Hunting & giving

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Around this time of year, some people are starting to think about buying Christmas presents for their loved ones.

Maybe they’ll go all-out and spend hundreds of dollars on some gadget or jewellery that will lose its novelty within the first few weeks. Or maybe they’ll wander the malls aimlessly for days and days until they find something that might work.

Some will avoid the issue altogether until the last possible moment when they have to buy something—anything—so they don’t wind up on the couch on Christmas night. A week before Christmas, shoppers start to get frantic as they fight for the last Wii game system because stores just so happen to be understocked for their most popular gift item.

This kind of thing happens every year. It slowly creeps up on us because, face it, we’re all lazy and Christmas shopping is bound to become a madness that takes over our lives for a few days.

I don’t mean to say buying something nice for others is a horrible thing. But maybe it’s overrated, and maybe our view of a nice present has been somewhat distorted by advertising campaigns. For some people, the nicest present they receive might be something homemade and personalized in a way that shows how much the gift giver cares.

Gift shopping for the holidays should be fun. It shouldn’t be a chore or a stressful obligation. This is why my cousin and I have come up with a game to make shopping for each other’s gifts a little bit more fun.

We start by giving each other a few criteria that we have to find in the gift. Last year, we decided we would choose a letter and a colour that had to apply to whatever gift we selected for each other. The letter was picked at random by my cousin as she closed her eyes and pressed a key on her keyboard. The colour was also picked at random, as I asked a friend of mine to give me the first colour they could think of.

We ended up with the letter K and the colour silver. This meant the name of our gifts had to start with the letter K and that the gift itself had to be silver. It was a challenge—I mean, K is kind of an obscure letter—but in the end it was fun. On Christmas day everyone was eager to discover what we had managed to find for each other.

My cousin ended up buying me a knitted scarf made of silver thread. It was absolutely beautiful and I loved it. I got her a stainless steel bottle of mousse for her hair from a name brand that started with the letter K. She had just gotten her hair cut short, so she was happy to try out a new product.

We both found the shopping to be much more fun than normal gift hunting. Plus, we went into it with no expectations. So regardless of what we ended up with on Christmas Day, it was a nice surprise.

This year we came up with the letter R and the colour brown. Wish me luck!

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