We all know Santa's sleigh will be a little lighter this year, with the economy and whatnot, so you might as well throw away that wish list. Whatever's on it, you ain't gettin' it. But those of us who celebrate Christmas (i.e., consumers) will still feel the need to give gifts, even small ones.
To help buyers conserve their tight spending budgets and make every gift worth what little will be spent on it, I think it's time we all sit down to make our un-wish lists. That way, nobody wastes their limited funds on the inevitable unwanted presents just making a brief appearance before the Goodwill pile or the re-gifting closet. You know what I'm talking about: the stuff you get every year that makes you say, "You shouldn't have"—and you really mean it.
For me, my un-wish list starts with:
1. CLOTHES If you haven't realized by now that we have different tastes, why are we still exchanging gifts? My family learned early on that unwanted slacks and sweaters result in my honest opinion plastered across my face. Truly an unwelcome sight on a jolly Christmas morn. And yes, socks count.
2. SETS Of anything. If it's not good enough to be sold on its own, what makes you think it improves when it's grouped with even lamer products? There's a reason some items need incentives to be bought.
3. SCENTS This includes candles, bath beads, incense, soaps—anything that will invade the olfactory essence of my being or domicile. Are you saying I stink? Or is it that you think I'm a third-grade girl? I'll decide if I want my body or my house to smell like Stevie Nicks.
4. ELECTRONICS Don't annoy me with gadgets I don't need. For instance, a pocket-size digital recorder. ("Butter. Milk. Eggs.") I already carry a gadget that does this. I can also make calls from it and check my email. If you've found a small doodad that can hold pictures or calculate tips, I've got that covered as well. Just because someone made it doesn't mean anyone needs it.
(Side note: If you decide you're being generous by getting that off-brand big-ticket item that is such a great deal, you're not. You get what you pay for, and I don't want a Sorny plasma TV or a Magnetbox Blu-ray player that is mere hours away from being e-waste.)
5. CHRISTMAS-THEMED ITEMS Do I really need to explain this? OK, two words: Jingle Pig.
6. GAMES Have you seen my board-games collection? No, because it's in a closet gathering dust with the other re-gifting items. You may love your Game Night, but I don't care to waste precious TV-watching or web-surfing time getting to know my friends and family better. And I don't need the travel edition, either.
7. HOMEMADE CRAFTS So you made it yourself. Awesome—if you were my child or had any real talent. I like you, but I don't necessarily need your lopsided tea cozy or your kid's crayon Nativity scene framed in macaroni. Have you ever seen anything you made on display at my house? Well, you most definitely wouldn't if I were to actually let you visit.
8. CRAP Don't even think about getting me anything from Cracker Barrel. The only time those items are amusing or worthwhile is when I'm impatiently waiting to get my fried-okra fix. I have no use for a fiber-optic village of dancing kittens in gingham. You know that candy they don't make anymore? There's a reason they don't make it anymore.
What's that? A present? For me? Mind if I unwrap it? Why, bless your heart, a sequined Santa sweatshirt packaged with a Yankee Candle and tiddlywinks. Just leave the receipt on your way out. And enjoy that UT Vols Monopoly set I wrapped up specially, just for you.
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