Co-ordinating Christmas Gifts, Or Else

When we were kids, my brothers and I–and to some extent, our parents–posted Christmas wish lists on the refrigerator door. These not only let people know what we were interested in, but also were a promise that when records and books were concerned, we wouldn’t buy them for ourselves until the new year.

My wife and I make Christmas lists for the same reason. With online purchases so easy to make, we don’t want to find out on Christmas Day that the books we though each other might want have already been bought.

We exchange Christmas lists with my brothers for the same reason. And, we circulate a larger Christmas list for my granddaughters. For one thing, people our age have no idea what children a thousand miles away might want for books and hobbies and games. And, since we don’t want duplications, my daughter creates the list and sends it to my wife who shares it with my sister-in-law. Whoever sees it first, erases the things we buy so that there can’t be any duplications.

I suppose the alternative is sending the same darn thing every year: a box of favorite booze, maple syrup or candies, and other edible holiday treats where duplication doesn’t matter. After all, if every one of my relatives sent me a bottle of single malt Scotch, it’s not like it will go bad waiting for me to get to it!

(I seldom send copies of my own novels to family members. They’ve been so supportive of my career, that they usually order their own copies as soon as each book is released.)

As usual, it often costs more to ship Christmas gifts than it takes to purchase them. Fortunately, my wife is very good at wrapping gifts. I package them up and take them to the post office. Sure, we could buy them online, include gift wrapping, and have them sent directly to family members, but that just seems kind of crass. we also avoid sending checks because that seems to be just too easy a way to let non-involvement take over the holidays.

So, how do y’all approach gifts to family and friends far away? Same thing every year (the Scotch route), edibles you know they like, buy it and hope for the best, a circulating wish list, or have you just said “to heck with it” and stopped exchanging gifts altogether?

One thing is certain, now that I’m adult and having to co-ordinate gifts to the four corners of the galaxy, I appreciate what my folks, grandparents, aunts, and uncles did when I was a kid and Christmas looked so easy.


“A riveting great read from first page to last, “Special Investigative Reporter” showcases author Malcom R. Campbell’s impressive narrative storytelling talents. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Special Investigative Reporter” is also available in a paperback edition (9781950750221, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).” – Midwest Book Review