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The Ghost of Christmas Presents

It happens every year. Christmas is just around the corner and I'm not happy with the gifts I've bought and I have no idea what to get the people I care most about. Well, actually Mom's done, Dad and Lynette are squared away (although a lot of good it'll do if I don't get them in the mail). Karen and the kids had an early xmas by way of Thanksgiving in the UK.

That leaves Mr. Impossible-To-Buy-For. He wants nothing, and historically whatever I give him is yesterday's news within the next couple of months. This year, the only thing that he'd hinted at a couple of times was about a kazillion times outside my budget. 1,200 for a toy dog. Um, yeah, it's cute, but Santa's looking at unemployment next year, so it's not the year for the big splurge.

So anyway, I had some ideas and had already made some purchases, but nothing was really "special" and I want our first Christmas in England to be memorable.

But Bob ... you've been in England more than a year, wasn't last year your first Christmas?

Ah, gentle reader ... how clever of you to recall. But actualy, we spent last Christmas in Quito getting ready to go diving in the Galapagos. So, this is in fact our first Christmas in England. And it could be our last, if my friends at UNO can't find a record of my graduation in the next few weeks. But that's another story.

So I'm wandering through Carnaby Street and the hell-that-is Oxford Street. The familiar dark thoughts come, along with that familiar sick feeling in my stomach. The stress demon whispering in my ear ... it's all too expensive, it's all shite, he'll never use that, it's all pointless anyway.

The internal monologue continues: It's not about gifts, it's about feelings and blah blah. Why doesn't he collect something or have more interests? It's his fault there's nothing worth buying. I'm too materialistic. I'm such a loser. More blah blah.

I find myself in Selfridges, because they do have everything, hoping to be inspired. I'm about ready to call it quits and come home and mediatate ... just go back to the breath, you're taking this all too seriously.

I found myself in department I rarely go to. I had an idea. I hunted around, and I found what I think to be a great gift, completely unplanned and totally unexpected. It suits him nicely, is something he'll definitely use, will have a decent shelf life, and is special enough that we'll always remember it came from England.

Until it breaks.

But it made me happy to find a something that I know he'll appreciate, and truly won't expect.

Unless he hates it.