Lisa: We have to give up on stuffing stockings. It’s way out of control. I end up spending as much on bits and bobs as I do on your main present. Though you do a good job picking out lipgloss and notebooks and candy…
Dave: You think you go over budget? Every year, I start shopping around the first of December, picking up things I see that I know you’ll love. By December 24th, I’m sitting in the spare room surveying a general store’s worth of goods. We could set a spending cap, but I know I’ll just blow it again. Sometimes when I open a gift I know you pulled out all the stops for, a little person in the back of my head says, “There goes the new carpets.” Even if we had separate bank accounts, the funds all come from the same pool.
Dave: You know, I really enjoy receiving a tie. In a way, a tie is like a statement of how you perceive me. Thankfully, you’ve never given me a tie with golf tees on it. Then I would have to re-examine my entire persona.
Lisa: Buying a tie makes me feel grown up, and happy that I can pick something out you’ll like, since you have such particular taste. (And at least I know it’ll fit right.) Plus, it’s easy to hide…a huge challenge when you share 600 square feet. Just don’t look in my underwear drawer.
Dave: The problem with books is that everyone buys something they’re interested in, in the hopes it’ll impress the other person. (I suppose that’s true for gifts in general.)
Lisa: I know I’ve bought you books that haven’t made it off the shelf, so I’ve given up. Music is out, too, since you seem to only buy it online these days.
Lisa: They’re perfect for when you don’t know someone’s taste, but I find it stressful to have them in my wallet; feels like another “To-do” on my list – I always waste them on things I don’t really need. Don’t you always say a gift card is a cop out?
Dave: Yeah, but so is buying another basket of soaps for your mother. Here’s a plan: Give real gifts to your spouse and immediate family – everyone else gets a $25 Starbucks Card.
Lisa: As long as they’re not shaped like a cartoon character, a comfy pair of slippers is always a good gift. (Though receiving them makes me feel old.) They’re also one of those gifts that won’t surprise you at all, because you’ve been asking for them all year.
Dave: Funny, because buying them makes me feel old. There’s nothing like trolling around the slipper department, checking out the ladies’ moccasins, to make you feel like an asexual octogenarian. Slippers: not sexy. Also, could you please buy me a pair this year?