The time has come for all good men (and women and, yes, children, too) to sit back, reflect on the past year, and make a decision. “What do I want for Christmas?” Yes, my dear friends, it is indeed that time once again: the Christmas shopping season. You know you must prepare yourself, so you sit down to embrace the Christmas spirit through writing your annual gift guide to Santa/your parents/yourself. But maybe you, with pen in hand or laptop on lap, have found yourself in a predicament quite common to authors: writer’z block (see what I did?). The blank page just stares up at you, taunting and bare. Now how will Santa’s sleigh be filled with all the goodies your heart has ever desired? How can you keep your relatives from filling your stockings with socks, socks and more socks? Easy. You follow this simple guide to the perfect Christmas wish list.
1. Dream big
You’re not going to get everything you ask for. This is a fact of life. But this does not mean that you can only ask for what you’re sure to get. If there’s something you really want that seems outlandish or preposterous or even in all likelihood just doesn’t exist yet, write it down anyway. At worst, you won’t get it, but at best, Santa’s elves can whip one up for you in their little workshop and you will get that [insert name of really cool thing] you always wanted. All I know is that if you don’t ask, your chances of ever getting an, uh, whatever-it-is go down significantly. It doesn’t hurt to try, and more importantly, it gets those big things out of the way so that you can concentrate on some of the more reasonable present ideas.
2. Vary it up
I like to add a variety of gift ideas to my Christmas wish list. Different items in different price ranges help you have a good idea of what to recommend to parents versus close friends versus acquaintances. Smaller items like DVDs or some good-smelling cologne might be a nice option for some people, while more doting family may have a bigger gift in mind, like those snazzy shoes (Retro Jordan XIs) you’ve had your eye on for months, or some sweet new form of technologic genius. Mixing in the practical with the extravagant provides a nice balance to your list, and speaking of practical…
3. All you need is…
When it comes to achieving an all-inclusive Christmas list, no necessity should be too silly sounding to make the list. For instance, as college students, you run out of the quality, name brand version of, well, anything and often replace it with the cheap off-brand. Christmastime provides a great chance to ask for the good stuff again. Go ahead—if you need shampoo, toothpaste or even deodorant, put it down. It saves you the few dollars you’d otherwise have to spend, and your gift-buying buddies may be more likely to buy a nicer kind than you would buy yourself since it’s a gift.
4. Your favorite color
When you can’t think of anything you need at the moment, stop to consider where your savings are going. What would you buy if you had the money? Or what would you do, perhaps? Although asking for money can come off as inconsiderate if not gone about the proper way, being honest about your wish for saving funds could pay off. I’ve used Christmases and birthdays as prime opportunities to ask for support on bigger gifts, for example. Then again, maybe a gift card is more your speed. Perhaps you’re going to need clothes, but you’re picky on the fit or style and would rather choose your own; why not ask for gift cards to your favorite stores? iTunes gift cards are great for music lovers; Wal-mart, Target, or Kroger cards can be used for groceries or gas, and the ever-so-wondrous Visa gift cards that work just like cash, but can be used online as well.
So there you go: the perfect wish list is now within your grasp. Go; compose a wish list to move even the most heartless Scrooge to tears! Make the world a better place! Keep your stockings sock-free! Unless, of course, you’re RGIII and actually want some nice, wooly socks.
Thanks for tuning in….