Posted on November 23, 2012
Posted by John Scalzi
Here’s a link to a post I wrote five years ago, which is still my general feeling today:
What I Want for Christmas: Not a Damn Thing.
Well, this year you’ll get your wish, John. You’ll get nothing from me ;-)
I wouldn’t mind some flight time on a jet pack, but I don’t think anyone lets you rent those things.
I think you’ll be getting a few cents (due to royalties) from my pocketbook – but then that’s not really a gift :)
Has it already been five years? Whoa…
What I want for Christmas is to buy my brother, who was very badly injured in a traffic accident, any fucking thing he wants or needs. Very possibly this will include paying the vet’s bill for his cat. That will make a merry Christmas for me.
What I’ve seen some friends do for their SO is give them, not stuff, but an experience. (Minds out of the gutter people, please). One friend’s boyfriend took him to a gun range for an afternoon of shooting. Another took his girlfriend out on an expedition up the Outer Banks to see the wild horses, which she’d always wanted to do. Stuff like that.
If I want it and can afford it, I’ll buy it. If I want it and can’t afford it, there’s no way I’d feel comfortable letting someone buy it for me. I’ll accept token gifts like a book , but if you’re spending a lot of money you’re doing it wrong. If you want to blow a big wad of cash to show you care about me, I know a lot of people who need stuff, and you can buy them stuff or give them money and say it came from me. I know someone who could really use a new wheelchair, and I’m going to use Xmas to see if I can’t raise a couple of hundred bucks towards it.
A former partner’s father was partial to Irish whiskey, which made him a) easy to shop for and b) genuinely pleased to open my gift. In a room full of people being carefully polite about their gifts, It was nice to see at least one person who had got exactly what they wanted.
I take it you want the 2013 Mustang this year?
Money works for me. Money and food. And books.
@Greg – These are all over the Florida coast.
I like gifting food to people, and naturally tell them some of the best things I can receive are recipes.
Same idea, something personalized.
I say “nothing, thanks,” for round one. Round two is “donation to Heifer International or Doctors w/o Borders”. Round three is a carton of smokes and a bottle of Bushmill’s. Most folks end up in round 3. Dunno why. Much rather they would save it for themselves.actually. Like John, I’m an adult, so I can buy my own shit now, iffn I want.
The only thing I want for Xmas is a magic fairy who will pay my property taxes for me. Otherwise, I’m good.
I got what I wanted a couple of weeks ago.
I strained the household budget a couple months ago by buying myself this reconditioned laptop, thus saving myself from computer-death and exile from here, Making Light, and my fanfic-writing-posting-and-getting-reviewed addiction. That counts as my next Christmas and birthday present from everybody.
Was the motivation behind the rant about the possibility of legions of fans getting you hundreds of pounds of fruitcake? Or does this apply to all family members? Athena can’t get you a Christmas gift, or a birthday gift? That’s pretty grinchy …. and a little sad. I adore gifts from my daughters, always have.
Did you ever end up getting that Bullit Mustang?
For years, my husband’s family has done the Secret Santa one gift thing, but this year, have decided on no gifts for adults, get the kids something if you want. Just the meal and time together will be enjoyed greatly. It’s a rough year as my husband’s mother, the matriarch who glued the family together, died this year. The time we spend with the family has always been more treasured than the gifts.
mintwich – you are my transatlantic gift twin. nothing/development donation/smokes or booze or cheese. but oddly i still get cardigans and novelty mugs and tofu cookbooks instead.
Over the years I’ve managed to train most of me would-be gift givers to either send me a card or donate to a worthy charity if they absolutely must gift. I’m gift-repellant for all your reasons plus one you evidently don’t have. I’m what could be called an anti-pack-rat. If I don’t use it, I don’t own it. I’m not a warehouse. I dream of the day when replicators obviate the need to for semi-permanent material possessions. That said, I’ve never had a heart cold and dark enough to send gifts back, so there is a single box in my garage that holds all the unwanted gifts. I think of it kind of like a nuclear containment silo, can’t just toss it, so there is sits for the ages.
@ Robert Enders
Nah, John wants to pretend he’s Steve McQueen complete with a car that handles worse than a NASA Space Shuttle (AKA the Flying Brick). He’d better hurry, though. Word is that the ’15 Mustangs are going to be just another melted matchbox with a real suspension. John’s nostalgia is slipping away…
Patrick, I heard about the water-jet-packs. Someone I knew had seen them in… Mexico, I think. Didn’t know they were in the states too. Hm.
You hit that nail on the head, John. No.1 especially. I’ve always told my wife to just get me ‘whatever’ on Xmas. Heck, when I want something I buy it. The only time I hold off on buying something is–you guessed it–Christmas. That’s so my wife has something to get me (or I can save a few bucks). On the other hand, spending the time to consider the gift I’ll buy my wife is a generally satisfying process. For my son, it’s a right to receive (he’s 12 and not Athena), so some of the joy goes out in that transaction. Still, when you get something he really wants, It’s a kick when his eyes light up the way they do.
But me? Naw, I probably bought all the stuff I want already. And if I don’t have it, that’s probably because I’m planning on buying it.
Maybe I’ll try this no-gifts-for-me-please thing this Xmas…
May I offer the following? Eddie Cantor, singing a timeless tune:
I’ve had this conversation with my wife and children for years and, due to my obvious inability to get my point across it’s never landed (he’ll, I’m a tech geek, not a paid-for-bs-spin-merchant-politician).
Mrs G just read this and (forgive me) lit up like a Christmas tree – “ohhhhhh, I get it!”.
All hail Scalzi!
Taunting the tauntable since 1998
John Scalzi, proprietor – JS
Athena Scalzi, editor/writer -AMS
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