I did little, if any posting about Christmas. Now that I am unloading the boxes and throwing away the various cardboard boxes and plastic-coated twist ties, I have a few comments I should have made earlier. My kids received the usual assortment of toys ranging from "How did I ever live without this" to "What is it?" Having had the opportunity to remove each and every one of these toys from their boxes lately, I realized that shoplifting must be a huge problem for stores today. Each and every toy had at between two and twelve plastic coated twisty-things to keep the toy in the box. Their length ranged between four and eight inches. Removal of said twisty-things is hindered by children screaming for their toys. That might have been me scream...I blocked the bad memories. I got quite a few gift cards, which are great if you can coordinate everyone to give you gift cards to the same place. Instead I end up with several gift cards to different places, all of which manage to be $20-50 short of the amount I need to get what I really want. Instead I end up spending my own money to "complete the gift." Next year, I'm going to promote Visa giftcards. Even worse then the under-charged gift card is the totally worthless gift. One relative drew my name for the family exchange. Recognizing that she didn't know me well enough to get a gift for me, she called and asked what I would like. It was a bad time (read: child 1 steal toy from child 2) so I said I would have to get back to her, but I did like to read and books were usually a good gift. I returned her call a couple of weeks later, with some titles in mind. "No need. I got you something that you'll really like." Great, I'm thinking. It was a collection of soap and lotion. You know the kind, the generic brand name that leaves you dry and scratchy. To make it worse, I have a husband that is extremely allergic to smelly bath products. Before I purchase anything that I haven't ever used before, I run a "sniff test" by him. As this lady was family on his side, who comments when his allergies are bothering by, she must have had a brain fart. I can't think of any other reason for her to give me something like that. Except that it is the very sort of thing that she loves. Which leads me to another awful gift -- give what you secretly want. The guilty party is penning the very words you read. There's a book that I love, that I gave as a gift to someone may or may not like it. But I loved it so much and it was such a beautiful story that I couldn't help it. While I'm sure she will like it, I'm not confident that she will want it for Christmas. So I paired it with a giftcard. The amount is probably insufficient for what she'll want to buy, but hey, it's Christmas. What would it be like without some bad gift-giving?