Thursday, December 14, 2006

No Thanks Ten

The winner of the Nine Lives giveaway is Maureen, whose comment read I would say Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (and I agree, wholeheartedly.) Maureen, please e-mail me at LynnViehl@aol.com with your full name and ship-to info so I can get these books out to you.

After moving my household four times over the last three years, I discovered that I had become a repository for every sort of junk collectible known to man. My mother, the main culprit, initiated things by passing along to me my grandmother's button collection. That wasn't enough, so because I liked to quilt she started a thimble collection for me.

Then a friend got into giving me those pretty ornamental dinner plates you can't eat off but must hang on the wall like art, and a sibling sent me cutesy Christmas ornament series with the numbered boxes, and an aunt decided I could not live without the bug-eyed angel statues that look like albino children with an extra 21st chromosome. Not to mention the bells, spoons, designer-dressed Barbies, salt and pepper shakers, wine glasses and tumblers you get one at a time from a drive-through, etc.

What's bizarre is that the only thing I've ever cared to collect -- books -- no one would give me. By the time I was thirty, though, I could have opened my own Hallmark gift shop and not have needed to buy stock for it.

Finally (purely out of self-defense) I made a gift rule: if I can't eat it, burn it or bathe in it, don't give it to me. This has saved me countless new collections of things someone else just knows I would love to spend days and days boxing up and moving to my next house. But just in case someone has forgotten that rule this year:

Ten More Things I Don't Want for Christmas

1. Anything Made Out of Molded Resin: I already own 72% of all molded resin gift industry products made in the United States, thanks.

2. Champagne and Caviar: I don't drink. Ever. I had caviar once; that was enough. Forever.

3. Cookie Jars: Sorry, but cookies do not survive long enough in this house to make it into storage.

4. Desk Signs: I don't have the desk space to display little stand-up plaques with such witty sayings "Genius in Action!" "Do Not Disturb!" or "Woman at Work!" My new bazooka takes up a lot of room.

5. Diamond Jewelry: I don't like diamonds anyway, but have you seen the latest jewelry being pushed by all the diamond chain companies? This squiggle and a big O are supposed to represent "the journey of love." Yeah? So the fact they look exactly like sperm and ovum is just...coincidence?

6. Gift Certificates to Beauty Salons: I'm silver now. Deal with it.

7. The Purpose-Driven Life: I've actually had three people give me this book already, which I finding rather insulting. Am I running around aimless here?

8. Scrapbooking Kits: Please. What's next, paint-by-numbers? Loop potholders? The Play-Doh Fun Factory? 1001 Things to Make Out of Your Own Drool?

9. TShirts With Pictures of People Taken at Mall Kiosks; I find these moderately creepy, especially when the cheap decal material starts cracking and peeling after so many washes. Then your best friend's smiling six year old looks like Amy The Child Zombie From Hell.

10. Wine: Again, I don't drink, and I read too much Peter Mayle. Any wine that comes into the house goes down the disposal to sanitize it. Think about that before you spend $30 on what will be my new bottle of drain deodorizer.

One thing I did want for myself this year was Stuart MacBride's latest novel, Dying Light. I haven't been able to find a UK bookseller willing to deal with American credit cards and shipping across the pond, and none of my Eurofamily have been over to England to shop for me, so I had to wait until it hit the shelves over here before I could get my hands on it. It's on the top of my TBR pile for after I finish reading the e-book challengers' stories, but I did sneak a peek at the first chapter, which instantly made it the tenth very cool book of December.

For a chance to win today's giveaway, in comments to this post name something you would rather not receive as a gift (or, if you love everything you're given, just throw your name in the hat) by midnight EST on December 14, 2006. I'll draw one name from everyone who participates and send the winner unsigned copies of Dying Light in hardcover by Stuart MacBride and Talyn by Holly Lisle. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

92 comments:

  1. Candles. Thanks to a house fire (not candle-caused) in '97, I am paranoid about anything that causes heat or flame... some nights, I'm afraid to leave the heat on, and go around and unplug everything possible...

    And of course, I have one clueless aunt, that gives me candles EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I give them away to someone else almost before I get them home.

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  2. Parma ham. Yes, I adore food and the history of food. But why is there always one friend who forgets I'm Jewish?

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  3. Clothes. Because they never fit. And the givers never ask me what size I am. And then I feel bad about myself for not being able to wear the cute clothes that don't fit. And then I'm peeved that surprises are more important to these people than my self image.

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  4. No alcohol for me, either. I don't drink because I like to have a clear head at all times. Driving, writing, computer programming - none of them work any better whilst under the influence.

