Tis Better to Give Than Receive…

I love Christmas, make no mistake there. Christmas is a thing for my family. After my grandparents retired from the real world, they opened a Christmas store. And now…well, the decorating may be just a wee bit out of hand. And we may have turned a little snobby in what decorations/candles/wrapping paper we use. But whatever…In addition to the gazillion trees and lighted villages and Santas, there’s the cookies and the food and the family and the stories and the laughter and Christmas carols and church and the movies/TV specials…and the presents that make Christmas.

I love getting people presents. There is something supremely satisfying upon coming up with the perfect present for someone. It didn’t used to be that way…when I was little, it was the easiest thing in the world to come up with a giant list for Santa of stuff I wanted. And now, it’s gotten a lot harder without toys in my life. So I sit around trying to come up with things for other people.

Problem is, OTHER people try and do the same for me. And I get pestered with questions that I can’t answer. Or…one question in particular that I can’t answer: what do I want for Christmas?

There’s the non-tangeble list of things I want: a job, a relationship…well, that’s the extent of that. And there’s the more semi-practical list, things I need and feel that I should get for Christmas because I don’t have a cashflow of any kind: clothes, movies and CDs I can’t otherwise afford. Only problem is, in my family, that doesn’t count (well, not all of it). And my parents always try and get us something special. Which leads me to the last list: things I don’t need but can’t stop dreaming of. And that’s the list that used to be the easiest but now leads to internal conflict all the way up to opening presents. Yeah, I would really like, no, love an iPad. Or an iPhone. Or an updated, larger iPod touch (I swear I’m not an Apple fangirl…I’m writing this on an HP laptop…) But I can’t justify any of them and thinking of getting any of them leads to this giant pit of guilt in my stomach.

Which is why making out my list for Santa is now the most stressful thing about Christmas for me. I’d rather try and come up with presents for the hardest people to shop for (some of whom I’ve had presents for since April) than pick out presents for me. Is this a sign of growing up? Or just my extremely quirky self?

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