The holidays are usually a fun time. It is nice to recognize seasons with different decorations around the house. Holiday parties are usually well attended and it is nice to see the buzz in the malls. Religious overtones aside, I typically enjoy the holidays for the time off of work and getting together with family. However, there is also the gift giving to contend with.
In addition to getting stuff for direct family, we now have to get stuff for the day care employee and house cleaning staff. My wife also shops for a lot of her colleagues. Fortunately there is usually a person in my office to spearhead gift buying for administrative staff so I just need to pony up some cash. Several organizations also sponsor giving trees. If you also include the postal employees and trash collection crew it turns into a lot of holiday errands to consider everybody.
Interestingly my direct family is often tough to shop for. While I would like to get something memorable, it is often hard to do that and stay on a budget. Sometimes it is tough just to come up with ideas. I could not come up with anything to get my wife from our Anniversary in 2008 through her birthday in 2009. That amounts to 5 missed gift giving opportunities. I thought I would eventually make up for it with some nice jewelry or something else, but even that is difficult to deliver on. We now have two kids and don’t have many dress-up occasions. Fortunately the girls are easy to shop for. I can probably get away with a trip to the home furnishing section at Walmart and get a variety of Tupperware and utensils for them to play with.
Personally I have often been pleased with getting a nice big ticket item every few years. In 2006, I got a nice watch that I have been very happy with. My next big ticket item may be a new bicycle, but I am not sure when the purchase opportunity will present itself. In the meanwhile, my wife does like to recognize the holidays with gifts. Last year, she got me a sound bar for our television which was a nice treat. This year I feel harder to shop for, as I am more interested in clothes and custom items.
I am thankful that our home is happy and loving. The gift of good health is invaluable and often taken for granted.