Question the first: What do you want for Christmas? (And none of this world peace-lose 30 pounds-kids who don’t fight crap. Something that can be actually purchased because, after all, that’s what Christmas is all about. JK.)
A: Photography classes. Chuck got me a big, fancy camera for our anniversary, and I’ve been reading books about it and using it a little, but I think a few photography classes would help.
2. How likely is it you will get what you want?
A: Not likely. I don’t know when I would take them. Our family plate is currently fuller than Uncle Larry’s tray at the all-you-can-eat Jumbo Buffet.
3. Would you have to buy it yourself? Or specifically and explicitly request it from someone?
A: In this case, I would definitely have to buy them myself.
4. Do you and your spouse and/or significant other traditionally exchange gifts? (Bonus follow up question: Do you have a spouse and a significant other?)
A: Yes, though occasionally we confine our gifts to stocking stuffers when we’ve bought a big family gift or something. (Bonus: I have many significant others, including all of you, of course.)
5. Are these gifts ever surprises? Or have you provided each other with specific and explicit lists?
A: Chuck has managed to surprise me on occasion. We don’t often make lists, per se, but we will casually mention something or make suggestions to each other. I’m not against the listing/suggesting. The surprise factor doesn’t make or break my holiday, though it is occasionally nice. As long as it’s a good surprise.
5 1/2. Do you ever think “If I have to provide such specific instruction, I may as well just buy my own ding-dang gift?”
A: Sometimes. A couple of years I made wish lists on Amazon, and I ended up getting everything on the list–nothing less, nothing more–which was nice, I guess, except it seemed kind of like cheating that all he had to do was hit the “add to cart” button and call it good. Occasionally, I like to pretend there is some extra thought involved.
6. Has your spouse and/or significant other ever purchased him/herself his/her own gift and then suggested you wrap it up and put it under the tree?
A: Chuck does this all the time. Suggests it, I mean. I’ve never been able to see the point of wrapping up a gift when you both already know what it is. My wrapping time is precious, people. Precious! I don’t need to be spending an extra 20 minutes on the mister’s self-purchased presents just so he can feign surprise the next day. For whose sake is this performance anyway? The children’s? Because I don’t think they give a (insert something whimsically insignificant and not too offensive here), do you?
7. Do you find this completely pointless and/or irritating?
A: First, I’d like to thank all of you who assumed I was talking about the survey and answered in the negative. That was very kind of you. But I was actually talking about the suggestion to wrap presents your spouse purchased for themselves. And in case you couldn’t tell from my last response, yes, I find it completely pointless and/or irritating. Mostly and.
8. What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?
A: A clean bathroom on Christmas Eve. Yes, I know this is dangerously close to falling under that world peace/lose 20 lbs crap category, but truly, I cannot think of a more appreciated gift. I’m pretty sure I can count on one woodshop teacher’s hand the number of times Chuck has cleaned our bathroom since we’ve been married, so this was a big freaking deal. (BTW, he does plenty of other household chores, just not bathrooms, in case you were getting some bunching action in the pantal region.)
9. Was it a surprise or did you purchase it yourself?
A: A total surprise. A Christmas miracle, if you will, and like most miracles, was never to be repeated. Yet. Though I would gladly have paid for it, too.
9 3/4. What is the worst Christmas present you have ever received? (And none of that it’s-the-thought-that-counts junk.)
A: Wild Hogs on DVD. Previously viewed. What. The. Frick. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume there was no thought beyond, “Oh crap! It’s Christmas!” At least I certainly hope not. Because if there was some actual thought involved and that’s what he came up with… (He has since apologized. Numerous times.)
10. Do you have any traditional gifts? (e.g., every year my kids get a toothbrush in their stocking, a new calendar and a book. Every year.)
A: The toothbrushes are a carry over tradition from my childhood. Every year we got an apple in the toe, an orange in the heel, mixed nuts in their shells and a toothbrush. Stocking filler. We knew it. My mom knew it. But it was tradition. I think we also got some candy and a couple other thisses and thats, but I have zero recollection of any specific items other than the apple, orange, nuts and toothbrush. Our kids also usually get pajamas and an ornament, and Chuck usually gets pistachios (shelled).