My (inexpensive and early) shopping list | Tolman's Tales

The holidays are on the horizon and, as usual, I am totally baffled on what to buy for those I love.

Some folks have (to use an odd phrase) a gift for gifting. They innately know what others would love to receive. Not me. I must have been absent during the “art of gifting” class.

I am, though, consistent in my gift giving. Three years in a row, I went away for a golf tournament. Three years in a row I went to a lovely glass-blowing studio and bought a beautiful piece of glass jewelry for my wife. Three years in a row it was exactly the same piece. Understanding my flaws well, my wife kindly smiled and said, “Thanks. It will be nice to have an extra in case I lose the one you got me last year!” Oops.

This year I decided to start thinking about gifts earlier than usual (read: before Dec. 23), to be more organized, and to try and remember gifts I have previously purchased for my loved ones. When that didn’t work, I made a list of inexpensive, but hopefully very personal, holiday offerings.I am going to write holiday letters to two people who were important in my life years ago, but with whom I have lost touch. To catch up and remind them that, though our paths have not crossed in too long, they will always be part of my life, and heart.

Two gifts will be donated anonymously, one a wrapped gift for a child, the other cash to a local charitable organization. This season will be the most frugal, and difficult, in a generation for families. To think of a child or two receiving a holiday gift she otherwise would not have may be my best “unwrappings” of all.

Each member of my family will receive a heartfelt card, reminding them how proud I am of them and how thankful I am for them.

My spouse will get a “Day Off” card. One day, at her option, I will take care of all the chores and cooking and cleaning. A day for her to enjoy without any obligations or responsibilities.

Finally, I am going to put a bow on each of my grandkids and take a photo, to remind them, and me, that they are extraordinary gifts on Dec. 25 and every day.

And if I still feel like giving more presents, I know a wonderful glass blowing studio where I can buy some beautiful glass jewelry.Happy holidays.

— Jeff Tolman has practiced law in Poulsbo for 33 years


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