Shopping season? Mais oui!
Yes, I realize we’re still nibbling our turkey leftovers, but I admit I’m contemplating the giving season. I’ve surrendered to a modest amount of virtual shopping in the past days, and this morning I was recalling the best gifts ever.
Naturally, I have a few items snow-shoeing their way through my morning musings, as I picture days gone by and glorious gifts I can still remember.
I have a recollection of waking to an antique dollhouse in the living room – mid-19th century in worn paint, with a small front porch and a tiny iron bench. I suppose I was six or seven at the time, and that one object was thrilling and much cherished.
I still have it. I still adore it.
Those were the days when a single well-considered gift was the totality of what we anticipated. And we were very pleased with that!
Precious Possessions, Little Luxuries
As an adult, my most precious possessions are what my children have made for me – drawings, sculptures, vases, painted pots and other projects. Both have also given me books at various times, which I adore. (What’s not to love about kids who give you books?)
Romantic tokens? (Can you spell luscious lingerie for her? Perhaps equally enticing lingerie for her – for him? I wouldn’t say no to Simone Perele or that Lise Charmel Sweet Cheetah number!)
There was a beau long long ago who managed to choose the perfect baubles – earrings usually – a little funky and very much my style. But it was his thoughtfulness that always touched me – the fact that he asked what I might want, or was attentive enough to make a reasonable guess.
What about you? Your best gift ever? Was it something of the hand, or a little luxury you never expected?
By the way, did you know that you can try to match the personality of the man or woman in your life to the tokens of your affection?
In addition to shopping by personality, the site I just referenced offers other criteria including age. I bristle at that approach, personally, as what interested me at 16 still interests me, though certainly my preoccupations are broader than when I was a teen. I’d like to think that 70 I will still enjoy what fascinates me at 50, though practically speaking, I don’t need or desire some of the material things that are important fresh out of college or when setting up house.
Might we say that life stage plays into what we want and what we need, rather than chronological age?
As for those best gifts that are suggested?
When searching for ideas, I find that visiting retail sites can trigger ideas – everything from wine of the month clubs to small (but useful) kitchen contraptions.
Then there’s that Kindle (for those of us who haven’t yet entered the current decade) – but – I admit that this caught my fancy, and I only wish this book had been on the market when my little devils (angels) were refusing to permit a decent night of zzzzs!
Go the F**k to Sleep. It certainly seems like a perfect (irreverent, realistic, hysterical) offering to a weary parent of any age.
For the men, gadgets, gizmos, and tools remain ever popular. Are we surprised? I know one of the best gifts my older son ever received was a Leatherman – a tool-gadget that he considers a must, given his constant fixing and tinkering tendencies.
And what about this cute flash drive? It would make the (young) men in my life chuckle, and it’s useful. Then again, I know a few slightly older men who wouldn’t mind a car. A nice, shiny, brand new Mini in British racing green (or is that the Jag?), though my preference is red.
Hélas, no cars in the UnBudget. Perhaps a nice Matchbox car? They were classic, and I still adore them along with other classics like Legos and Crayolas, for kids of all ages and certainly both sexes.
Incidentally, the Gifts.com site and their personality quiz is amusing. I tried it on myself, and it turns out I’m a combo Super Mom-Trendanista-Intellectual. Do you think my selection of leather stilettos played a role in the “Trendanista” designation?
Come on. Admit it. These are irresistible! Hot! To swoon for! But I can’t find them anywhere on the web. (Hellooooo? Might someone know who makes these heavenly heels?)
Other than that? Other than coveting these shoes?
I think the best gift ever is to do something for someone else. (Don’t you love it when someone does something for you – from the heart?)
I’m asking Santa for a few well directed dollars to the Ashley Kidney Cutie Fund.
The Giving Season
Yes, I’m persistent. (I prefer to think of it as determined.)
And no, I’m no saint. I simply recognize that’s there’s really nothing I need. Other than wanting my boys around for the holiday and delighting in their laughter (and that of their friends), there’s far more pleasure in giving than receiving, so to me – giving where needed is receiving.
Other acts of giving that are sure to be remembered?
- Visit your grandmother who misses you. Stay for hours and share a cup of tea.
- Stop by your neighbor’s house with homemade cookies or pumpkin bread. The neighbor who seems distracted or worried or lonely.
- Write a letter to an old friend. A real letter. By hand.
- Volunteer somewhere and read to children or older adults.
- Step outside your own head! (Something I don’t do often enough myself, and I’m always glad when I do.)
Have a snowball fight with your kids. Make music. Make a mitzvah. And if you’re lucky enough to be with someone you love – make love.
‘Tis the season – for connections over connectivity. Aren’t connections the best gift ever?
As usual – no compensation was received for anything mentioned here. And by the way – can someone tell me who makes those dynamite stilettos?