...I know that that's a particular holiday for one faith, but the ideas in this entry might apply to a lot of others - especially where wish lists are involved.
I was listening to the radio this morning and heard the DJ mention that a relative had sent out an email to everyone stating what was on her children's wish lists. That prompted them to ask the listeners if they still put together wish lists, or required them of people.
Now, if money is topping your wish list that you're giving to people then that's sort of rude. I can see putting a line in there asking for gift cards, but not straight out for money because that's a little greedy. As if the wish list weren't greedy enough, you might think.
After all, it's a list of the things that you want the most and are hoping that someone will give to you, or that you can use as a shopping list later on, right? You're hoping to get something off of that list at some point, and hopefully wrapped up as a present.
I've made wish lists before. In fact, my family makes wish lists for Christmas every year and puts them on the fridge. DH was first this year (he usually beats us by putting it up before Thanksgiving, thus it's usually the first sign of Christmas in my house). I think I might have been last unless you count the revisions and rewriting done by A & B. Originally we taught the girls that the wish lists were their Santa lists - after all, Santa has lots of things to choose from and a list is a nice way to narrow things down a little.
For DH and I the lists are a great way to make sure that we're not going to buy something disappointing for each other. That's not to say that you have to buy something that's specific on the list - after all, DH has finally removed the Abrams tank and the Ferrari off his Christmas list because he knows he's not going to get them (unless I buy a model kit at the hobby shop). Deviations can sometimes be better than what's on the list in the first place.
I like having lists - it ensures that I'm not going to screw up someone's present and get them something that they're really going to enjoy. It's not that I can't come up with a thoughtful gift, it's just that I prefer ideas during what is one of the most stressful times of the year. If there's one less thing that I have to worry about, all the better.
Callers to the radio station this morning were on both sides of things. One caller talked about how Santa lists were required from her children - one gift comes from Santa and all the others come from Mom & Dad, but if you don't turn in a Santa list then you don't get a Santa gift. Her middle child didn't give a list *once* and didn't get a gift from Santa that year, and it never happened again. Another asked why should they have to get lists for teenagers? Shouldn't you know those teenagers well enough to get them something?
That's a good point. I really should know my nephews who live in Vermont and I get to see about once every couple of years a lot better so that I know what to get them for Christmas. I should know my own children well enough to get them something for Christmas too, right? And DH - I've known DH for over 15 years. I certainly should be able to get him something thoughtful and appreciated without needing a list right?
Wrong. Some people are hard to shop for. Sometimes tastes change. An idea you have in September and fixate upon might be the totally wrong thing by the time December rolls around and you're wrapping it. Ideas and suggestions never hurt. It's all in the way that you look at it - Christmas lists and letters to Santa could be "gimme gimme" or they could be just an easy way of saying "Hey, if you're going to get me a list, here are some of the things I need/would appreciate". In the end, however, we all know it's not about the gift...
...it's about the thought and the giving.