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  5. Diaries. My sister persists in getting me a diary even though she knows I have a PDA. No one ever gives me a gift voucher at a bookshop. The obvious present for me!

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  6. Cinderberry2:38 AM

    Books with shoes or handbags on the cover. (If shoes are on feet, that may be fine.) Also, bath gel: I do wash, honestly, and I buy enough to be able to wash *every day*; there's no need to assist me.

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  7. See's Candy. Because it's my favorite, but if I don't get it I don't eat it and if I don't eat it I might be able to hold the weight or even lose a bit. (I can hear you all saying HAH and you're probably right!)

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  8. I don't want any more candles from my mother-in-law. I think she secretly wants me to burn my house down to a "clean laundry" or "Christmas cookie" smell.

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  9. kairokitty3:02 AM

    I would have to say obnoxious smelling lotion giftsets that come in cutesy baskets that are hard to reuse since they are too small to hold anything really usefull. They seem to be the gift of choice where I work and while I appreciate the thought I know that I will not be able to use the stuff. While technically I am not allergic to it, the stuff still gives me a headache. Since I have a small group of associates I can't regift so the bottles sit on a shelf for a few years until I finally throw them away, sigh...

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  10. Anonymous3:18 AM

    At this time of year there's a ritual in our household that has to do with television commercials.

    With every commercial for diamond necklaces, salad shooters, or chia pets, I turn to my husband and say: never, ever buy me anything like that.

    Those commercials are meant to wiggle their way into the hearts of husbands who are doubtful about what to get. It's only in November and December that you see Salad Shooter commercials.

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  11. Clothes. They might fit, but it doesn't mean they would be the kind of clothes I wear.

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  12. Potpourri. I am given at least one packet/basket/ceramic container of it per year by people who don't know me well enough to realize that I don't like strong scents in a room.

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  13. Clothing. It's always the wrong color/size/style. Once, when I worked in a bakery, one of the regulars gave me a 3-pack of flowery knickers, the high waisted kind you put on little girls. I was 16, and the customer was a woman. Too weird!

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  14. Anonymous5:05 AM

    Bath stuff and lotions. I once worked at Bath and Body Works...had the discount...never ever shopped there. People had already given me the store ;)

    -jackie

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  15. I've got to say costume jewelry,I'm allergic.I get so jealous sometimes,a lot of cute costume jewelry comes out and I just can't wear it.

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  16. Ha! This one is easy. Under no circumstances is it okay to buy me a vaccuum, mop, or anything resembling a cleaning appliance. That is not a gift; it's an insult.

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  17. A dildo. I'm a dyke. I've got dozens, okay? It might have been funny when you bought it but you paids well over the odds at a high street outlet. Why didn't you buy me a book?

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  18. Just throwing my name in for the drawing.

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  19. I have a huge Hallmark ornament collection from years ago. Hundreds of ornament in a box that I never put up because I've now got a much smaller tree. I don't have room to hang any so I think that's the one gift I would not like to receive.

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  20. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Ohhh I hear you about the collecty things. We live in an apartment too small for a Christmas tree, where do they expect all this stuff to GO?? EH!? I think there ought to be a rule that if you plan on buying someone a present you have to ask them what they want. Surprise my behind. I'd rather just get the twenty dollar B&N gift card and know it than ... well, anything else as a surprise. ;) (And whoever said about bath stuff - amen! The worst part is that by now anyone shopping for me should KNOW that all of it gives me a headache except vanilla. And I can buy my own vanilla-scented lotion, thanks!
    Jess

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  21. I think my no-thanks-gift would be clothes. Of any type. Not that I am so picky about what I wear but rather that most of the people who get me clothes dont seem to be looking at me. They get me clothes that are either too big or too small. And then most of the clothes are items I would never have picked myself. So hopefully there will be a run on gift cards instead of clothes this year.

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  22. Clothes and alcohol. Well, socks are okay since they fit pretty much everyone but I think that they suck as a gift.

    By the way, it's awesome to hear that there are writers who don't drink. I was starting to think that if I ever get published, I'd have to change my habits.

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  23. Any. More. Frogs.

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  24. Wine! I can't stand the smell of it.

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  25. Mary28:07 AM

    I wouldn't like to receive any alcohol (I do drink a little but so little I buy it when I feel the urge). I also could go without anything kitchen. I don't cook. My idea of cooking is heating up a lean cuisine in the microwave. No amount of kitchen gadgetry gifting is likely to change that :) I do cookie baking occasionally. That's it.

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  26. I'd be happy with anything that I can't bathe in! I have enough toiletries to keep me clean and fresh right to the next millennium.

