Snippets from a series of recent Paulus family emails concerning Christmas gifting…
So, to be clear, now that everyone in my family is married and at least one of us has children, we made a command decision to stop with the personalized gift giving to each member of the family and now we do the big-Catholic-family who-has-who-this-year thing. In short, we go down the line and only have one family to worry about each Christmas. Brilliant. And unlike some families, who do a similar name-drawing style of gift giving, my family is not all about who can find the funniest/worst/most humiliating/crappy present giving. In fact, because of Jeff’s helicopter pilot salary, my sisters and I are usually in competition for coming up with useful but creative gifts that can compete on Jeff’s level, but don’t break our bank accounts. (Secretly, we’re all just waiting for every 3rd year when Jeff has our name again.)
In order to expedite the process and minimize hassle and ultimate disappointment, a series of emails circulates the weeks before Christmas with vague attempts at gift-giving ideas. Here is a quick peak into my current Christmas wish-list.
Subject: RE: General Christmas Gift Ideas
John and I have talked about it a bunch, but can’t think of anything we just desperately want or need right now. Please do not get us a TV or DVD player. Remember when Laura promised us her 28″ not flat screen TV but still newer (and bigger) than our previous two free TVs? She got John quite hyped up to finally be able to see the screen from the kitchen and read subtitles, at all. When said huge TV turned out to have only a 20″ screen (it’s okay Laura, I don’t know how to measure TVs either, seriously, but I think it works on the diagonal) John took us on a family trip to Sam’s Club and bought his own birthday/Christmas present. Since that day, both Mom and Dad and John’s parents have offered us a new TV for Christmas.
I get it. They want to visit. But when they come, they want to be able to actually see their favorite TV shows without glasses. Until recently, John and I had always considered a TV a bit of a luxury, one which did not trump health insurance, for example. But alas. In the wake of new technology, it turns out affording a new TV was much less of a burden than originally expected. As it is, for now, we only need one TV. Which we have. So no TV this year.
Would it be weird to ask for a month of health insurance?
FROM: Claire (to Erica)
SUBJECT: RE: I have an idea of what I’m going to get you but is there anything you are absolutely dying for?
I don’t freaking know.
I think I need back surgery. I’m mildly freaking out right now.
Back to Christmas. Generally, I’ll just trust you. But here are some ideas:
We sort of wanted one of those small firepit thingy’s that go in the back yard and I kept waiting for them to go on sale but alas, never hit a price I wanted. So there’s that.
We need a minivan.
If we get a minivan, we might want some of those little DVD players to go inside it for long trips with our children who are television addicted in the back.
I’ve been wanting to make compost and thought that one of those compost tumblers might be cool. Have no idea where I’d put it. But if I had one, I’d figure it out.
Note: we do not need a snowblower. But John would love a leaf blower. But if that was our family gift I’d write a nasty blog post about you and tell John to go blow himself. Heh. Heh.
I’m still not sold on the Nook or Ereader, so don’t go there this year. Plus, I can’t find electronic books at used book stores.
Does that help at all?
I assume you are doing a Wait family gift, but if the mood strikes to get my kids something (this is not a hint, I swear, only if you want to) there are a few standby’s that you might run into: anything princess for either of them. Really. But especially Eliott. Santa outfits in size 2T or 5. Always classic. Christmas PJ’s in 2T and 5. I’m already on the hunt for these though. They’ve been a bit of a tradition here, and what can I say, I’m sort of sold on them and their one-night-a-year glory. Unlike every other holiday, I actually think Christmas PJ’s are cute.
Saturday morning cartoons have also embedded in my children an uncontrollable desire for Stompeez.
Oh. Here’s something. We have exactly one (1) steak knife, and we use it every night. It’s always fun to share, but you know, a little awkward when we entertain, which is why I always serve enchilladas or chili when we have people over.
To be honest, this year I’ve been so excited about my own personal Christmas shopping (which is practically done, by the way, thanks to Black Friday, and Craigslist last summer for the girls) that it has been really easy not to think about anything I really want or need. After waking up yesterday with a lower back pain that made movement almost impossible, I’m actually just really hoping for healing, a cure without surgery, or some really big clients in Wait Law’s immediate future. That, or Extreme Makeover Home Edition to come outfit my house in all new ergonomic furniture, taller counters, and a year’s subscription to a floatarium.
And finally, there’s this:
FROM: Mom and Dad
SUBJECT: RE: Stompeez
- there is a FREE duffle bag (only pay additional S&H), but there is no way to opt out of free bag
- S&H is $28.00 + $7.00 internet fee PER PAIR
- “Because of high demand, no guarantee for Christmas.”
That’s what you get when you let your kids watch Saturday morning cartoons. Not-so-subliminal messages of desire for $50 air-filled-unicorn slippers.