Glad to be home. Getting a large chunk of my Christmas shopping done feels good. I am exhausted though, trying to shove a Christmas party, reading, sleep, shopping, and an hour lunch with my sister into 18 hours can wear a girl out. Gift shopping is one of the few types I enjoy. Books and browsing hardware stores are the only other good kinds I can think of. Shopping for clothes is tedious, and groceries are fun but the stores are usually too crowded. With gifts it is fun to sit down and really think about another person and what they like until a great gift idea pops into my head.
A good clue about somebody is what type of gifts they give. Most people buy what they like and think everybody will like it. This has gotten me in trouble in the past. A group of people I belong to draws names every year. At the start of December around five years ago one of them said to me "We started drawing names so that everybody could get one really nice gift instead of a bunch of cheap gifts." Things would have been fine had she stopped there, she didn't. "I got ripped off last year." She must have a bad memory or she would have decided to have this conversation with one of the many people who didn't have her name the year before.
I like useful gifts, not necessarily something practical , but something I will use often. One of the best presents I ever received was a kitchen journal. It is something I use often, and would not have thought to buy myself, I love it. Not everybody is the same though and I need to remember that. That very year I drew her name again and pretended I had drawn my own name and dropped the slip of paper back into the hat. Good idea, because I'm sure bitter shoppers buy bad gifts. This year I drew her name again, but it has been long enough for me to let it go. Hopefully things will go better this time. I tried really hard to buy something she would like.
Just wanted to quickly add that every store I went into had some sort of Christmas greeting or farewell. Oddly enough it did not make or break my holiday season.