Christmas Q&A

3 Dec

You provide the A.

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.)

2. How likely is it you will get what you want?

3. Would you have to buy it yourself?  Or specifically and explicitly request it from someone?

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?)

5. Are these gifts ever surprises?  Or have you provided each other with specific and explicit lists?

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?”

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?

7. Do you find this completely pointless and/or irritating?

8. What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?

9. Was it a surprise or did you purchase it yourself?

9 3/4. What is the worst Christmas present you have ever received? (And none of that it’s-the-thought-that-counts junk.)

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.)

I want to know!


17 Responses to “Christmas Q&A”

  1. shazbraz December 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    1. An iPod Touch
    2.Ummm…pretty likely.
    3. Already bought it.
    4. Sometimes. Usually. Sort of.
    5. Not usually surprises.
    5.5. Yes, and therefore I usually do.
    6. Yes to the buying, no to the wrapping.
    7. Christmas gifts? sometimes. This questionnaire? No.
    8. Purple velour shirt from my older brother when I was….probably 11?
    9. Surprise.
    9.75. Little Ziggy figurine holding a trophy that said “second place” from school gift exchange in 4th grade.
    10. No

  2. cheryl December 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    1. My blog printed out in hard copy form. Well, the last three years. I have the first two already. I also want some boots. And sassy, sexy high heels.

    2. Pretty good.

    3. Probably and ABSOLUTELY YES.

    4. Yes, we do. And no, I don’t. 😉

    5. Occasionally, they are surprises. The older we get, the less surprise-like they are.

    5 1/2. YESSIREE!

    6. Yeppers

    7. Sometimes. Sometimes I don’t care because while I’m buying the stuff I want, I feel happy I’m getting guilt-free stuff I want. But that’s not as often as the incredible let-down I feel every time the eternal companion, who bought/created the best gifts while we were dating/engaged/first married, doesn’t know how to surprise me anymore. I do it to him all the time, why is it so hard to put some thought into something for me??

    8. A new bed. Well, that cool foam mattress thing that goes on top. With new sheets!

    9. It was a surprise, and that’s one of the reasons I loved it so much.

    9 3/4. A winter coat that had shoulder pads up to the clouds. That I still feel I should wear. Occasionally. Which is okay since I took the shoulder pads out. And it’s a fancy-schmancy coat, so I only have to wear it when I’m fancy-schmancy. Which I’m usually not.

    10. Yes. Calendars, oranges, and chocolate.

  3. evitafjord December 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    1. New jeans; a pasta roller thingy, either manual or attachment for my Kitchenaid.
    2. Already bought and worn; maybe if I tell my mom that’s what I want.
    3. Yes and yes.
    4. Depends on the budget. Usually though we shop together for each of us (ie, we’re out shopping for the kids and see something one of us wants, so we buy it) or for something for the whole family. and NO THANK YOU, one is plenty.
    5. Rarely a surprise. Actually, he often surprises me with stuff that I didn’t actually ask for or realize that I wanted – like the latest book from my favorite author that I didn’t realize was out yet or some other thing I mentioned in passing – but for the things on my list, I usually end up just buying them. I’m rarely able to pull off a surprise because he’s much more likely than I am to just buy what he wants.
    5a. No, I don’t mind.
    6. Yes.
    7. I’m fine with that, see above where he’s very hard to shop for. I think I might have used to get annoyed, because that’s like totally not how I grew up, but now I’m like, eh, whatever floats your boat.
    8. The best would probably be my mother’s ring, I think that was at Christmas. My memory is a sieve, so I have a hard time remembering (anything) what present was given when by whom.
    9. I think it was a sieve, I mean surprise. See above re: my memory.
    10. Everyone always gets pajamas on Christmas eve. And almost always a new book.

    • evitafjord December 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

      I should probably note too that my love language is not gifts, though my husband’s probably is, or at least was until he married me and I suck at gifts, so he had to change because we got married long before I took the love language quiz last week. So, anyway, gifts aren’t as important to me as whatever that hanging out together language is.

  4. madhousewife December 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    1. I have had a really hard time coming up with something that I want for Christmas. Something that isn’t books, because my husband knows that I still haven’t read most of the books I’ve bought in the last couple years. (But I love books! I do read them…eventually.) I have reached that sad and sorry stage of life where what I want the most cannot be purchased with money. It’s a problem. The only material item I’ve been able to come up with–and you’re going to laugh at this–is socks. Nice socks, not just regular socks. I enjoy a good pair of socks.

