Peg Kaplan of What if? expounded on my ideas regarding the materialism of Christmas. (Now that is what I call some linkage!) Her perspective is unique, and worth taking time to read. I've thought more on this idea as I find myself coming up short to pay my bills this month (see this post for the reason for my shortage). Truth is - I don't enjoy getting gifts that much. Sure, when your special someone surprises you with that one thing you've been talking/salivating over for months, it is wonderful. But as a general rule, I much prefer the giving over the getting. And I like to buy things for myself when I really need/want them, rather than rely on someone else. Perhaps it is my desperation to maintain my independence at all costs. Nonetheless, that is who I am. Truth of the matter is - I'm broke. Christmas shopping has come to a screeching halt for me. My new job doesn't offer a paycheck for 4 weeks, and my moonlight scandal a la mailbox has left me bereft of funds. So I find myself figuring out what I can do for people with what time I have left in the day. Perhaps that is the better gift. And more than that....isn't it fun to surprise someone with something when they are least expecting it? On Christmas, there is this common expectation, and as we open one gift, we are already moving onto the next and not really appreciating the value of the one we are putting aside. My boyfriend has his eye on a set of DeWalt drill bits - I noticed they have a full set with case and accoutrement at the store. I was going to make that one of his Christmas presents....however, I think I will wait until January or February (that's a romantic Valentine's day present for a guy, right?) and leave them on his front door. It will make him smile and surprise him....which is much more satisfying than stressing myself out over Christmas. If you find yourself in my position over Christmas, or perhaps just irritated with all the crap that surrounds this special holiday, you might want to try just keeping a mental list of what your loved ones' desire....and then spend the next year fulfilling those wishes and watching their faces light up time and again - instead of those thoughtful gifts getting lost in the hullabaloo on Christmas morning.