Monday, December 24, 2007

Gift Exchange

I can't sleep! I tossed for a bit then decided that it was optimal blogging time. Not a creature is stirring, 'cept the mice - and the Yahoos are nestled all snug in their beds while the Rabid hopes that it stays that way. At least until I finish right?

As usual, I glance about the room to determine what I'm going to write about. It's similar to finding the last word in a word search - you know where it's written diagonally from right to left backwards and you've skimmed the entire word search line by line. That is how I blog sometimes - when I don't know what to write about but feel like writtin'. I believe there's a song in there somewhere Feel like writin' a blog.... Feel like writin' a blog... Feel like writin' a blog... Feel like writin'....a blog.... to you.

Anyway, skimming the room for inspiration when I notice a gift from acquaintances that live two blocks away. We'll call them the Petersons ('cause their last name starts with P). See I went to bed really early last night. I did so in hopes that I wouldn't start barking and it worked. No barking! It looks as if a gift arrived while I was sleeping last night. Immediately, I thought "that's odd. Why did the Peterson's give us a gift" and then I remembered.

First I must describe how I do gift giving. I give a small prize to the 11 neighbors around me. I try to make it an item that cannot be eaten but yet one that must be consumed (if you have any ideas for next year, please share). I'm not a big fan of dollar store trinkets that are saved from year to year until finally you throw them away - and feel guilty about it. This year it was a roll of paper towels.

Yesterday I wrapped up 16 paper towel rolls in shiny star stamped cellophane paper, topped them with a giant gold bow, then attached an "Absorb the Spirit of Christmas" message (the Winder's neighbor gave me that clever little bit and by the way, the magic is in the packaging.)

I was cooking for a Christmas party and sent Spouse and the Yahoos out to deliver the magically wrapped paper towels. I gave them a list of the neighbors. Spouse quickly solved the We-Have-More-Towels-Than-We-Need puzzle. What's to be done with the extra five? I said "well. Remember (which comes out more like "member") that Church Christmas Party? We drew the names of two families. We were instructed to give them a surprise or do something nice for them. And since I'm not feeling nice they get paper towels. That's 13 - you can dispose of the last 3 any way you like." So Spouse looked up where they live in the directory and went out for delivery.

One of those chosen families was the Petersons. The other was the... we'll call them the Tatankas (mostly because that wolf movie with Kevin Costner came to mind and their last name starts with "T").

Now. If you put all the paragraphs together, one can figure that we sent the Petersons a gesture (because our church made us) and now the Petersons feel obligated to return it. Where's the fun in that? I mean, can't you/I send a minor provision (paper towels are a necessity these days) and NOT receive something back? Which reminds me, we received a random gift from the Gundersons. Do I need to scramble and come up with something to give back? You realize this vicious cycle could go on and on. And then we'd have piles of useless crap and we'd spend a bunch of money that might be used more thoughtfully. For example, we could give the operation smile folks some cash (where $250 will buy one child a cleft palette surgery).

My favorite is the people who have stacks of odd presents at their door "in case some unforeseen giver comes by." I don't mean to offend. It's very nice to give and to receive. But sometimes it's okay to just receive. Other times it might be best to channel that paper towel money to people who need it.

Merry Christmas! If I have the time today (yeah, right!) I'll post a Merry Christmas playlist. (Not that there's anyone out there with time to read today.)


Brooklet said...

I have time to read. We are along way away from family this Christmas, so now that the kids are in bed, not much left to do.

This is actually one thing I hate about Christmas- someone has the gall to give you a gift out of the blue, and immediately you feel panicky- wondering what on earth you are going to give them in return. It makes me almost wish people didn't give gifts to other people- is that bah humbug of me? I agree- it is okay to sometimes just recieve. We need to learn how to say thanks without attatching strings to ourselves. It is hard to do.

Vera said...

I am, in-fact, one of the "by the door presents" givers...I'll explain. I also have the 11 prizes for the neighbors, which I keep stacked by the door. I'm Lazy! So when the neighbor kids come to deliver their presents, They can just take one home with them and I won't have to deliver. I am actually saving myself time and energy by doing this. As you know, there is a good chance I will have to pee if I walk down the street, and since I can't write my name in the snow, it would simply be a large yellow puddle, and where is the fun in that?
AND, since there is a blizzard outside, there's a chance I will call the Yahoos in the morning and see if they will deliver what hasn't been picked up yet! that Santa I hear....(gotta go)!

rabidrunner said...

Brooklet... I'm sorry (or maybe jealous) that you're far away from family this Christmas!

Vera.. you've been doing this for years and we expect it. But see (what exactly is a buttsee?) it's bothersome when you want to randomly surprise someone new outa the blue and not expect something back. Can't we do that sometimes!?

Becca said...

Feel free to give me a gift any time--I promise not to return the favor!

rabidrunner said...

You got it! Look for your gift soon.

Lois, Our Lady of Blogs said...

Amen, sister!

Merry Christmas!!!