I’m a horrible Christmas shopper.
You will never catch me standing in line on Black Friday waiting for some crazy savings.
In fact, I haven’t even started my shopping list.
No matter how many times I tell myself I’m going to start early, buy presents gradually and store them, it doesn’t happen.
This weekend I was reminded again that I need to get on it as I started getting random and not-so-subtle emails from my mother.
Frankly, they didn’t even border on subtle.
They consisted of one-to-two sentence emails asking what color dishes I still wanted and questioning me about adding to the set of my grandma’s vintage Pyrex mixing bowls.
Hmmm, I wonder what she’s getting me?
Scheduled gift-giving is difficult for me. It always seems that when I need to buy someone something, I have difficulty coming up with ideas.
The best, large, gift I ever gave was a charcoal smoker I got my dad when I was 11.
He still uses it to this day and is finally close to wearing it out. Best $50 I ever spent on him.
Most of my planned, larger gifts have been pretty hit-and-miss since then.
To me, it’s the random gifts that you come across and give for no reason that end up being the best.
And most times, it’s the small gifts that end up meaning the most.
Two of the best gifts I’ve ever given have been coffee mugs.
One was a Valentine’s Day mug I gave to my friend Kim (yes, the one who REALLY loves Christmas).
She uses that mug almost daily and routinely sends me pictures of it filled with coffee, sitting on her desk at work.
The other mug was one I found at random while waiting in line at Starbucks.
When I gave it to my friend, they were tickled to receive the random present.
It fit their personality perfectly, and they too use it almost daily.
Small gifts, yes, but treasured all the same.
— Megan Hansen is editor of The Whidbey Examiner. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org