Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Christmas in July and Every Day

I think about Christmas all the time.

And, when I say all the time I mean ALL THE TIME. (Obviously, since here I am writing about it in July.) It's a constantly swirling thought in my head. Like a yuletide Tourette Syndrome. (No offense meant to folks with garden variety Tourette's.)

I'm always asking people, "What did you want for Christmas last year that you didn't get??" Sometimes, when I'm in my office interviewing someone who has applied to be a member of my staff, I'll throw that question in there just to see how a person handles it. Their answer speaks VOLUMES.

All year long, I keep a notebook of gift ideas for friends, family, and co-workers. If we've ever spoken, there's a page devoted to you in my Christmas notebook. Oh, yes. I guarantee it. If we're enemies, the list might have stuff on it like "Gas-X" or "air fresheners," but it's a personalized Christmas list, just the same.

If someone in the office happens to mention, "I like Dunkin' Donuts," that night I'll make a note of it--"Dunkin Donuts gift card for Aunt Shirley?" It's one of the last things I do before I go to bed. Every night. Maybe the person is someone I don't even plan to buy a Christmas gift for, but I record the information, just in case. If a someone ever asks me, "Do you have any gift ideas for so'n'so?" then all I have to do is open up the book. (Of course, very few people ask me for gift ideas and simply opt to give the gift of Omaha Steak, a perennial favorite.)

And, yes, I know that gift-giving is not what Christmas is all about...unless, of course, you're wrappin up some gold, frankincense, and myrhh. I get it.

Even though I've got six months of birthdays, anniversaries, and baby showers before Dec. 25 rolls around, I don't consult my gift diary for those events. The notebook is strictly for Christmas. You'd think I'd shop all year long, but I don't. I start sometime in November, whip myself into a frenzy, and then scale my list way back. Sometimes, I buy everyone the same thing--like Tupac CDs.

By the time Dec. 26 arrives, I've started a new notebook. Chronicling gift ideas--and thinking every night of the people I'd like to buy for--has somehow turned into more fun that actually shopping. I guess it really is the thought that counts.

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