Saturday, December 13, 2008

The gifts that keep on giving

I am listening to Good Morning America while struggling with the combined whims of dial-up, AOL, and the Verizon website to add a line so I can get my loving husband a cell phone for Christmas. He doesn't want one, and has told me that he will turn it off at work, but there have been some unfortunate incidents recently and I'd like to be able to get in touch with him when he is NOT at his office. Among the normal Saturday morning deaths, lay-offs, and celebrity melt downs, Good Morning America is talking about Christmas stuff. Number One: How to spend less than $1000 on Christmas gifts. Number Two: Who to tip and how much.

OK: Number One: I don't spend $1000 on Christmas gifts. I can't. Not and eat. Number two. I don't tip extra at Christmas. I mean, I tip well in normal tipping situations, liking eating out. When I walk into a restaurant, the waiterpeople fight to serve me. I once tried to join over tippers anonymous, but the waiterpeople started crying so I didn't. But that is not what I am talking about.

My friend Lydia said her paper"boy" gave her an envelope in which to put his Christmas "gift." That's not a gift, that's extortion. Since she lives in NJ, I'd pay it, but jeez. If you have to pay it, it isn't a gift and it isn't a tip. It's also subject to social security, medicare and income tax, but I digress...

My mother in law always ends up saying "Let's not go over board with gift giving" and I think, "Who's going over board?" She isn't, not with us. She's very generous all year round in every day ways, so I'm not complaining. What I realized is that she and her circle of friends (her bridge clubs --- plural, her church groups, her friends from college, her friends from high school) all give gifts. They may be bread or cookies or a little basket of something, but it's something and you have to get something in return and you have to think about it and do something and wrap it and remember where you put it and not forget that somebody has decided she is vegetarian and Sue is lactose intolerant and Mary Lou will die if you give her a peanut... wow. I'm glad I don't have friends like that. All I do is buy books at the book fair for every child I know and forget about their parents. The kids are grateful, the parents are more grateful and I get to buy "Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words" even though I don't have any girls.

As far as spending $1000 on Christmas... well, it's not going to happen. But that's OK. Because we always have lots and lots of cool stuff. This year I'm thinking of the socks and underwear theme...

3 comments:

annie kelleher said...

alas, i easily overspend at xmas, but then its easy for me to overspend any time of year. i only know one thing to do with money... sigh...

Kathy said...

I tend to be very very generous when I have money. Which leaves me without money a lot of the time. Sort of like the government... LOLOLOLOL

Kim said...

I'm with you - I find a lot to give my kids without breaking the bank. And why do we have to give a certain list of peolpe an extra tip? I tip well all year round.