Wednesday, December 26, 2007

No Unhappy Returns

Our household, of two, not counting the dog, celebrated a new Christmas tradition yesterday. Well, it'll be a tradition next year, because it worked so spectacularly this first year.

No more guesswork about what the other person might like. We went to a major American shopping mall, gave ourselves a spending limit of $150, and bought presents for ourselves. That is, I bought presents for myself and my wife bought presents for herself. Privately.

This was harder than it appears. You walk through the mall thinking, "Oh, she might like that pashmina shawl." Then you stop yourself and say, "Of course she probably wouldn't. Pashmina is passe, and anyway, I'm shopping for me. Yay."

The deal is, though, that you don't open your own presents. You hand them to your wife Christmas morning and she gets to see the kind of idiotic stuff she wouldn't deign to give you. Sweatshirts in amusing colors. History books by unamusing authors. Then you open the presents she bought for herself and you suffer an insight into her secret desires, ones you could never satisfy during a walk through a mall.

A font program for the Macintosh computer. Face creams, morning and evening. An orange juice squeezer. An ice cream cookbook. Even though it's really a freezebook, I should have thought of that one, but wouldn't have. That's the joy of this Christmas, not to mention the joy of not having to return to the mall.

Also, I loved the sudden grammaticality of saying, "I got me some good presents."

Sweatshirts. Yeah.


Dagny said...

I love that idea. Of course, in past years I usually end up buying myself at least one gift.

Anita said...

We've both decided this is genius. We've pretty much opted out of the holiday gift-giving rigamarole, but it's always a little anticlimactic on the morning of the 25th without it.

Your plan has the best of both worlds.

You get the fun of shopping with none of the anxiety.
You get the treat of wrapping presents, and the pleasure of pretty gifts under the tree.
You get the anticipation of playing with your gifts, but not right away.
You get the surprise of opening a package that you have no idea what's inside.
And you learn a little about the ones you love.

We think you need to come up with a good name and get the word out there. Its a brilliant way to recapture a lot of the joy of Christmas.

Zoomie said...

Grammaticality. Love that! :-)