One of the problems at Christmas is coming up with the perfect gift for a particular person or for a particular occasion, such as a family gathering…
I can’t remember if I previously mentioned the fact that I was rather pleased with myself when I found a perfect Christmas gift for my dear old mom in England (if I did, please bear with me, because things are rather hectic at the moment).
My mom already has all of the ornaments and knick-knacks she wants, so every year it’s a challenge to find something she will actually enjoy. I had thought of buying her some audio books of her favorite authors (she loves historical drama), but she’s already read the print versions of Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy numerous times. (Bummer!)
But then I thought of a book I’d read a few months ago called The Silver Pigs, which is about a private investigator in Rome circa 70 AD. So I bounced over to Amazon in the UK, found an unabridged audio version featuring a cast of thousands, and requested that it be sent to my little brother’s house.
Ha! I was doing my happy dance for sure…
But it never ends, there’s always something else to worry about. For example, every year before Christmas there’s a big family party at my wife’s parent’s house with all of her brothers and sisters and their spouses and kids and so forth.
One of the things we do is to play a game called “Dirty Santa” (I’d never heard of this until I came to America). The idea is that everyone purchases and wraps one present that we take to the party. At some stage during the evening we all draw numbers (the trick is remembering which number you drew after you’ve had a few drinks).
When we start to play, the person with number #1 gets to pick one of the presents and open it. Next, the person with number #2 gets to pick one of the remaining presents and open that. Person #2 then gets to decide whether he/she wishes to keep the present they picked, or if they wish to exchange it with person #1’s gift. Similarly, person #3 can elect to keep the gift they picked, or they can opt to swap with person #1 or person #2. And so it goes…
This is just a bit of fun. It passes the time. It means that you only have to purchase a single gift. And as far as I’m concerned I’m more than happy to play anything along so long as the drinks keep on coming (grin).
The problem comes in choosing a gift to take, because the rules are that this must be $50 or less and it must be suitable for anyone there. Well, I think I’ve come up with something – a Pet’s Eye View Digital Camera for $49.99 from ThinkGeek.com (I’ve made an executive decision that postage doesn’t count).
This little beauty is a tad over two inches in diameter and weighs in at a little over four ounces. The idea is that you set it to take a picture every 1, 5, or 15 minutes, then you attach it to your pet’s collar and leave it running all day.
When you feel like it, you plug it directly into your computer (after removing it from your pet’s collar, of course -- I now have an image of our dog, Henri, with his face pressed up against the computer screen), upload the images, and then say something like “Ah Ha! So it was YOU who threw up in my sneakers!”
Actually, I think this is the perfect gift. Everyone in my wife’s family has dogs and/or cats. It doesn’t matter who wins it, because if it’s a guy then his wife will ultimately claim it as her right as the head of the household… plus they can subsequently occupy themselves sharing pictures on Facebook and suchlike.
All that remains now is for me to bask in the glow of a job well done (grin).