What do you tell people when they ask you what you want for Christmas?

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This time of year is hectic and stressful for a variety of reasons. But for me, the biggest issue is coming up with ideas to tell people when they ask me for my Christmas idea list. Most of my friends and relatives are terrified to buy me anything that resembles a gadget, so I’m usually left writing lists that include favorite sock patterns and preferred toothpaste flavors. Saying “I don’t want anything” never works, so I’m asking the rest of you geeks and gadget hounds out there, what sort of items do you put on your gift lists?

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10 thoughts on “What do you tell people when they ask you what you want for Christmas?”

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  2. I usually buy the gadgets I want when I decide I’m ready to get them, so my family says I’m the hardest person to shop for in the world. I have solved that for them. My girls are a bit older than many on this list (18 and 21 this year), so this won’t work for everyone. Last year, I requested one of three things:

    1) Joint work day on a service project – Habitat for Humanity, the Rescue Mission Thanksgiving day dinner, etc. The only requirement was that the gift giver and I both had to work there together. (Volunteers usually have to be over 16 and/or accompanied by a parent or other adult.)

    2) A class together – yoga, tai chi, aerobics, whatever. The only conditions were that it had to fit our schedules, and we both had to go to all the classes together. (This was the one they choose, and it was great fun doing yoga for 6 Mondays with my daughters after work! They choose the class, scheduled it, and all three went, or none of us did. We had to take one session as a make-up, but we did them all together. It was wonderful!)

    3) Family dinner. Since they are both very busy, we rarely have time to eat together, all four of us. My girls are both good cooks, but they cook for their friends more than for their Mom and me, so I suggested them coming over and cooking, choosing the menu, either together or individually. (This may be the one they choose this year. My youngest, fresh from her first year in the dorm, is spending the holidays at her older sister’s new apartment with the new dog. They want to have Christmas dinner there, and we’re all for it! Why wait until they are married with kids before acknowledging their independence?)

    Not too geeky, but that’s what I ask for. As much as I love my gadgets, I find that what I really crave is time with people that I love.

  3. Oh, and I pay for the class or groceries. All I want from them is their creativity in finding and deciding on what to do and their time.

  4. Money. Lots of money 😉
    Either that or a gift card to an electronics retailer. Usually the gadget du jour that I want is out of the range of what is ok to ask for, but if everyone sends money, I can pool them together.

  5. Smitty:

    I really like your ideas!!!


    Cash and gift cards don’t top my list. I still have a Walmart gift card left over from last Christmas! I always feel guilty spending them on lame things like groceries or something.

  6. I pretty much buy my own tech things because unfortunately I’m mainly the only one who’s into gadgets in the family/friend circle. 🙁 In a way, it’s great to receive non tech gifts-who doesn’t need more cozy pajamas? I receive the bath&body scenty things and a family friend always comes through with a bottle of spirits to keep the holidays happy! 😉 Lastly, my mom is a gift card giver.

  7. Since no one I know spends as much for gifts as I do for gadgets, I usually receive gifts in the 25-50 dollar range, which can buy the occasional gadget, but are harder to find that I don’t already have.

    So, since I like to read the geeky magazines, so I usually provide my wife with a list (because no one will actually ask me directly, of course) with a list of subscriptions I would like. Although, I get some strange looks carrying around PC World and MacWorld at the same time. 😉

    I also like to collect seasons of TV show DVD’s which are often on sale during the holidays in the correct price range.

    Gift cards to restaurants are also popular, since I don’t feel guilty about using them, and get to share them with my family.

    The Entertainment Book is also something I put on my list every year – we use that year round for discounts.

    My list may seem long, but my birthday comes right after Christmas, so I only get one gift giving “season” per year.

  8. Here in California, gift cards or certificates never expire, and you can add them up – 3 or 4 $50 gift cards from Best Buy can add up to something decent, like most of an iPod. You just need to tell everyone you want a gift card from the gadget purveyor of your choice.
    As for the Wal-Mart card, while I avoid giving any money to the corporate equivalent of the Borg, if someone else paid for a card, and you haven’t claimed any inventory in return, thats even worse – they have the money AND the inventory.

  9. The only one who gives me gifts is myself, and I want one of the following for this holiday season:

    Nokia N810
    Garmin Vista HCx
    Canon G9

    I actually just gave myself a new mouthful of teeth…cost more than I made this year, but my teeth were falling apart, so I had no choice. If you get the chance to get 20 crowns done in 2 days, definitely, uh…skip it. Best part is I can’t eat with the temporary bridge crowns in, so I should be able to lose a LOT of weight in the next two months…

    Anyway, if I had some spare money, one of the above three gadgets would be MINE. 🙂


  10. I like the magazine idea. I’ve not found a new magazine to subscribe to in a long time. I always love getting things in the mail, so that’s a bonus too! :o)

    Thanks for all the ideas guys.

  11. My typical suggestion for people is a gift certificate to eReader.com. I tend to read 2-3 books a week (mostly re-reading the same books over again) and this gives me something new. I get to choose what I want and the giver doesn’t have to wait in lines or deal with other shoppers.

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