Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One conversation, many questions

My sister-in-law called yesterday about something related to Christmas, and we got to talking about how to scale back our holiday spending. I suggested that we only buy gifts for the kids in the family, starting next year.

She agreed, then added, "Unless we find something that's just perfect for the other person."

"Of course," I replied, stepping over a Lego pyramid. "If I just happen to see something that has your name all over it, then that's the exception to the rule."

"Right," she said. I paused here to remind Owen that boiling pots of water are not toys. She continued, "But, since we spend the holidays together, I feel bad not having anything for you to unwrap. It's different with my family in Washington."

"I feel the same way," I said, as I put Joel in his exersaucer. "I'll probably at least buy you a bottle of wine, or something."

"Okay," she said. "So no gifts, right?"

"Absolutely. No gifts."

I don't really have anything to add to that, except that sometimes Erin and I share a brain. We don't want to rule out the opportunity to get something really cool for the other person, but we do want to free ourselves of the obligation to buy something for the sake of buying it. Maybe we're not quite there yet with actually doing it, but, hey, we have almost a year to figure it out...

I'm not into being a consumer, I guess, unless I'm consuming something really, really cool.

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