After moving my household four times over the last three years, I discovered that I had become a repository for every sort of
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.