In lieu of a gift guide…

Didn’t every blogger and their mama published a gift guide starting in IDK, the second week of November? While I did post what I had on my list for my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and husband last year, it was primarily a way to keep my own lists organized and on my radar to purchase. And I did not seem as selfish when I posted my own wish list. [shrug emoji]

Guys, I am going to let you in on a little secret to finding out what to gift. Are you ready? Wait for it…

Ask the recipient what is on his or her list. Radical thought.

If you are gifting to a woman, surely she has a Pinterest board devoted to her most coveted items and she has committed them to memory. As for a man, ask him two weeks before you plan to purchase, so he can marinate on the question; revisit it two week later. I, nor any other blogger, will be able tell you what is on the wish list of your nearest and dearest, so you really should not listen to me if I ever suggest what to buy for “the mother-in-law who has everything.” Besides, I would probably suggest a fishing pole, because that is what I would gift my own mother-in-law. You understand, it is just not a one-size-fits-all sitch.

What if you don’t want to ask and make it a surprise? Oh, do I have the solution for you and it is a two-birds-one-stone idea.

This past Black Friday, in lieu of shopping brick-and-mortar stores and even my preferred method, online, I spent the day (and more broadly, most of the holiday weekend) with family. The best holidays in recent memory have been the ones when I was not under a capitalistic mission to find the best gifts at the lowest price, but the ones that I spent with loved ones: the holiday weekend I got engaged, the long weekend I spent with my parents on the Gulf Coast, and this past holiday which encompassed catching up over bottles of rose, playing the beer box game and Contact, goofing around on the streets of Historic Marblehead, and watching the cinematic classic, Treasure.

What I am suggesting is to spend time with your nearest and dearest and not just in the month and a half leading up to the holiday. In doing so, you will get a sense of what your people have on their mental wish lists and you will give them the best gift of all: your quality time. Whether your loved ones tell you or not and whether they actually realize it or now, quality time is the sweetest gift you can give.


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Does anyone know whose kid this is? (I’m kidding. It is actually my nephew. Do not report me to Human Services.)

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