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  27. Those plastic encased nuclear proof sauages. The ones that would make it through the blast with the twinkies? None of them. Or the pink gooey cheese that is supposed to go with.

    Talyn is one of my favorite books ever and I have it in hardback so don't put me in the drawing. I just needed to share. :)

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  28. Alcohol or figurines. I don't drink and I don't want more junk to dust.

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  29. clothes because no one can fit me or suit me either. Alcohol cause I don't drink period. Or more xmas ornaments I really prefer to pick out my own.

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  30. No alcoholic beversges. I do not drink.

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  31. Those baskets full of bath stuff. First, it's the default "I don't know you" gift, along with gift cards, and second, what are you saying about my personal hygiene?

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  32. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Back when I was young and spry, I used to decorate for most holidays. My boys were little; they thought it was fun. They've lost that loving feeling for dragging boxes out of the attic. My desire was never strong enough to do it alone. In fact, I dread Christmas like a root canal.

    NO MORE DECORATIONS! Now, I smile, make appropriate comments about its cuteness, then give it away.

    Karen, the lurker

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  33. Twila9:08 AM

    For me, it's books. Not because I don't love books, but because I DO. Therefore, unless you know what I've bought recently, or what I'm currently jonesing on and haven't yet had a opportunity to get, chances are that I will ALREADY HAVE the book you gave me, and then I will be bummed.

    And kitschy things -- oh lord. Christmas themed potholders, cute pigs or whatever to go on the table... I hate those.

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  34. Bridget Medora9:10 AM

    Christmas-themed mugs or glassware. I've got plenty of those.

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  35. Jocks and socks. I know the ones I have now are holier than the season, but c'mon! It's Christmas!

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  36. Lon Lazarus9:27 AM

    I would rather not receive something ordinary and unsurprising.

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  37. Decorations that serve no purpose other than for, well... decoration. Somehow they rarely decorate; instead, they collect dust like magnet.

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  38. A purse. I have no idea why anyone who has ever taken a look at me and my habits would ever get the idea of wanting to give me a purse, but there they are.

    Ditto on perfume, toiletries or gift certificates for perfume/toiletries. The last one I got from my Tuesday English class I traded in for the money and bought books. 'nuff said.

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  39. I would prefer not to receive any kind of pre-packaged giftbox food items for Christmas. I'm thinking specifically of those sausage and cheese basket things. Gourmet hot chocolate or coffee would be okay, though.

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  40. A dog. I do not want a dog for Christmas.

    Cologne - I don't wear it.

    A comb. Really can't use it. :)

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  41. Holier than thou Christmas thingies, some of them are actually kind of frightening.
    Ann

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  42. Porcelain or whatnot figurines. I don't have enough shelf space as it is, I'm too lazy to dust them, and I'm not fond of them anyway.

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  43. My rules are:

    If I have to dust it, I don't want it.
    If I clean with it, I don't want it.
    If it makes more noise than the kids, I don't want it.
    If it's neon or animal print, I don't want it.
    If it's fermented, I don't want it.
    If it has an expiry date, I don't want it.
    If I lose it and insurance is involved, I don't want it.
    If it poops, I don't want it.
    If it doesn't come with a receipt, I don't want it.

    I will take cash though. (I'm amazed at how many folks here don't drink.)

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  44. No Coffee, Mugs, chocolates .

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  45. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Kitchen appliances - I hope my husband was joking when he mentioned new kettle and Christmas almost in the same sentence. No power tools either!

    Joanne

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  46. No photograph albums please! have tons of them and don't need them

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  47. Flowers since they last 2 days and are thrown out.

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  48. Calendars and journals.

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  49. Pottery. Have too much of it and no room.

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  50. FROGS! no more! i liked them until everyone i know decided that because i liked them they would ALL give me frog gifts. thanks, i hate frogs now. no more fishing frogs, no more frogs with sassy crossed legs reading books, no more frogs catching flies, dancing, or wearing dresses and tuxs...for the love of gods! NO MORE! *L*

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  51. My place is tiny so "knick knacks" just bug me. I simply don't have room. My own father sent me a rather large turkey-shaped basket gourd he made himself. He will be taking it home with him after Christmas because I don't have any place to display it.

    Oh, by the way. Seasons Greetings to all. Mele Kalikimaka. Feliz Navidad. Joyeux Noel. Happy Everything.
    --kay

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  52. Fruitcake!

    Please, make it stop, no more fruitcakes. . . .

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  53. Loved your comment about the diamond jewelry. Now everytime I see that commercial I'm am going to laugh!

