I have a confession to make. I’m a terrible consumer. I hate shopping. Crowds are even worse. Combine all that on Black Friday and I’m ready to run and hide. I typically avoid malls or major stores between today and New Year’s.
You’d think I’d be better with crowds in shopping areas after living in China, but you’d be wrong. I couldn’t stand going to places like Carrefour on weekend afternoons because it reminded me of shopping during the Christmas season. I just wanted to buy what I needed and go home.
I generally don’t even care about receiving gifts. Every now and then I want something, but it’s not often. I wouldn’t mind having a new camera or one of those cool new tablet computers, but they’re not high on my list of priorities. Travel is at the top of my list. Of course, I also appreciate some cool travel accessories (and BootsnAll has some cool suggestions for that–I’m tempted to buy that keychain tripod).
There really are only three worthwhile gifts that help create memories–and all three are in the title of this site. You can’t go wrong with the gift of booze–a nice bottle of scotch or some great microbrews (it’ll help support the American economy, too). Food is another great gift, especially if you’re taking family out for something different. And those family vacations create the best memories, plus they can combined with the food and booze. However, sometimes it’s nice to surprise those special people in your life with plane tickets (hint, hint).
However, there are other gifts besides those three. Art and literature tend to be high on my gift list. It’s always nice to have a good book while taking a long flight or just relaxing in nature. Michael Chabon’s Kavalier & Clay was a good choice when I went to Panama. Guide books and phrase books are also quite helpful.