Sunday, December 20, 2009

Buying Christmas Gifts? What Not to Do

"15 worst holiday gift ideas"
Women in Red, MSN Money (December 7, 2009)

"You're sweating, panicked. You're about to recycle an old gift, buy a weight-loss book for Aunt Josephine or grab the Victoria's Secret catalog. Stop! Break the cycle of Holiday Gift-Shopping Syndrome!"

"Pressure, stress and confusion, inexplicable choices, a complete lapse of taste.

"Alzheimer's? No, it's Holiday Gift-Shopping Syndrome! If you suffer panic attacks at the mall or you have recurring nightmares about the colossal gift gaffes you've made over the years -- you may be an HGSS sufferer.

"Take two Advil and keep reading, because the only cure is to spot the pitfalls early. The following primer will help you save yourself some angst -- and quite a bit of money -- by avoiding these classic gift-giving faux pas. (And your nearest and dearest will be ever so grateful when you give them stuff they like this year.)

"The not-so-subtle suggestion: There's nothing quite like watching the expression on people's faces when they open one of these: a set of meditation tapes for Mr. Type A, a low-carb cookbook for your sister or...."

You get the idea.

This was - for me - a fun read. And, I think, pretty good advice.

A few of my favorites:
  • "The lingerie trap:"
    • Guys? A word about buying lingerie for that special woman: Don't
  • "Things that can't be exchanged on this planet:"
  • "Last year's gift, again:"
    • Yes, it can happen - and has
About "The lingerie trap:" The author wrote - "Never buy lingerie for a woman unless she has ripped out the page from the Victoria's Secret catalog and circled the exact item herself...." Even then, as a man who's been happily married for over a quarter-century, I'm inclined to think that the author's "can of worms" description of probable responses is understating it.

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