My 2013 Holiday Gift Giving Guide

IMG_1551‘Tis the season… when people ask me what I want for Christmas.  I try to think of things, but I’m really, really bad at it.  I never need anything.  I have a laptop, an iPod, and a warm place to sleep.  I have my dogs and books.  And no one’s going to buy me books anyway; it’s a daunting task.

The thing is, I’m both easy and hard to buy for.  If you buy it for me, I’ll probably like it.  I love pretty things, useless things.  I’m fond of blown glass, prisms, kalidoscopes.  I love anything steampunk Alice in Wonderland and pictures of old ferris wheels (though I hate riding the ferris wheel).  I like things that are handmade or vintage.

Over the years I’ve gotten lots of gifts, and I’ve appreciated them all.  I appreciate the most the ones that take time and effort, and clearly say, “I was thinking of you!”

The best gifts I’ve ever gotten, in no particular order:

Turtles.  Lots of turtles from my sister.  She doesn’t give them to me because I like turtles (though I do now); that’s a different story.  These days, I collect turtles.  And when I think of turtles, I think of her.  My sister also got me this monster spoon holder one year.  It sits on my counter and always makes me smile.

Hummingbird gave me an awesome picture of my crisis family when I left crisis.  It wasn’t for Christmas, but was definitely one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten.

Around 8th grade, JJ gave me a paperweight with flowers in it, for Christmas, I think.  I wasn’t expecting it because I was never very nice to him, but it’s sat on every desk I’ve ever owned since then.  It always reminds me of the power of friendship.  We might not be talk-on-the-phone friends anymore, but the power of Facebook allows me to see how he’s doing and wish him health, happiness, and love.

Last year, my sister in law gave me pictures of ferris wheels drawn in charcoal by a friend of hers.  It combines multiple things I love and was pretty unexpected.

The first Christmas we were together, my husband got me a signed, first edition Watchers, by Dean Koontz.  I think I cried.  Last year, he got me a Jambox and and UP.  Also very awesome gifts.  I like them because I use them almost every day.

This is why I can never say what I want for Christmas.  I wouldn’t have asked for any of those things.  I could ask for specific books or other this or that I want, but it wouldn’t be meaningful.  To me, Christmas is about stepping outside your comfort zone, taking what you know about someone you love, and finding a cool thing.  Sometimes it’ll be a hit, and sometimes a miss, but it’s not the gift that’s important.  It’s the effort and the time.  It’s the thought behind it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

This was both an easy and a hard one for me because a lot of things mean friendship to me.  The easiest one, of course, would be to take a picture of one of my friends or pets.  Any dog pictures pretty much say love and friendship to me.  I wanted to go a little deeper, and I had a hard time figuring out what to do.

I went with a turtle.  I took this picture at the San Diego Seaworld while I was there with a friend.  I collect turtles, mostly because my best friend gave me that nickname in 6th grade and after that has always given me turtles as gifts.  I since met someone else who collects turtles, and we bonded over that.

As an animal totem, the turtle has many meanings.  Included in the meanings are: longevity, patience, strength, stability, and protection, all qualities that could be applied to friendship.