    I am a tea drinker and everyone knows it but how many mugs and assorted teas can you use?

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  54. Clothes from the MIL. She's got this thing for buying me pastels. i don't do pastels much.

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  55. Clothes. Please don't give me anything that I'm supposed to wear. I have a hard enough time finding something that actually fits me; I'm sure that someone who's never even gone shopping with me can't do it! And style... well, I won't even go there except to say that it would look very good on the giver!

    Pam

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  56. Knick-knacks are definitely at the top of this list. I don't have time to dust them, and I can't be bothered to keep them in a box and get them out when the person who gave them to me is scheduled to visit, so they will be going to a thrift shop at the first opportunity.

    Also, bath and body stuff from people who don't know my preferences for it. Nice handmade soap? I'd probably like that if it's not too strongly scented. Lip balm? Ditto. But if in question, avoid it. And what's with the bath salts when I don't have a tub?

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  57. Perfume

    I have a cabinet full of this crap.
    I know I do not stink with the scented clothes soap, cling free, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, lotion, and deodorant. I am a one-two bottle a year gal and some smell like they have expired before they hit the self. Do they expire? Every year I get at least 2 gift boxes with like 2-5 bottles inside.

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  58. What we call in our household "tainted gifts." Like the video games my husband likes to get for me, knowing that when I never get around to playing them, he'll be able to. Though I must confess, I got him a tainted gift. The Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack. So I guess I'll have to accept my video game present with a happy smile, because then while he's playing it, I will be listening to fun Paul Williams' music!

    Ris

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  59. GenghisCon11:24 AM

    Slippers or slipper socks. I walk around the house barefoot by choice, not because I lack slippers. I'm all about the toe freedom.

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  60. My family always goes crazy giving me things they think I want to collect. It has gotten to the point where I can't tell them if I like something because then the whole family will get me said item. For example: Cardinals. One year my mom noticed I had a cardinal ornament. All of a sudden the whole family bought me all kinds of cardinal stuff.

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  61. I'd have to throw in with the anti-bath goods and anti-perfume crowd. Suppurating swellings on my fingers are not my idea of Christmas fun! In what's otherwise a Life of Happy Clutter, 99.9% of scented products irritate my skin and it ain't pretty.

    Alcohol, on the other hand, is always welcome :).

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  62. Shi, I can't see you in pastels! LOL!

    Clothes and Christmas ornaments...they are both items I'd rather pick out myself.

    Thanks for doing these fun giveaways, PBW!

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  63. I'd like to not get leprosy for Christmas. Wine is fine though, as is booze in most of its multifarious wondrous forms. Except for Tia Maria *shudder*.

    Oh, and no more T-shirts that look like they should belong to a teenager on a skateboard. I'm a little bit past that.

    Did I mention alcohol was OK?

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  64. Lol, I'm with Stuart, alcohol (esp. a nice single malt) is ok, and so are books. But no one except my father has an idea I have an Amazon wishlist. *sniff*

    What I don't want again? Another bloody, stupid, friggin' kitchen thingie that heats water, cooks eggs, bakes waffles and such. My dear SIL, Do. You. Hear?

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  65. Socks. My mom always manages to give me socks and I just bought some.

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  66. I'm not a big alcohol fan, so that's on my "Don't Want" list.

    Thanks!
    ~Briana

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  67. If I receive another Bed, Bath and Beyond gift certificate I will scream. Just because we registered there for our wedding everyone we know thinks we're just dying to go there after ever single holiday. We've been married over a year. I can buy my own sheets and toilet cozies at this point in my life.

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  68. Another basket of 'cheese product' and smoked sausage. I don't like either. Never have liked the latter. If you're going to send me a basket of something edible, please make it chocolate.

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  69. I prefer never to get any cookies, and edible items since I cannot eat most rich foods.

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  70. Karen W.2:22 PM

    I like a lot of things and am pretty easy to buy for so usually like most of my gifts, but I don't want any fattening food because then I will have to eat it all myself and that would be B-A-D... :-)

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  71. Please don't enter me into the prize draw - I just wanted to say that, in future, if you want to get your hands on a book published in the UK before it's released in the US, you should email me (daren't put my email address here since so many people read this blog, but it's on a link on my website) and I will buy it on your behalf and send it on to you. I do this for American and Canadian friends all the time, and they do the same for me with the latest American releases (we all know the fingernail knawing frustration of not being able to read your favourite author's latest offering RIGHT NOW). It's part of my weekly routine, and no trouble at all.