    2. I will probably get some socks for Christmas. I don’t know if I’ll get any books. 😦

    3. I have a wish list on Amazon, so if someone wants to buy me a book, he’ll know what I want. Everyone already knows I like socks.

    4. Yes, we exchange gifts. Bonus: I only have a spouse. (Less expensive that way.)

    5. Sometimes.

    5 1/2. No.

    6. No.

    7. I would find it kind of sad and wouldn’t feel very Christmasy about it. But I always ask him what he wants for Christmas, and he always asks me, and I don’t think that’s pointless. I think that’s helpful.

    8. Probably the iPod. (Which I did specifically ask for, and my husband was delighted that I did so because he could finally buy me a “big” present that he knew I’d like.)

    9. It was not a surprise because I did ask for one and figured he would buy it for me, but I did not buy it myself.

    9 3/4. I can’t really remember any bad Christmas gifts. Not that I’ve never received bad Christmas gifts, but I guess I just re-gift them and forget about them. Or put them in the garage. Whatever. Ha!

    10. Not really. I’ve tried to have a tradition where I bought each of my kids a book every Christmas. (Hey, Mom’s a writer, Mom likes books–why shouldn’t she buy everyone a book for Christmas? Mom’s gift-giving made easy!) But I haven’t had a very good track record buying books for PZ, who is very picky about her books, and MB has bought himself a lot of books recently (he’s like me), so I don’t know if I’ll do books this year or not. Okay, now I’m sad. I guess I will buy them books after all.

  5. tawnya December 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    1. This year? I’m not sure. Putting together my list was brutal. I have no “must have” which is odd for me. So I randomly put a bunch of etsy kinda stuff on my list. And Frye boots.

    2. The boots? Not at all. Over budget. The other etsy kinda stuff? Pretty good.

    3. Nope. Isaac does all my shopping. I provide a list as a general idea.

    4. Yes.

    5. Specific – long – lists, but always surprises both from the list and not. Except Isaac guesses EVERY year what he’s getting. Or suddenly, on Dec 20, “needs” whatever I planned to get him. Not that I’m bitter.

    5 1/2. No. I view it as managing expectations.

    6. Nope.

    7. Survey? Nope. I’m avoiding a stupid argument with it, so I view it as maritally helpful…

    8. Um…


    9 3/4. Um…

    (9 7/8: I’m clearly not remembering ANY gifts, so maybe all of mine are middle of the road I don’t inspire blah?)

    10. I give Isaac a can of cashews every year.

  6. bythelbs December 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    Thanks for the responses, ladies. Interesting. Very interesting. I’ll give you my own answers and comment on yours this weekend. Or perhaps Monday. Or maybe Tuesday. I make no promises. But I did/do very much enjoy hearing from all of you. Have a lovely weekend!

  7. madhousewife December 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Re bad Christmas gifts: I have a friend who received a girdle from her MIL for Christmas.

    • tawnya December 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

      Oh dear heaven on earth!

  8. Patience December 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    1. I want the Le Creuset cookware set that comes with a Dutch oven, stockpot, saute pan, casserole, sauce pan.


    3. Yes

    4. Yes

    5. Sometimes.

    5 1/2 Yes.

    6. No.

    7. NA

    8. When I was 15, my grandmother gave me my great-grandfather’s desk. Up to that point, I’d been doing all my homework on my knees, with the books on my bed. It’s a sweet little antique desk. I still have it.

    9. It was a surprise.

    9.75 The matching bright yellow “Isaac Mizrahi” cardigan and matching knit gloves from Target. The gloves looked exactly like dishwashing gloves.

    10. I usually put the same fancy lollipops from a local boutique in my kids’ stockings.

  9. Amanda D December 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    1 – I want an electric pencil sharpener, mixing bowls and wooden spoons. Exciting stuff, I tell you.
    2 – Pretty Likey
    3 – I gave the husband a list.
    4 – We exchange gifts. We tried it with out once and it wasn’t so fun.
    5 – Typically I surprise him because he doesn’t give me many ideas. Sometimes I’m surprised, sometimes not. And that’s totally okay with me.
    10 – Yes, my kids always get pajamas and a book. They always get gum and fruit in their stocking too. I used to get my husband a handheld electronic game too but not anymore.

