Saturday, November 29, 2008

The wish list that stole Christmas

When did Christmas become about getting exactly what you want? Years ago, everyone on our list received a special something. Then we limited the giving to a name draw. Then the name draw started coming with a wish list. Now we pretty much send someone exactly what they put on their damn list. Which begs the question - why are we exchanging gifts at all? Why don't we just send each other a card listing what we bought ourselves and be done with it.

Don't get me wrong, I love giving gifts. I actually enjoy the process of figuring out something special that someone would like and surprising them with it. I'll admit, sometimes it isn't easy. My sixty-seven year old father, for example can be a real challenge. One year out of shear desperation, I gave him gift certificates to the local car wash. He loved it. Granted, I am sure there have been a few misses, but it is a gift people, not a guaranteed box of happiness.

The worst part about it is how much parents are encouraging this behavior. When I owned my store, the mothers would sweep in followed by little Muffy MacDougal and demand that we take back the offensive pair of earrings, or get this - girlie writing pen, and give the little Muffster a credit so she could get what she really wanted. Excuse me? Muff doesn't use a pen? We also kept wish lists on file, so Momma MacDougal didn't have to waste her time returning the items later. I get that teenagers can be picky, but there is a point where the gift giving just completely loses its meaning when you buy every item on the list. This year, my adult friends and family are doing it too!

Unless you are sitting on Santa's lap or getting married, I won't be reviewing your list! Come on everybody - ban the wish list, and start being thoughtful again! 'Tis the season...

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