Friday, December 22, 2006

What do you get the man who gave you everything?

Ready or not, Christmas is almost here. And I confess, I'm not ready. I still have some shopping to finish before spending the weekend criss-crossing the state of Oregon to enjoy the holidays with family.

I guess if there is any consolation, I've gotten better at this over the years. Once upon a time I did all my Christmas shopping on Christmas eve. I sort of had to get out of that habit when I lived in California. Even FedEx wouldn't have been able to pull me out of the jam I would have been in for sending my daughter's gifts late.

Now I get to hand deliver her holiday gifts, which is great. But compared to many people on my holiday list, she's pretty easy to shop for. I can usually get a few clues from her or her mother about things she would want to need for Christmas.

My parents and brothers are another story. For some reason, I always struggle figuring out what to get them.

Dad is the worst. I've lost count of how many gifts I've gotten him over the years that he didn't really get any use out of. Or the number of Pendleton shirts he's got from me, or others, over the years. He likes those wool shirts, but I've even managed to mess that up. One year I got him a shirt that looked real nice in the package, but failed to realize it was a short-sleeved shirt. Can you imagine? A short-sleeved wool shirt? Who would wear a short-sleeved wool shirt? "You know I love wool shirts, but I just can't wear them because my arms get too warm."

Efforts to be more imaginative haven't faired so well. Last year I went a different route with him and my brothers. I got them all Capital Press caps (my dad rarely goes anywhere without a cap) and our commemorative trucks. Not that my dad still plays with toys, or needs a piggy bank (which is one of the hidden features of the trucks), but in his office he has a couple of die-cast models of airplanes and trucks that he's either picked up or been given over the years. So I thought he could add one more to the modest collection.

But I'm not sure what to do this year. Another truck seems unimaginative. And he already has a Capital Press cap (not to mention dozens, if not hundreds, from every farm, farm supplier and probably from every vacation stop family and friends have made for the last 30 years).

A gift card would probably be perfect, but I'm not sure if he'd even use it. It would probably get tucked away in a draw somewhere and forgotten.

The irony is that my father and I are a lot alike in many ways, but I can't shop for him for some reason. I wonder if I'm that hard to shop for?

So, my quest continues for the perfect gift for my father and a few other family members who I haven't yet crossed off my list.

I hope you all better prepared than I am for the holidays.

Merry Christmas.

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