41 Days To Go: All I Want For Christmas

I already have my two front teeth, and if I wanted you, you’d know it already. So neither song applies.  

For those of you out there who are thinking of buying me a Christmas present, I thought I’d give you a readymade list. Obviously, that doesn’t apply to most people reading this post, so this can seem a bit self-serving. But you never know who’s going to buy you a present, do you? And it’s quite presumptuous to email people specifically to tell them what to buy you. So this post cuts through all that awkwardness.

If you weren’t planning to buy me something, consider this an introduction to a wonderful feature on Amazon.com that you can share with all the people who never know what to buy for you. It’s called “My Wish List,” and I discovered it with the help of this blog’s resident Internet guru, Ron Burkhardt.

First, I should make a confession: My name is Anthony, and I have a problem. I am a book addict. It is a very serious condition, one for which there is no known cure. I cannot walk past a bookstore without going inside, and I cannot leave without purchasing several books. My shelves are lined with too many books to read in one lifetime, and my desk is cluttered with dozens that have been started but not finished. I love stories, and I love learning, and I can’t get enough of books that give me both.

When Christmas rolls around, I look forward to my enablers. I tear off the wrapping paper like a junkie opening a bag of wild cat. Let me say to all my dealers, here is the motherload: https://amzn.com/w/MN82GEAEEHKU. As this post was being published, there were 333 books on the list, but it changes frequently. If you scroll to the bottom, you can click on any of the 15 pages listing those books. If you buy me anything, just be sure to note that on the list so no one else buys it.

And it’s that simple. Spread the word. It’s a handy device to alleviate all that present-buying angst come mid-December. It applies to everything, not just books — and it even has a feature so you can add anything on the web, not just on Amazon.com. Make your own list, and send it to me.

I’ve never liked telling people what to buy me, and when they try to tell me what to buy them, I stop them upfront. To me, the fun of the gift-giving season is the search and the surprise. I want to see how well I know you. I want to show you how much I care by giving it careful thought, creativity, originality. I should struggle a little. It’s part of the game. Can I top last year? Will it be memorable? So much of our lives are planned and measured and protected these days. I want this one moment to be unscripted. I’d like this one present to be unexpected.

But every year, I’m paddling against the current. At least with “My Wish List,” I may never again have to hear the words, “What do you want for Christmas?”