An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Christmas Shopping Lite

“I spent an hour buying Christmas presents for my five nephews and had a great time,” Wort, our oldest son said. Finding five gifts for boys of different ages in an hour sounded unbelievable to me until I realized that Wort had done his shopping online—probably all at Amazon. He simply had to click on a page for boys of each age, make his selection, choose gift wrapping and free shipping—and he was done. Joys of the 21st century!

Buying toys for kids is pretty fun. Almost anything makes them happy. Adults are a different matter. Unless recipients are on the brink of financial disaster, giving adults a gift they really want is nigh impossible. For a person who hates shopping as much as I do, it’s a misery. I finally decided that if I can’t give gifts which delight my offspring, at least I should give them something I enjoy buying.

I hate shopping for anything except groceries (love to eat), books, and nursery plants. Groceries as Christmas gifts only work for starving college students. December is way too cold to plant tomatoes, so my only choice is books. Although I try, I don’t always succeed in choosing titles the kids are anxious to read, but at least I’m supporting a depressed industry.

Even better than buying books is gifting the person who has everything with a charitable donation in their name. This year Aroo and Biker are getting a goat from us which will go to a family in the developing world. Techie and Techie II are also giving us an animal through Heifer.

For several years my brother Dooby and I have donated to the Seattle Rescue Mission for our gift-giving. I might have chosen the Nature Conservancy for my gift, but Dooby is a rabid anti-environmentalist. “Let’s give some homeless bums a good meal,” were his words. I wouldn’t phrase it quite that way, but I do feel good about our choice—and it sure beats shopping!  

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