This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
In the past couple of years, both my wife’s and my own family have chosen to get involved in a gift exchange where each person in the family picks another from a hat – this has significantly cut down on the number of presents I need to buy, but at the same time has really monetized Christmas. I really enjoy finding presents for my niece and nephews, but the family “adult” gift exchange has essentially turned into people trading the same amount of money back and forth – doesn’t exactly get me into the Christmas spirit wondering what $50 gift I’m going to get in return for the $50 gift I bought them. 🙂
My wife has explained that this is perhaps not the point of the gift exchange and it should be fun. She also knows that I am a terrible person to buy gifts for because I rarely want anything and when I do, I research most major purchases (over $50) extensively in order to ensure that I actually need the “thing” in question. I understand that I am not really all that fun to buy for, but I did provide a list of stuff that I would like to receive from the people buying presents for me. Some were specific, but others were more broad-based:
Stuff I would have bought for myself, but have held off on buying for Christmas: There were several books that I can’t find at the library and a couple of video games that I should have time to play over the next couple of months that were added to this list.
Stuff that I don’t need right now, but will come in useful soon: Things like socks, underwear, and other basic clothes that I own currently but will wear out over the next few months. Normally I’d just buy these in bulk when they’re on sale but if people are looking for things to get me, these are things that I would appreciate and actually put to use.
Homemade stuff: One of my favourite presents I’ve received over the past few years was a handmade canoe paddle that my brother made for me last Christmas. This Christmas my sister-in-law didn’t know what to get me and I asked for baked goods. I love baked goods, but rarely make them for myself as it’s kind of a pain – but I do enjoy other people’s baking.
Those were my basic ideas for people getting me Christmas presents this year. I really hate to ask for anything because it seems greedy, but rather than people “wasting” their present on me, getting something that I really won’t like or use a list seems like a good idea. Really, simple things are the best – as most of my friends and family know, if they totally have no idea – any kind of beer is much appreciated. 😉
Do you create a list for Christmas? How does your gift exchange work in your family? What would you like most for Christmas this year?