What I Don’t Want for Christmas
For the past couple of weeks (ever since they started running ‘Christmas giving’ commercials on TV and slipping endless ‘gift idea’ inserts into the newspapers and my mailbox), I’ve been playing a bit of a game with my husband (well, I’ve been playing – he’s pretty much been ignoring me) that I call ‘What-I-don’t-want-for-Christmas’. It goes something like this: a commercial comes on TV or I show him up a flyer for something that, apparently, other women are ‘dying to get’ for Christmas and ceremoniously declare, “I don’t want one of those/these for Christmas”. He, in turn, is supposed to pay attention and NOT put that particular item on his ‘gifts for my wife’ list (that I am SURE he has stashed in one of his pockets).
For instance, I don’t want:
- Chocolates (from Ferrero Rocher, Ghirardelli, Godiva, Purdy’s, Laura Secord, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Cadbury, Lindt [although the dark chocolate peppermint squares look interesting] or others). I eat very little chocolate nowadays (a small square of dark – preferably with a hint of mint or some caramel or toffee crumbs embedded in it – after dinner a few times a week); anything more would just be wasted (and who wants to waste good chocolate, right?)
- A New Car. I honestly don’t know ANYONE who ever got a car from their husband/significant other for Christmas; still, the auto manufacturers generally play this idea up at this time of year. My ‘little red sport car’ may be seven years old, but there’s less than 40,000 km on the odometer and my husband keeps it in tip-top shape (as well as very clean, inside and out) and I expect it to last me for the rest of my life (however, if someone GAVE me one of those new Mercedes-Benz SLK roadsters [in red, of course] – at absolutely NO COST – I wouldn’t turn it down!)
- Household Décor Items. Seriously, my husband wouldn’t know what to buy in this category, and I’ve just finished a bit of a ‘redo’ of the living room area anyway (new paint, new curtains, new accessories) so I’m all good there.
- Kitchen Gadgets. I don’t do a lot of fancy cooking or baking so I don’t need a food processor or a dehydrator or a George Foreman grill or a set of Kuraidori knives (I have noticed, however, that my 12” non-stick frying pan has gotten a little ‘sticky’ lately …hint, hint).
- Music, Movies, TV Shows. We have a fairly extensive selection of CDs (mostly music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s), movies (a few dozen old VHS tapes and probably 100+ DVDs), and TV shows (lots of ‘complete sets’ of various TV series and a number of BBC nature shows). When/if something new comes out that I really want to own, I’ll pick it up when Amazon sends me an alert that it’s on sale (I rarely buy anything at the ‘new release’ price because I KNOW it’s going to be discounted within a few weeks).
Clothing. Honestly, I wouldn’t EVER ask my husband to venture into a woman’s clothing store to select wardrobe items for me (although he sort of perked up the other night when the Victoria’s Secret ad came on TV). I’ve had ‘other people’ buy me clothes in the past, and it NEVER turned out well (even after pointing to an outfit and saying ‘THAT is what I want for Christmas’ I would end up with something completely different and generally god-awful!) Since retiring, I actually have too many clothes, anyway and if I ever need new ones, I’ll pick ‘em out myself.
- Pajamas’, Loungewear. (See ‘Clothing’ above).
- Coats, Gloves, Scarves. (See ‘Clothing’ above).
- Jewellery. I don’t wear a lot of jewellery. Most days the only glittery adornment on my body is my wedding ring. I have a few really ‘nice’ pieces that I wear on special occasions (most of which are earlier presents from my husband) and a few ‘costume’ pieces that compliment various ‘day wear’ outfits or that are just plain fun to wear. Besides, I find the cost of most ‘good’ jewellery to be outrageous anyway (seriously – who ‘needs’ a $5,000 diamond ‘tennis bracelet’?!?!?)
- Perfume. I have two fragrances I like (one for the spring/summer and one for fall/winter). A bottle of each lasts me a couple of years. I don’t want to ‘experiment’ with other scents (been there, tried that … didn’t like the result) and most of the ‘eaus’ being advertised are priced in the ‘ridiculous’ range anyway.
- Electronics. I have a cell phone that I use maybe a half dozen times a year (I charge it once a year, whether it needs it or not and use it for emergencies only), a laptop I use for my writing (not connected to the Internet to avoid the ‘distraction factor’), and a desktop computer I use for everything else. I don’t know what I would even DO with a ‘smart phone’, a tablet computer, or an eReader (I like the feel of a book in my hand). I know that ‘someday’ I’ll probably have to give in and get any one of these devices (because I won’t have any choice in the matter) but for now, I’m quite content living in the 20th (vs. the 21st) century with respect to technological gadgetry.
- Books. I have an eclectic taste in reading material and my personal library (fiction, non-fiction) has over 300 books in it. I love to scour the ‘withdrawal’ shelves in the local library (where books no longer in circulation are sold for $1.00 for hardcovers and 50 cents for paperbacks), second hand bookstores, and garage/rummage sales to see what I can find to add to my shelves, and I do occasionally buy something new if it’s by a specific author or comes highly recommended by someone I trust who likes the same kind of writing I do – so the chances of receiving a book that I’ve already got (or have read) is highly probable (although a gift card to the local bookstore wouldn’t go amiss).
The idea behind this ‘game’, of course, is to lead my husband through a sort of ‘process of elimination’ in the hope that he’ll figure out what I really DO want for Christmas and buy it for me (without TELLING me – I do so like a surprise on Christmas morning). If it doesn’t work, at least I’ll have tried, and next year I can go straight to Plan B – I’m pretty sure Santa doesn’t mind hearing from those of us (who haven’t quite grown up yet) on … the other side of 55.