Monday, 24 December 2012

"So what are you

giving everyone for Christmas?" my sister asked, "I don't know what to get anyone."
This was Saturday and she still had not, or so she claimed, done anything about it. I suspect she has done something but probably has one or two "problems".
         "Books," I told her.
         "Yes, but what books?"
She did not look in the least bit surprised. We do not go in for lavish gifts in this family. We usually do exchange books or make something for one another. This year has been a particularly busy one for me so people are getting books.
I am giving my father a biography I know he wants to read. My brother is getting a copy of Jen Campbell's "Weird things customers say in bookshops". It is funny and has the added advantage that it was light to post. The sister who asked is getting a book about herbs. I know she wanted that too. Other family are getting other books.  There is nothing lavish about any of these things. We all feel that this is not what Christmas is about.
Only my youngest sister does not want books. She rarely reads books. Even flipping through a magazine is unusual for her. She watches television if she is not outside with three dogs and whatever other animals she is caring for. I found something else small and light to post to her. We all agree, even her, that she is the most difficult person to buy a present for.
I look around at all the suggestions for Christmas gifts. The latest "gadget" seems to be some sort of coffee machine. It is, I believe, supposed to make a cappucino type coffee. It would be absolutely wasted on any of us.  We drink coffee but not in great quantities. (We do not drink tea in great quantities either.) The machine is, I believe, quite compact but it would take up precious space in our small kitchen.
No, I am not one who appreciates such things. It would be wasted on me. So would most other "gadgets".
I suspect there are many such presents which will be given to people this Christmas. They will be used once or twice and then put to one side.
I know the books I give will be read by the recipient and then passed around the family for others to read. The same will happen with the ones they give. It is a mini library each year - and something we all appreciate.

1 comment:

Sue Bursztynski said...

Gift vouchers are good. I give them for family birthdays. I know it sounds impersonal, but there's something wonderful about taking your voucher to Dymocks, say, and choosing the book you really want. My brother counts on his CD gift vouchers at his favourite record shop. Once I asked him if he'd like me to get him a physical gift and he protested,"But I already planned what I was going to buy!" I give my sister gift vouchers because she can't afford to buy new books most of the year. She treasures it and makes it last. My sister-in-law, an artist, looks forward to indulging in art supplies. And once, my sister and I gave Mum a Target gift voucher because it was the only way to get her to spend anything on herself.
And they're light to post if you have to. ;-)