In middle age, the gift-giving element of the holiday season seems to lose its charm. Goodness knows you don’t need more stuff, and the idea of shopping in an actual mall is enough to bring on a three-month bout of agoraphobia.
If you’re childless like us, shopping and gift-giving seems even less enticing. I bake cookies for the neighbors, deposit money in the nieces’ and nephews’ 529 accounts for college tuition, and write a check to a local charity. Done.
That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t have some strong suggestions for what other people should get. Herewith are my gift ideas for this year’s holiday season.
For the developers of TiVo: my eternal gratitude
For Heidi Klum: new Project Runway judges, preferably ones with taste (Gretchen Jones? Really?)
For designers Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice: a second season on the road
For Sarah Palin: a dictionary
For Bristol Palin: propriety
For the Dancing With The Stars producers: a dictionary with the definition of star highlighted
For the state of California: political candidates that aren’t either Democratic retreads or Republican novices
For politicians everywhere: the realization that the answer is neither big government nor small government, but rather effective government
For President Obama: the ability to deliver the change he promised us two years ago
For our soldiers in the Middle East: a one-way ticket home
For the people they leave behind: two-way dialogues that promote peace
For the NFC West: a prayer that a team with a .500 record doesn’t win the division, because that would be really embarrassing
For the AFC West: ditto
For Stanford football coach Jim Harbaugh: a burning desire to emulate Joe Paterno
For Hollywood: the realization that just because a movie is loud doesn’t mean it’s exciting
For the producers of CSI: the realization that just because coroners use rib spreaders doesn’t mean it’s entertaining to watch (or hear)
For my niece: a healthy baby in March
For her husband: the sense not to name it after one of the San Francisco Giants
For my friends: a holiday season overflowing with the warmth of the people they love and the absence of people they don’t
For my readers: lots more crankiness and nostalgia in 2011