Column: Give gifts to yourself this year

Ah, the season of greed is upon us.

The bug to buy was so bad at my house last week, my mom dragged me and my father out of bed at 6:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning for the 6 a.m. – 11 a.m. sale at Wal-Mart. It wasn’t until we asked for help finding those “specially marked items” that the sales associate told us the sales didn’t even start until Friday. So we were a day early. It was practice for when we’re out in the stores this year looking for that perfect gift that says I care, right?


We didn’t go to Wal-Mart shopping for Christmas gifts. We went in hopes of finding something cheap for ourselves.

Is it just me, or is anyone else experiencing difficulty shopping for other people during this season of giving? And with the extra discounts on normally high-priced items, such as DVDs, it’s harder not to put something in the shopping cart for yourself.

Last year, I thought I was becoming a scrooge because the idea of buying gifts, climbing a 6-foot ladder to hang lights on my roof and chopping down a pine tree seemed to be a bit much. I tried to pass off not wanting to decorate by saying that I had simply outgrown the Christmas spirit.

Recently, when my aunt asked if I had put up a Christmas tree at my parents’ house, I said no, and there wouldn’t be one this year either. “We’re festive enough in our hearts,” I said.

The truth is that my folks rearranged the furniture and there’s no longer room for a tall, indoor pine that sheds on the rug for a month.

Now I know Christmas isn’t all bah humbug. We do get that really sweet one-month vacation in the middle of winter. That’s definitely something for which to be thankful. It’s hard enough getting out of bed without it being cold outside.

Maybe I’m going through a phase. Maybe I’m just bitter for no reason. Or maybe I’m jealous of all the cool toys children get these days.

Scratch that last part.

I think I had more fun playing with my Atari 2600 than my nephews will with a brand new Nintendo Game Cube.

The good thing about shopping for my family is at least we don’t buy gifts for everyone like we used to.

My family is too large and still growing. We now pull names and buy gifts that way. It’s a lot cheaper and it saves time.

This year I’ll try using the money I would have spent buying another purse for my cousin on something worthwhile – like a dark blue, five-speed Volkswagen Jetta, for me, of course. Base price is about $16,800 for a 2002 model, Santa. That’s right, a 10-speed Huffy won’t cut it this year.

By now, some of you reading this are ready to call me or send me a strongly worded e-mail saying that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ or spending time with family. And that’s all well and good.

I’m merely saying what’s on my mind and probably the mind of the person sitting next to you in one of your classes. So don’t hate me for being honest.

  • Kevin Graham is The Oracle editor in