Tis the Season to be Clever: Holiday cheer isn’t always wrapped

Tis the Season to be Clever: Holiday cheer isnt always wrapped

by Joshua KullaStaff Writer

Whether your idea of holiday cheer is the ring of the cash register or being trampled by discount shoppers, it’s clear that Christmas shopping is a pretty big deal.

Most of us have at least one or two people in our lives worthy of gifts, the question of what to get that special someone is an unavoidable paradox.

If you’re facing the dilemma of not knowing what to buy, my first piece of advice would be to not ask a store clerk. Don’t listen to commercials, either-that’s how “they” get in your head.

Where does this leave the confused holiday shopper? The first resort would be one’s own sense of style. While less subliminal than the store clerk option, this choice depends on whether or not one has said sense of style to begin with.

Let’s shift our attention to the targets of our presents. For instance, one’s mom might enjoy cooking. One possible answer: “Paula Dean’s Christmas Guide to Frying a Turkey without Destroying the Neighborhood.”

We can do better. We’ve established that Mom likes to cook, so let’s make Christmas dinner with Mom, rather than putting an inanimate object in our place. That’ll fix her!

Let’s look at another route. Fortunately, our theoretical girlfriend/boyfriend likes poetry-this gives us a couple of viable paths.

The first requires a bit of theatrical ability and a willingness to get familiar with a poem. We should perform with the animation and inflection necessary to show that not only did we have the thoughtfulness to go after something our partner genuinely likes, but also that we care enough to make a good show of it.

The second might require some poetic ability. The idea is to hand-make a book of pieces of writing that your partner particularly likes.This is the sort of gift that the imagination can really run with. Even if you don’t fill the collection with your own work, you can always track down and include pieces from your partner’s favorite writers.

What’s more, you don’t have to make a book of poetry at all. The line of thinking I’m trying to arouse is one of hand-made bits of significance. The gift-giver without a lot of skill in small crafts can still follow this course by enlisting the creative talents of friends and family that can keep secrets.

Times like the one we’re about to enjoy (full of, if not warm, childhood memories, comfortable media stereotypes) are not about assessing one’s ability to buy.

In a given month, I can’t begin to afford all of the things that I want for myself and others, so why demand such a high ceiling when it comes to those we care about at Christmas? After all, the pleasure that is Christmas is not a cocktail of store-bought events, but a collection of small, personal enjoyments that will last long after the batteries run dead.