Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gift No-Nos

Ten Things I Don't Want for Christmas

Biographies of Famous Dead Writers: Why, thank you for showing me exactly what sort of erroneous idiocies some dumbass might someday write about me or one of my friends as well as reminding me of how young we generally buy the farm. Does this come with a box of Kleenex?

Celebrity bylined Books: They didn't write them, and the writer who actually did the work probably got paid a pittance, so this is just going straight to the library donation box.

Chocolate Anything: With my diet the way it is, this is pretty much the same thing as handing a sixteen-year-old boy a bottle of whiskey and the keys to a brand-new Maserati.

Computer Games: After eight to ten hours of writing and editing, my eyes burning, my neck cricked, my voice gone and me never wanting to see another red- or green-squiggle-underlined word again, you think I'm going to want to play Publishing Tycoon for PC?

High-Tech Phone: Last year I used exactly 118 minutes on the cheap, do-nothing disposable phone I've had for the last six years, and half of that was from the kids borrowing it when the batteries on theirs died. I can't text. I can't overuse my voice. I won't talk on the phone when I'm driving. You know what I like to do with phones most? Shut them off. So just turn around and walk away from the Blackberry display.

Personalized Items: I know my name. So do my friends and family. The dog even knows my name. I already have an extensive collection of personalized coffee mugs, T-shirts, embossed address books, planners, blotters, desk signs and notepads. So save yourself an hour hanging around the mall kiosk while having it etched on yet another item I won't use, because as you seem to forget every year, I hate my name.

Quilts or quilted objects: Aside from the fact that they're generally imports made by women who are paid pennies to work in horrendous sweat-shop conditions in some third world country with a fascist government that endorses honor killings, have you not noticed that I already own enough quilts to keep an Army regiment warm at night?

Vampire-themed Things: It's sweet of you to try to connect with my work, but that series is finished and I've moved on. Besides, the only time I can use this stuff is to decorate the house once a year for Halloween.

Victoria's Secret Products: At my age, baby, this is like putting lipstick and nail polish on a plow mare.

Zhu Zhu: Oh for God's sake.

So what don't you guys want for Christmas? Let us know in comments.


  1. LOL on your top ten!

    I want books for Christmas! I've begged for books. You know what they tell me? Don't you want a snuggie? (No, thank you.) Don't you want ...? (No!) Well, books aren't on the list.

    Sigh. Rant over. I'm off to visit the library until I get paid.

  2. Don't give me candles! I've already lived through one, and even though it wasn't started by one, I'm so terrified of another that it isn't even acceptable to *think* about giving me candles... so why do I get them every single year?

    And don't give me clothes. Unless you know me really, really, REALLY well... and probably not even then. Unless they're socks. Cute socks, I can live with. The warmer the better. But no toe socks. My toes are too short and won't stay in them.

    Give me books. Better yet, give me a gift card for books. Or gift cards for certain homeschool-wonderful websites. Board games that we don't have would be a fantastic choice, for me or the kids. And for a crazy wish-Santa'd-drop-one-off-for-me choice, anything Mac that would run Scrivener.

  3. I swear, if I get another tie, another cutesy pair of socks or another Mickey Mouse Christmas-anything, I'll get my christmas shopping money and buy a gun!

  4. Don't you want things embossed with all your names? *ggg* Rebecca Kelly can't drink from the Lynn Viehl mug, you know.

  5. I haven't golfed in 12 years. Please no golf accessories. You know who you are.

  6. What don't I want?

    Expensive pens and lovely notebooks.

    I have several beautiful pens that never leave my office where eventually the ink dries out. And thanks for the notebooks with handcrafted art paper that are too pretty to write on. (Plus you can't read back what you just wrote, anyway.)

    I use Hilroy and Bic. 'Nuff said.

  7. Um...Lynn? If you don't want your chocolate, may I have it? :-)

  8. Books, paint and mechanical pencils top the list of what I'd like. Plum pudding tops the list of what I never want to see again. Too many people think I like plum pudding because my mother is British. Hate the stuff. (Much to Mum's dismay.)

  9. I want a Snuggie! Just for laughs, though. :)

    What I don't want is anything to do with crafts or art. I don't like making artsy things.

  10. Honestly--there's very little I *do* want. And those things aren't in stores or catalogs. Time with my sweetie where the $#!! pager doesn't go off is probably top on my list of perfect holiday gifts.


  11. No more coffee cups. No matter how sweet.

  12. "Victoria's Secret Products: At my age, baby, this is like putting lipstick and nail polish on a plow mare."

    So, no horsing around on Christmas?

