The Christmas List Breakdown

by Reception Chronicles

There is nothing better than the Christmas season.  With a chill in the air and shiny decorations glistening on houses and malls, it is a time to be with family and enjoy the merriness all around.  Also it is the one time of year you can wear ridiculous over-sized theme sweaters and there is not a darn thing anyone can say about it so kudos to that St. Nick.

Of course with everything being so merry and cheerful, there is always a dark side.  It is not crawling down a chimney, it is not hiding among the flames of a roaring fire and it certainly is not lurking behind a wreath.  It is the impending doom of the invisible monster that is the bottom of the Christmas Tree. It creates an inevitable sinking feeling in your stomach and makes you think “I have absolutely no idea what I am going to buy for people.”

As Christmas day creeps closer and the malls fill up with crowds, the bottomless pit underneath the tree seems to grow deeper and deeper.  In some households, people start a collection of gifts under the tree and over the days it grows as if to appease this invisible monster under the tree as it bellows out “feed me more presents!”   On Friday, I succumbed to its demands and formed my list in order to go Christmas shopping but I faced a dilemma that we all encounter at this time of the year.  What do these people want?

This is from my personal experience but I bet many other people face the same problems.  Presenting to you the Christmas list outline of utter confusion, irritation and suggestions.

Christmas List


 I’ve known these people all of my life and to this day I do not know what to get them.  A safe bet is nearly anything from Brookstone.  They will probably never use it because it’s either too advanced, completely useless or breaks easily but it shows that you put an effort forward and spent over $30.  Avoid the universal remote because it will most likely end with you setting it up and becoming the on call IT person for it.

Sister with a young child 

They are very busy with a baby so it’s not ideal to get clothes, gift certificates to clubs or restaurants, or anything else that will remind them that they have to limit their activities.   Avoid buying a gift for the person intended for the child.  You just snaked someone out of a gift and it will not be appreciated.  She most likely won’t have fun with VTech learning toy.

Sister with a year round updated Xmas List

I have a sister that keeps a Christmas List all year round and I am notified when it is amended and updated. Not only is it constantly changing, it is most likely expensive.  You risk buying something to early and find it has been removed from the list.  Safe suggestion is a gift card of some sort or in desperate measures an envelope with money.

Sis/Bro In Law 


Boyfriend of a sister



Depends on your relationship with this person.  It is best not to buy them anything that reminds them that they are at a senior age such as a crochet kit, a box of Raisin Bran, Depends and things of that sort.  From my personal viewpoint, something in the alcohol family will do just fine.

Family Friend

For your budget’s sake, cut off communication with this person the last day of November and resume it New Years Day.  The gift grace period will pass therefore saving you some money and an awkward conversation.  Otherwise, spend some more time in Brookstone.

Significant Other

 If it is a boyfriend/girlfriend, something you can’t afford to show how much you care then regret buying it and threaten to burn it when you get in a fight a year down the line.  If it is a fiance/spouse, nothing because it is coming out of both of your earnings.  What is the point?  Instead of risking it, go out together and shop.  Saves the hassle and the risk of getting the “do you even know anything about me?” look on Christmas morning.


This is nearly impossible. I don’t know much about kids.  Clothes never work because by the time you buy it and give it on Christmas Day, it has already grown out of it.  Practical gifts don’t work cause I don’t know if it is still drinking out of bottles, wearing diapers, or talking yet.  The safe gift to buy is not one that is in the grey area of age appropriate.  Instead take the high road and invest in their future.  A book set of classics, the re-released Disney DVDs, etc.  That way you know it will come handy in the future and look like the thoughtful person investing in the future of the child.  Can’t lose.

Moral of the story. Go to Brookstone, every year’s Christmas Sponsor of stuff that you will never use.