I had a post about gift giving. Here is my post on receiving (to complete the cycle). I know what gifts I like to recieve. Part of this is that they are things I won't buy myself--or rarely do. In keeping with the songs Favorite Things and Twelve days of Christmas, I've picked out my 12 favorite presents--not in any order.
2. A book of Poetry (Mary Oliver this year)
3. A cookbook (Last year my choice was Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. This year it is Jamie at Home)
4. Books or GC to a bookstore. This year I want the new Wally Lamb novel. He is one of my very favorite writers.
5. CD. I still have not gotten used to the whole MP3 download thing. I have an iPod, but my brain still operates in CD mode. I like getting something unusal that I don't already have to round out my rather staid collection. Maybe Dolly Parton or Miles Davis or Nina Simone or a Soundtrack Album I can play while cooking dinner.
6. Cooking gadgets or items. This year I would like mini spatulas. I keep breaking mine. I have looked around for them, but haven't found them--otherwise I would stuff my own stocking. Mark got me a pair kitchen scissors. I have a working pair but the handle is broken and he seems to think I need a new pair.
7. Bath stuff. I am a girl. Gotta have my bath stuff. But I have become more particular over the years. I love Bath and Bodyworks Vanilla Lavendar Bubble bath, but I also love the handmade soaps at Radiance--especially a scent called Moondance.
8. Uncle Ken's Homemade Salsa. This used to be one of the Pollyanna style presents at our extended family gathering, but my sister and I fought over this so much, that Uncle Ken had to start giving it out to everyone.
9. Wine. Cheese is also accepted. This year, Maren asked for her own personal hunk of Parmagiano Reggiano cheese in her stocking instead of chocolate. She and I also came up with an idea for a cheese advent calendar, but we have to figure out a way to actualize that. She and I are big fromage queens. Maybe I could do a wine advent calendar as well. Hee hee! At any rate, I think that leaving wine and cheese for Santa would net bigger gifts.
10. A sweater. There is something about getting a new sweater for Christmas. Especially if the person you are getting it from has a good sense of what is tacky and what isn't.
11. A necklace. My in-laws normally get me a necklace. In recent years I have picked them out for myself, but in the past, they have given me some that I still wear and cherish. I love me some funky (non precious) necklaces. My earrings tend to be staid and non-commital, silver hoops or diamond studs. This year I picked out a necklace of cobalt blue glass leaves. They remind me of the cobalt bottles that line my kitchen windowsill.
12. A copy of the DAC slide show. My brother complies digital photos taken by all four siblings (and parents) over the course of a year and puts it together in a slide show that we all watch together. It has been getting longer and longer each year. But it is so neat to see the path we've all taken. I think we are about in our 5th year.
As you can see, I am not about the big gifts. I really like and appreciate the little things. Last year, Mark did surprise me with a sculpture. That was one of the most awesome gifts I have ever received. (Art over fine jewelry--ANY DAY!) But it is not an expectation--just a thrill.