It seems that pure joy associated with this majestic holiday has been chipped away as years go by.  It’s not because of the retail stores that present us with the Christmas décor “teaser” aisle at the end of October.  It isn’t the radio stations that begin playing Christmas music on November 1.  Nor is it the stress of buying gifts for every family member no matter how far removed. No, the joy of Christmas has been stolen by those who give shitty gifts.

Please, don’t misunderstand me: I realize the definition of a gift is “something that is given freely, a bonus”.  It’s not a requirement, but the thought that counts. In that case, I would like to know what the hell most of you are thinking?

Here are some things to keep in mind while shopping:

If the recipient is a woman, you need to realize that she isn’t born with a chromosome that makes her adore candles and soap.  Chances are the candle will only collect dust that is virtually irremovable, and if her need for soap is so great that she’d be thankful for it as a gift then maybe soap isn’t her first concern.

It’s also best to steer clear of the decorative household items as well.  I don’t care how many times you’ve been to her home – you’ll never get it right.  Let your friend decide on her own whimsical stuffed owl from the home store, or the gift you’ll end up bestowing upon her is the gift of stress, because now she’ll have to remember to pull it out of the basement and place it on a table just before you arrive.

And, if you’re shopping for a male, don’t let these quick and easy gift displays suck you in. Miniature tool kits, small air pumps, tiny drills, dual and mini flashlights: is the male demographic busy little working gnomes?

Even if his dream is to open his own home improvement store, I’m sure the off-brand drill bit set for $19.99 won’t thrill him.

You know the old adage; good things come in small packages. So, opt for a mall certificate or coffee gift card and let them choose.  Christmas gifts do not have to be expensive to be appreciated.  I’m sure your friend would rather deduct even a small amount from her next latte purchase rather than stare at an unwanted picture frame with the image of someone else’s grandma in it.

Happy Holidays!

The Happy Housewife