Whatever. I can’t count! Leave it to me to try and change the birthdate of Jesus. Okay, math has never been my thing. I’m focusing more on the artistic process here, not the time, or time-math. Work with me people. Only one person has been brave enough to point this out, and as soon as he gets out of the hospital, you can ask him about it.
Have you read The Five Love Languages? I have, and although I may not know my love language, I know what it’s not. It’s not gifts. With that being said, please enjoy my 2009 Christmas gift giving guide.
The 2009 Christmas Gift Giving Guide by Jody Wissing (aka Jody’s List)
Your most memorable childhood gift.
What was the coolest, most mind-blowing gift you received as a child? No silly, besides the box it came in? Mine was a Krazy Kar. It’s that bright yellow thing with the swirly peppermint wheels. I don’t recall how long I had it, but I know it was several years. I’m guessing it was completely worn out, not suitable for anything but plastic recycling, as I loved it to death. I had no idea what this was called until last week when I posted this photo on Facebook.
Product description: The Krazy Kar is as equally wild as it is wacky! Drive it forwards, backwards, or in circles for indoor and outdoor fun all year long! Features giant 3′ action ride-on and big 18″ wheels. Made with safe, rugged, durable construction and holds up to 70 lbs. Colors may vary. Adult assembly required.
Although I like the new edition of the lightening bolts, I’m a little saddened that the swirly peppermint wheels are gone. Oh well, nothing a little paint can’t take care of. And 70 pounds? How am I supposed to show my kids how to ride this if I can’t? Their Green Machines hold up to 180 pounds, not that I ever take advantage of that. But hypothetically speaking, let’s say you want something like this so you can ride it too.
Product description: Kids use their hands to power this innovative twist on the conventional ride-on. Lightweight construction helps riders cruise right along, safely take corners, and spin 360s on almost any surface. Features a steel frame, rubber tires and a padded seat for riders up to 110 lbs.
Okay, so I don’t weigh 110, wishful thinking, but I’l only a bit over it, so technically… Also, if you buy one of these for your kids and they choose to keep spinning in circles, keep them outside for a little while before bringing them in the house. Is your favorite toy still available?
Creative, memorable and just downright awesome.
What is the most meaningful or creative gift you have ever received? The most creative for me was a bouquet of paintbrushes. I’m not a flower kind of girl, and this gift giver, although knowing me for a short period time, gave me a meaningful gift. I was married for eight years and the man still gave me flowers when he was in the dog house. That made me angry, spending a crazy amount of money on something that’s dead upon arrival and will look like it in three days. I cannot comprehend this.
The most memorable gift? Flamingos and Skelemingos. Again, this friend took the time to know what I would like, not jewelry, not flowers, not a sweater, but something quirky that nobody else would ever think to buy. Not that your friend will want these, but just in case…
Product description: NEW!!! One pair of s-c-a-r-y, b-o-n-y flamingoes! For All Occacsions: Halloween, Over-The-Hill Parties, Special Birthdays, Block Parties, Special Occasions, Retirement Parties etc. Can be used indoors or outdoors. “Perfect for the party…then in the yard for the rememberance!” When assembled they stand approximately 34″ high. Made in the U.S.A. of HDPE plastic.
How well do you know your friends?
Red fish, blue fish, old fish, new fish.
Dr. Seuss might be on to something here. Why do we feel like gifts must be something new? What’s wrong with old stuff? Anyone can go into the cookie cutter stores, purchase mass produced material goods (available in many colors and styles), take the stuff home, wrap it in a bunch of fancy mass produced paper and call it a day. Thought process? “I’ve made my expected purchases, checked it off the to-do list and I’m on to my other busyness.” What has been accomplished here? We’re supporting financial insanity and overseas sweatshops.
Now don’t get me wrong. We need people to buy lots of new stuff, because without that, there would be nothing at the thrift stores. I would not have found my $1,300 grill for $70 or my son’s $595 Sleep Number bed for $6. Okay, I’m being sarcastic, but seriously, if you are supporting thrift stores with your old stuff, please continue! These stores raise money to help needy people, so why not go treasure hunting? It’s three times better! You are saving money, you’re supporting people in need and you’re spending the time to look for something special for your loved ones.
You can Google these for locations and also look for other resale shops, as there are many great ones in our area. Buy gifts with character. What would that person on your list fall in love with and not regift? Oh, and don’t get me started on the re-gifting thing…
Judge a book by it’s cover.
With all of the used bookstores around, and to use a car dealer term, why not buy some pre-owned books? There are many great reasons to do this. First, you can write a special note in it for the person you’re giving it to. (Unless you’re buying a book for Jerod Chambers, then you need to write on all of the pages in the book, as he loves that!) Second, with the the endless number of topics and abundant, ingenious styles, it’s easy to find a book for any person on your list.
But my favorite part of giving books as gifts? Altering them. That’s right, altering them. Write notes, scribble, paint, tape things, glue cutouts, add bookmark strings… the list goes on. There’s two ways to do this, make a book into a completely new books by gluing pages together and adding your own embellishments, like the vintage books pictured here. The other idea is much simpler, just add your own stuff to the book on the blank pages, creating a personalized copy of whatever book you’re giving. Either way, I doubt this gift will end up in a thrift store. Oh, what a dilemma, which idea should you choose?
At the risk of offending anyone who’s done this, I just have to say, this has brought a whole new level of ridiculousness to gift giving. I have to add this to Jody’s list, but as a ‘don’t do it’. What is it? Personalized wine bottle etching, the gift that keeps on… recycling? So let’s suppose you get one of these treasured heirlooms, and instead of keeping it in a rack, you actually want to drink it. Hmm, now you’ll have an empty bottle that will look really nice, if you just happen to love empty wine bottles all over your house. Great, just what I need, a guilt trip if I throw this bottle away after enjoying it, as it was intended. Or maybe I should keep it, and I’ll set it on the counter when you come to visit. No, this bottle will be a wonderful addition to my recycling bin.
Look, I’m all about the free stuff. The engraving is free at Market Street if you buy a bottle of wine over $10. I have to ask, what is the engraving guy thinking? He didn’t look all that happy to be doing this, or he might just have been in his engraving ‘zone’. Do your friends really need a name on their bottle of wine to know it belongs to them? If you’re not sure, look inside their coat and see if their name is written on the tag with a Sharpie.
I was at a party last night, one where the white elephant gift exchange was the football half-time event. Cool! Because I’m all about finding an unusual gift. The gift I walked away with last night was a good one. It was someone giving me two hours of their time for whatever I might need it for. This got me thinking.
This Christmas I’m trying to live differently, giving my time and money to people in need. Let me just say that I am giving money, but I don’t have a lot to give. I’m also giving my time, and even though there’s not a lot of that either, I have more time than money. What are your resources and how can you use them to help people? My kids and I chose to sponsor Casa Hogar Elim and The Sons of Lwala this year, financially and with an allotment of our time. What would your friends think if you did this in their name as a gift? My experience? It inspires other to do the same thing. Give to someone that can’t give back this Christmas. Set an example of giving goodness for others to follow.
The ultimate gift.
God gave us the greatest gift of all, his son. When gift giving this Christmas, or any Christmas, just remember why you’re doing it. Don’t get sucked into the vortex of materialism and meaninglessness. Celebrate the Ultimate Gift by giving gifts with the true meaning of Christmas in your heart. (Yes, even if it’s an impractical engraved bottle of wine)