago phased out buying for siblings and kids, which is kind of lame on our parts, but really, everyone has their own families to attend to. that's how i see it, anyway.

i know you didn't mean this to be funny but parts of it are, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. i do feel your pain though. sometimes i think we are living parallel lives! buck the tradition next year and say, "we're free of the bondage of lists!" and then see what you get (i predict "dorf on fishing," just like you always wanted! ;) ) or put like crazy impossible crap on it, just to see. :) i'm jonesing for those vibrating slippers though. are they pink? cause if so, rock on!

Ruth said...
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Ruth said...

Ahhh... my sarcasm was not as thinly veiled as I thought! :) My favorite gift had to be last year's book... I can't remember what book I'd asked for, but my mother-in-law instead got me The Purpose Driven Life (a fine book, don't get me wrong) because, as she put it, she'd heard lots of Christians were reading it. And I've quite often wanted to put just absolutely insane things on the list (kitchen twine... soap on a rope... lint rollers...) just to see what the reaction would be!

The slippers, unfortunately, are not pink but rather an unflattering shade of tan. I'm sure we could fix that with a package of Rit dye, though!!! :)

gone said...


I know that was some real anger/frustration there, but, man, I laughed my ass off!


Teresa said...

Ruth, This year... mom decided everyone should MAKE each other's gifts... Needless to say... well at least I tried. I'm still working on my brother's afghan... I think I'm the only one who did it... Ain't family a mess sometimes?