timprov and I have two gift-giving-holiday traditions. The first is that he sometimes claims the Right of Last Present. We wait until all celebrations with family and friends are over and I don't think anybody else has anything waiting for me, and then he asks what I really want that I didn't get, and then he gets it for me. The other is that sometimes we buy each other's presents together, so we get the gift of whatever it is and also the gift of the time spent hanging out together picking it out. We did some of the latter last night, and it was a good thing. We weren't sure we'd be able to this year, with his health. (Also we got things for other people and further discussed things for other people, some of whom are reading this right now, so don't get nosey.)
You will note that neither of these really involves surprises. That's okay. I get surprises from markgritter, and often from my folks and other friends and loved ones. Not everything has to be a surprise. Surprises are good, but there are other good things, too.
What I really want this year, in the material goods department, is:
1. A robot vacuum, but I already asked my folks/grands for one. Because then I would live in the fuuuuuture! With my robot vacuum! And next year I could have my flying car to take me to the spaceport, and my house would stay clean while I was away in space! Ahem. Seriously, though, my house would be clean in a spiffy skiffy way, and who can resist that?
2. Books. People sometimes complain that they always get me books. This is a good idea, though, because they don't always get me the same books, and what I really want is books. And then some more books. With possibly a side of books.
Not feeling up to my usual energy levels means lots of reading on the couch. Lots of reading on the couch means dwindling book piles. I mean, sure, I can go to the library, I can make pathetic faces at dd_b and porphyrin, but still: books are good, good presents. Amazon, intuition, whatever. Books.
3. Things I don't know I want. You know, when you go into the store and see the little stylized silver rhinoceros, and you wouldn't have put "stylized silver rhino" on the "things to buy for markgritter" list, but then there you are and there it is? Like that. Only we already have a stylized silver rhino for markgritter, so ideally not exactly like that this year. But that pendant or that bound-book or that bottle of ink or those slippers, that fridge magnet, that bookmark, those chocolates...the sort of unique thing that's hard to put on a wishlist but very cool to have.
See? Told you it was a short list. I also got enough wrapping paper for the Army of the Potomac at Target yesterday. I have all sorts of opinions on the subject of wrapping paper. For birthday presents or other non-Christmas occasions, I tend towards plain, bold colors. An assortment of red, purple, blue, and green boxes on the hearth are my idea of festive presents. (Please note that this is what I like to use, not what I like to receive. I like seeing what other people choose for wrapping their presents. It doesn't have to be like mine in the slightest.)
For Christmas wrapping, my key words are night, stars, and snow. I like blues and silvers best. If the entire pile of presents from me could either be blue or twinkle faintly or both, that would be quite all right. Next best is rich, dark reds and greens and golds and purples. Stripes are good, and very stylized patterns. Snowflakes, stars, stylized swirls reminiscent of same. Maybe trees, but very stylized trees, and the in-nature kind, not the laden-with-ornaments kind. I don't really like cute prints. I do not want Santas or snowmen or details of Christmas trees. I enjoyed the penguins of a few years back (I think those were seagrit's?), but I didn't want to buy them myself. It was a matter of liking someone else's personality, not something that would express mine.
If the presents have ribbon on them, I want it to be flat, criss-crossed, broad ribbons, not curly ribbon or bows. You will almost never see curly ribbon or bows on anything I wrap, and when you do, it's usually specifically to make the recipient happy because I know that she (or he, I guess, but that hasn't come up as much) likes those things.
So how about you? What do you want this year, and how do you like to wrap presents (for Christmas or other holidays or just in general)? Or do you want for nothing and hate to wrap at all? Closer to Christmas I will ask what you are most excited about giving this year, but I don't expect that you'll have a definitive answer at this point. As I keep reminding myself, we have time.
ETA: I don't mean to tell you that you should get me the stuff I want, or, sadly for you, to imply that I'm going to get you the stuff you want. I'm just wondering.