  13. Rejections.

    My collection is complete, thank you.

  14. I don't want anything for Christmas because I know I won't get the few things I've been asking after for years now. No one listens to me even though I try to be conscientious enough to get them at least one thing they ask for.

    I get clothes in bright colors because people think I need bright colors. Um, thanks, but I only wear black and just until they come up with something darker. If there is some piece of clothing I ask for, I get something totally different because they didn't like what I'd picked but figure since I mentioned the item, one that's totally opposite would be just as wonderful. If I ask for a gift card to one store, I end up with a card to a store I've never walked into before. And it goes on and on and on...'ll take your chocolate! :)

  15. I don't want presents from the cats. Well, purrs and headbuts are okay. Dead mice or hairballs, not okay.

  16. When I gave birth for my first and only time my Hubby wanted to be creative and bought me a Chia Pet. Also, jumping on the Rose-hates-to-be-ordinary bandwagon, my parents got me a gift certificate for a pedicure.

    An hour before leaving the hospital my hormones did that lovely shift that makes you super emotional. So I sat on my bed with not a single bouquet (next to a jungle of roses and balloons that the lady next to me had collected) and wailed, cried and swore like a sailor that when a woman gives birth she gets flowers!

    I hated my Hubby for about a week after that. I also hate Chia Pets and can paint my own damn toenails. Never buy me any of those things if you want to be spoken to again. I am disturbingly serious. " )

  17. *Clothes. I don't look my age so that 3X granny-shirt just makes me look like I'm wearing Goofy's tent.

    *Exercise or diet stuff--hey, I know I'm chunky and I'm working on it. I don't need passive-agressive hints that you think I'm both fat AND lazy.

    *Books detailing how to discipline my kids. Okay, so now I'm fat, lazy, and my kids are brats too?

    (Yes, a family member has given me all of the above for several years now, completing the collection with newspaper clipping on how not to be a wimp. Ye-ah, love ya too.)

  18. I agree about the books--can't get relatives to give them!!

    Also agree on not wanting chocolate, engraved stuff, fancy underwear. and please no perfume!

  19. Hm - jewelry. My husband has bought me several lovely pieces and I forget to wear them!!

    Also chocolate and/or food in general - I do a great job overeating on my own, and chances are I can't eat whatever you're giving me because it has dairy or eggs in it, and I don't eat that stuff.

    Agreed with most people, there really isn't anything tangible I want except books I have picked out myself . . . what I REALLY want for Christmas is a winning lotto ticket to pay down loans and bills.

  20. I don't really care what I get for Christmas (or whether I get anything), but I had to say . . . LOVED this post. Your commentary on the Zhu Zhu item made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

  21. Keita Haruka1:59 PM

    1) Physical writing implements. At worst, I'm just going to lose them somewhere. At best they end up at the bottom of a drawer, never to be seen again.

    2) Kitchen utensils. Yes, I do like to cook...but my fiancee is the REAL master, and he has definite taste when it comes to such things.

    3) Food items. My boy is a professional chef, so I have all the goodies I could possibly want already...and I'm roly-poly enough as it is. :P

    4) Whiz software. That stuff just confuzzles me. KISS. That works best for this one.

    5) Clothes. Hunny...I'm gay. Believe DON'T know what I want. :P

    What is always welcome in my Christmas stocking:

    1) Books. Note: only authors on my "approved" list since I ever only buy/keep books I'm going to reread. I'm one of those "try before you buy" people. :P

    2) Ditto on CD's.

    3) Sci-Fi shows. Yes. I am in fact a Trekkie. :P Love Stargate. *cries over Babylon 5 and Firefly*

    4) Wolf-themed items. Like pictures, ornaments, books...anything wolfy! Wolves rule, 'kay?

    5) Shadowrun source-books. I'm a hopeless fanboy...:P C'mon! You gotta love Cyberpunk mixed with magic, where high tech, high magic and corporate interest meet in spectacularly detailed settings.

    Yes, I'm older than 18. Why do you ask? ;-)

  22. All I want for Christmas is a gift certificate to a bookstore. I buy books. Once in awhile I buy a DVD or CD. I read, a lot.

    Books, books, books. It's what I want for Christmas.

  23. Flowers. The last set that included lilies kicked off my allergies, and led up to an ear/throat infection. Really, they're much prettier in their natural habitat.

    Country, craftsy, Christmas decorations. I could fill the house with the collection I've already received. And yet I don't. Take a hint.

    Scented "beauty" products. Hives are not beautiful.

    Boxy sweaters with any of the following: cats, sequins, jingle bells, appliques, more than 1 primary color.