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  72. Anonymous2:37 PM

    Socks. Even cute ones. I don't wear them as often as most people. Or perfume. I don't wear it. Or make up, for the same reason. Or sweets/candy--I'm picky about what I eat.

    Cya,
    CC

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  73. Clothes
    I have way to many as it is plus hubby can never get the right size, and I hate his sense of style

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  74. Anonymous2:44 PM

    PBW,

    Try www.poisonedpen.com. They order and recieve MANY brit. first editon hardcover books for their first editon club. PP will mail to you. Hope that helps!

    Thing I would HATE to recieve for Christmas.

    Tchotckes. Of any kind.

    Rebecca

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  75. This is priceless!!!

    This squiggle and a big O are supposed to represent "the journey of love." Yeah? So the fact they look exactly like sperm and ovum is just...coincidence?

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  76. Anything with Yellow Dye #5 in it or kitchen appliances!

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  77. "5. Diamond Jewelry: I don't like diamonds anyway, but have you seen the latest jewelry being pushed by all the diamond chain companies? This squiggle and a big O are supposed to represent "the journey of love." Yeah? So the fact they look exactly like sperm and ovum is just...coincidence? "

    Thank you. I find the commercials where each diamond is a different kiss (date kiss, wedding kiss, baby kiss) particularly irritating and not just becuase I doubt I'll ever get to third base on that necklace.

    Have you noticed every store carries the same damn design? Are suburban wives _supposed_ to look like clones?

    What don't I want for Christmas? Mushrooms. I hate mushrooms.And no cookie-cutter diamonds. Other than that, I'm easy to buy for.

    M

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  78. Not to plagiarize Dave Barry, but I have seven fondue sets already, and I'd rather not have nother until I have managed to regift all of these away. :P

    I'd also rather not get gift cards. For all the thought that went into that gift, you might as well give me CASH and then I'd be able to buy books with it instead of being forced to spend it at Morton's Muffler and Brakes (I don't even drive).

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  79. Actually, I wouldn't mind a Play-doh fun factory - the children aren't very good about sharing theirs, and squashing the bejesus out of a lump of play-doh is great stress relief. Plus I'm really good at making play-doh animals. It's my one (admittedly pitiful) artistic ability.

    Things I don't want? Anything that collects dust or hints at a need for self-improvement.

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  80. Anonymous4:57 PM

    Christmas ornaments... that won't see much use until the *next* year.

    -Kayla

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  81. I would absolutely not like to receive a t-shirt of a molded resin cookie jar desk sign studded with diamonds and inscribed with quotes from a purpose-driven life stuffed inside a scrapbook from the beauty salon that served me wine and plastered champagne and caviar on my face.

    I know, I know. I'm VERY HARD TO SHOP FOR.

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  82. Cosmetics - I'll buy my own thanks; Perfume - I'm allergic to most and don't wear it.

    Luckily, I have spent years training my family; each has a category: alcohol, dvd, books, cd and chocolate. I think they've finally got it. Oh, and just in case? I buy myself a present - so it's guaranteed I'll get exactly what I want!

    Jaye Patrick

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  83. Cuddly toys, like teddy bears. I hate them, but people seem to think that I love them...

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  84. I enjoy receiving items that I could appreciate like books and gift cards, and not decorative items for the house, or baskets of goodies that I will never touch.

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  85. Anything smelly lol. I'm allergic to a lot of scents. I enjoy books the most of course and I do collect cups and playing cards lol.

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  86. I'm not too hard to please. I don't drink, but if I receive a bottle of wine, I'll just save it for company. I usually don't like appliances as gifts, as I have all those types of things that I need. Also, that is somewhat of a dull gift to me. Still though, if someone is nice enough to think of me, that counts for something. :)

    Hugs, Zara

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  87. Congrats on making position #6 on John Scalzi's Top 51 SF bloggers list.

    I made #29, although I'm sporting a new spelling of my name. (As long as people get the Spacejock right I could be anon for all I care.)

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  88. cookbooks (shudder) are on my do not give to me list

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  89. Scents usually give me a headache, and I don't like most cookies.

    I'm asking for Victoria's Secret gift cards this year. *grin*

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  90. Oh this one is so easy - sets of "beautiful" glasses. I'm not talking about nice sturdy glasses that my husband and son can't break merely by glancing at them, nor do I refer to crystal stems in my formal pattern (not that I'd use them if I did get them but at least the choice might make a bit of sense.) Oh no, these are all fragile, unwieldy water goblets, handpainted with roses or sunsets or tropical parrots.

    *shudder*

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  91. Do not give me clothes because they won't fit, perfume because I get headaches from it and alcohol because I don't drink.

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