  10. Alison Wonderland December 6, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Question the first: It depends on who’s asking. If it’s Bill Gates or Micheal Jordan then I want my house paid off or a million dollars or… If you have cash to burn then I would like tuition money or a new iTouch (one with a little bit of memory would be good) or money for books for next semester or a gift certificate to somewhere to eat or socks or…

    2. I pretty much always get something that I want.

    3. Some things I buy myself, I do have a running list of things that I want (You know how you’re at the store and you see something and you think “I want that” but you don’t buy it and then about a week before your birthday or Christmas someone asks you what you want and you can’t think of a thing? well I can answer that question because I keep a list.) and Shaun checks that periodically.

    4. We do exchange gifts but they’re not always big things, a book, movie, something like that is fine. (I have a spouse and several other significant people. Does that count?)

    5. Despite the previously mentioned list, the gifts are sometimes surprises. (Or it’s something off the list but I don’t know what therefore making it a surprise.)

    5 1/2. I do think that (although my expletive is generally not ding-dang).

    6. Surprisingly no. He has bought things that he said could be his Christmas gift but he’s not too good at waiting (or he would have just made a mental note and told me about the item) and he usually wants to play with it now so he has no interest in its being wrapped and kept away from him for whatever the length of time.

    7. No. Actually I almost didn’t do it. (It looked like a lot of work and I’m not up to a lot of work today.) But I find that I’ve kind of enjoyed it.

    8. Shaun got me the BBC Pride and Prejudice a few years ago which was a complete surprise (and let’s face it those are the best kinds of gifts). That may not actually be the best one but it’s the only one I can think of right now.

    9. see above.

    9 3/4. I can’t think of any. That’s not to say that I’ve never gotten a bad gift, just that nothing stands out. My MIL does have a tendency to give me knick-knacky things (she’s very knick-knacky, I am not) which I don’t love and part of me thinks “don’t you know me at all?” but …

    10. My kids get pajamas and Christmas ornaments every year.

    Now you know.

  11. bythelbs December 6, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Shaz—Gotta love grade school gift exchanges. I remember in 3rd grade some kid getting a picture frame for our gift exchange. Just your basic faux wood picture frame. I think he would have preferred your 2nd place Ziggy. I can’t remember what I got that year.

    Cheryl—I hope you get your sassy/sexy high heels! Buy them!

    Evita—My love language is not gifts either. It’s service (or whatever the official category is). Or maybe it’s words of affirmation. Although, I do tend to stress about the gifts I give. (And I’d like to come over for some homemade pasta sometime.)

    Mad—I think the girdle could easily make the list of “unpardonables”. Yeesh!

    Patience—I love the desk gift! I love almost anything I have that has some history in my family, even if it has no real value other than sentimental.

    Amanda—I hope all your Christmas wishes come true! I love my electric pencil sharpener, though I don’t think it was a gift. But it would have been a good one if it had been.

    Alison—If I had cash to burn, I would totally buy you some socks.

  12. Michael December 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    1. Real insurance. Right now, the pharmacy tells me “This will be cheaper if we run it *off* the insurance” and the doctor tells me “This wouldn’t be an issue at all if you were on Medicaid”.
    2. Highly unlikely. Such fun working for a TARP.
    3. I’d have to change jobs.
    4. Yes.
    5. Yes, there have been occasional surprises.
    5.5. Yes, and I have done so. Or told the wife what would be nice, described where it is located in the store, and provided sufficient cash to get said item.
    6. No, because that thing would lessen us.
    7. Darn straight.
    8. A music program for the Commodore 64. I got a rain check ticket for it on Christmas morning. It was about the only thing I’d requested, I wasn’t sad or disappointed when it didn’t appear, but it was the realization that Mom had gone to at least ten stores looking for the exact software I’d wanted.
    9. I’d requested it, but how it came about was a total surprise.
    9.75. A video rental that had to be returned that night. (Gift exchange. “Here, we watched this already, so you can watch it and take it back….”) But, another year, I had to go to a work gift exchange and gave a sterile, in-the-wrapper, military surplus, field-use stomach pump. And a niece once got a “Cassanova” action figure from me….
    10. My dad always gave orange candy slices. The wife gives toothbrushes. And I have to say I’m liking the Archee McPhee boxes. Those are just nine pounds of awesome.

    • bythelbs December 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

      Wow-that rental movie’s a real gem. I enjoyed reading your responses.

  13. madhousewife December 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    I’m totally wishing you happy birthday on your blog before anyone else can! Happy birthday!

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