    Paper plates and napkins. Why, oh why?

  24. Nothing that you bought because you felt obligated to get me something. Gifts like that are 99.99% fail, because people that do that don't know me. Gifts do not = love. Clean my house for me if you must do something!

    No cookies (don't eat them), scented anything (allergies), parenting books (my kids have turned out fine, tyvm, and I've never read one of them because the advice is usually crap), or jewelry (with the exception of very rare occasions, I have one necklace and my wedding rings I wear all the time and that's it.)

    I like gift cards, especially to book stores and home improvement stores :D

  25. No decorative knick-knacks and no photo frames. Horizontal surfaces above the reach of my one-year-old are at a premium in my house. They're for holding scissors, spools of ribbons and the mail, not for china shepherdesses and frames with seashells along the edges.

    Bookends are pretty useless, too. Our books are held in place by other books.

  26. Anonymous4:23 PM

    I want: A good vacuum cleaner and a new Mac Laptop. I want See's candies (choclate covered ginger is my favorite)

    I don't want: clothes or wine-- I'll buy my own, thank you very much. Nobody knows how well my butt fits in anything except me.

  27. writergrrrl4:40 PM

    No more beef jerky. (Note to my caring but clueless brother-in-law.)

    No more re-gifted drugstore knick-knacks. (Note to my lovely but equally clueless mother-in-law.)

  28. Why do relatives have such a problem buying books for presents?
    I don't want a lot of stuff, I'm only going to have to move again, but I always want books, and I hardly ever get given them.

  29. Mmm, yes. I thought of an addition to my no-no list... those horrid chocolate covered cherries things.

    So Mom loves them. Dad, your daughters most definitely do not. (And we keep forgetting to ask Mom if she even likes them, or if that's some random idea you got in your head when we were kids and haven't let go of yet...)

    If you absolutely *must* give us candy, give chocolate.

  30. No more chocolate coated almonds, please, no more chocolate coated almonds. I can't eat them because I'm allergic to a stabilizing agent. My parents can't eat them because of dental issues. And the kids in the neighbourhood would much rather eat other candy. But every single year a client sends me a package full of chocolate coated almonds.

    No ham, no smoked salami type sausages hard enough to beat someone over the head with. I'm vegetarian.

    Also no more Milka brand chocolate. True, I used to eat the stuff by the truckload when I was sixteen. That was twenty years, a few recipe changes and corporate sell-outs ago. I no longer even like the stuff, okay?

    No cosmetics. I have allergy issues and am very particular about which cosmetics I use. Unless you know exactly which brand I use, please don't give any to me. And no, I don't want any lipstick and eyeshadow period. I don't even wear make-up, for heaven's sake.

    No fake flower arrangements, Christmassy or not. I don't have the space to put them up, I don't like them and I still haven't passed on the ones you gave me last year to more appreciating recipients.

    And finally, no sexy underwear. Whichever marketing genius came up with the idea to persuade men that women want sexy but uncomfortable underwear for Christmas should be stuffed in that same sexy underwear (bonus points if it's a man who looks like Frank 'n Furter afterwards) and chased through the snowy streets.

  31. I love your top ten! I often feel a little ungrateful for saying what I don't want, so I pass around the link to my Amazon wishlist instead, but the one thing I REALLY do not want is knitting stuff. I knit like crazy but only I know what needles I need, or what yarn I'd like. Buying me yarn is silly as I might not have enough for anything I'd like to make with it, or I might just hate it...

  32. Nonfiction I haven't specifically requested. I tend to get books on my career, general living, and other things I really should read--like Eating Well on Campus--but won't until the Sahara's covered with ice. So, the rare nonfiction requests for this year: Heaven (Randy Alcorn, and I'll probably read bits of this here and there, now and then), and an Arabic Bible.

    With books and music, it's best to go for gift cards unless I've specifically requested something. Ditto on the yarn, Icy, and on beads. If it's for my craft projects, I and I alone know exactly what I need and how much.

    I'm getting harder and harder to buy for--but on the other hand, I'll always accept chocolate. And pipe cleaners, because I model characters with them and, ahem, wouldn't mind a full-scale reenaction of the chapter in my novel that killed 20,000 people.

  33. LOL. Another shotgun!!!
    What's Zhu Zhu?

  34. That list is good for me too. I had to look up Zhu-zhu.

    Car Goes Boom

  35. Anything vanilla. No vanilla candles. No vanilla-scented bodylotions, etc.
    Why? Since they are guaranteed to give me a head-ache. Thus, I don't use them!


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