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A Buyer's Guide: What I DON'T Want for Christmas

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I'm kind of an impossible person difficult to buy anything for and trying to purchase something for me for Christmas is no exception. What do you give the woman who has very distinct likes and dislikes everything? For starters, you don't give her this:

the snowblower from hell

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Man versus machine, my behind. I do not want either of these things blowing anything at me in my driveway.

Not to belabor the point, but I have an extremely acute sense of smell, so I am very sensitive to odors scents of any kind. Gardenias, brownies or cookies baking in the oven, Marc Jacobs men's cologne (be still my heart, Mr. Wonderful) and fresh cut grass = pleasant, appealing, yummy, good. What I don't want to have stinking up my nostrils unwrap is exhaust from said man or snow blower, the smell of vanilla candles, sachets of any kind, some God-awful perfume that I'll never wear or imitation almond extract. Ever. While we're at it, please rethink anything that comes with a diffuser or "oozes". Even open sores don't smell as bad as cheap chocolate covered cherries.

When it comes to the jewelry department, do not be going near a jewelry "department" of any kind. Jewelry should be bought in a jewelry store. But let's be honest. If every kiss begins with "Kay", and I find a box with that name on it being handed to me, it will surely be the kiss of death end of our relationship. Think Bulgari, Tiffany, Georg Jensen. Think big. And then think again. Whatever you pick will not be "just fine" my taste. I don't want a tennis bracelet unless the diamonds are each the size of Wilson balls. Let me pick out my own stuff and you can write me a check for all my trouble. The last man that tried to buy me jewelry got me this.

no image

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Yes. It was that bad.

Nothing says you have no clue about my taste than some crappy gift basket from a place that makes its fortune one month a year by spending the other eleven manufacturing "processed cheese food" and mysterious sausage of questionable origin with enough red dye in it to make my lipstick envious. So just in case there's any question, here's another thing I don't want to see getting foisted on coming anywhere near me ever again this Christmas:

gift basket

I'm a real pain in the ass, aren't I? I prefer to be thought of as picky discerning. If I go into someone's home and see that the aesthetic leans toward Jewish French Provincial "antiques" or sleek, modern Italian, what would possess me or anyone else to go out and buy that person a shag welcome mat with poodles and pom-poms? Which part of "this will go immediately into the trash regifting program," do you not get?

Now, I'm all for gift cards, but I have learned my lesson in the past. Buying gift cards to bookstores for people who never pretend to read is the equivalent of getting me season tickets to the Lakers. I happen to love books and it's not like anyone has the money to buy me season's tickets to the Lakers (okay, maybe they do, but then they would also have to throw in a year's worth of airline tickets or better yet, a year's worth of Net Jets). I would likely keep the airline tickets and sell the tickets on e-Bay. And there would be one strict condition. I'm not going to use the airline tickets only to go to LA. I have other places to discover I won't like and have no illusions of making it on to the big screen unless there's a wide angle.

So, a little recap here. Do NOT buy me "machinery" or stinky, smelly things. Do NOT go to the mall on Christmas Eve at the last minute and get me some crappy earrings I will never wear. Do NOT have a gift basket containing "food" that will survive nuclear catastrophe delivered to my house and do not try to redecorate my home. Lastly, DO NOT buy me season's tickets to any sporting event. As a matter of fact, do not buy me anything. Just tell me you love me and can't wait to spend Christmas Eve with me, together alone. Without any lingerie that doesn't fit.

I hope you're listening.

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Patricia A. Smith is a writer and artist (and sometimes both at the same time). A former columnist, restaurant critic and cruise line executive, Smith has lived in London, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Egypt, Costa Rica and France. She returned (more...)

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