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proper gift giving

And now, Rich's tips on gift giving. Take notes; you will be quizzed later.

My sister is awesome at picking gifts for Christmas now, but there was a time when she wasn't so great at that. There was one particular year (and this was a long time ago) when she bought me an absolutely horrible gift. After January started, I let her know about it in a nice way. Since then she's done nothing but buy the coolest stuff for me ever since. At the time I let her know of my disdain for the bad gift she bought me, she asked Well, what do you want? I replied simply with Anything I can use.

Now granted, there are some ultra-cool gifts like the Leaves of Lorien (something I received in 2005 - and I still have it), but that's a rare instance where someone got me something where she knew I'd like it. For the rest of the time, I tell everyone to buy me stuff I can use, i.e. get me something practical.

Here's a few examples.

DVD's

DVD's are cheap and easy to give. Even if the person you buy it for doesn't like the movie, they'll probably watch it anyway sooner or later.

However, I will say that I can't stand people who own every single movie under the sun. You know they like movies, so you try to find something that they couldn't possibly have, only to have them say Oh, hey man, thanks. I already have this.

Note: If you receive a DVD and you already have it, don't tell the gift giver you have it already. It's insulting. Smile and say "thank you".

Clothes

Can't go wrong with clothes. Don't know what clothes to buy for someone? Get a gift card at an above-par clothing store.

Wal-Mart gift card

This is a great gift. Why? It is guaranteed to be used. And yes, the person you bought it for will use it. I received one in the past and used every last cent on it.

Like it or not, everyone shops at Wal-Mart. Anyone who says they don't is lying.

Gas card

This is yet another great gift. Gasoline is expensive. Everyone drives. This is another one that's guaranteed to be used.

Expensive pen

I don't think this is gender specific, but I think it leans more towards men. A guy likes (and if he doesn't, he should) a classy pen. One that writes smoothly and looks pristine. If you really want to go all out, you can have his last name (not the first) engraved on the clip. My Pop has been using these for years. I've yet to acquire one.

Price: $25 to $100. If anyone bought me a pen that was over $100, I'd be scared to use it.

And if anyone is taking notes, a pen with a deep wood-grain look and a gold clip looks mighty snazzy. Bonus points if it's a "clicky" pen. I miss clicky pens. They're tough to find these days.

Any toy popular when that person was between eight and twelve years old

This is the only one on my list has that no real practicality to it, but it's cool. Read on.

No one ever thinks about this and it's particularly suited to girls (although it can be applied to boys also). I'm thirty-one years old. When I was ten years old, the year was 1985. So that means I was enjoying toys of the 80's.

If someone bought me a key chain Rubik's Cube, that would kick ass.

Or maybe a Skeletor t-shirt (and yes, I'd wear it).

For girls, it's too easy. You can get just about anything Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, Pound Puppies, Smurfs, or heck.. even Jem and they'd probably love you for life. Just watch the wide-eyed amazement when they open your retro gift and instantly go ga-ga for it. Why? Because it's a cool childhood toy. And everyone loves toys.

So there's your last-minute shopping tips. Happy Christmas, everyone.

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