Well, it's that time of the year again -- the time when everybody starts going stark raving mad from the stress of finding gifts to give people to celebrate some random Pagan holiday. Oh yeah, and a time for Christmas music.
Did I ever mention I'm allergic to Christmas music? It causes an allergic reaction that throws off my hormone balance and causes me to want to kill people and perform random acts of violence against the nearest Christmas display.
Ever since 6th grade (if not before), I've hated this holiday. It consists of flashing, "pretty" lights (I hardly consider such garish displays to be "pretty", but to each his own), and meaningless exchanges of capital. "Oh, I have to buy a present for Alice, but I dunno what she wants, so I'll just get her this nice ironing board and hope she likes it." Never mind the fact that she already has three ironing boards, and no clothes that need to be ironed.
That said ... there are some Christmas gifts that are well worth giving (and receiving). These are rarely the big, expensive gifts (or the small, cheap ones) you can buy in stores. These are gifts that require time, effort, and consideration. These gifts are made, not bought.
Annaliese's gift is one. I've watched her draw, so I have a rough idea of how much time and effort she put into that picture. (And she knows I like Dio. :D) It is something I deeply appreciate, especially knowing that it's the end of the quarter, and time is a very scarce resource.
So ... if I do much in the way of Christmas this year, it will mostly be in time spent in consideration of others. Maybe that means finding some small gift that uniquely reflects its recipient, or (more likely) spending time to write a letter and communicate with that person.
I'm not exactly sure how this letter thing is going to work yet. It seems to me that a letter, written thoughtfully and with the recipient in mind, is a more meaningful gift than any piece of capital. But meaningful communication is almost always a two-way street. My concern is that these letters will degenerate into me blabbing about myself, with no consideration for the other person. That wouldn't be a gift at all.