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 gatheringÖ
I canít 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 itís 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 sheís already read the print versions of Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy numerous times. (Bummer!)
But then I thought of a book Iíd 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 brotherís house.
Ha! I was doing my happy dance for sureÖ
But it never ends, thereís always something else to worry about. For example, every year before Christmas thereís a big family party at my wifeís parentís 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 ďDirty SantaĒ (Iíd 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 youíve 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 #1ís 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 goesÖ
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 Iím concerned Iím 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 Iíve come up with something Ė a Petís Eye View Digital Camera for $49.99 from ThinkGeek.com (Iíve made an executive decision that postage doesnít 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 petís collar and leave it running all day.
When you feel like it, you plug it directly into your computer (after removing it from your petís 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 ďAh Ha! So it was YOU who threw up in my sneakers!Ē
Actually, I think this is the perfect gift. Everyone in my wifeís family has dogs and/or cats. It doesnít matter who wins it, because if itís a guy then his wife will ultimately claim it as her right as the head of the householdÖ 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).