Christmas Present For YouIn a recent article, I outlined stealthy little ways to ferret out the perfect Christmas present for someone else. This time, let’s set our sights on what makes the ideal Christmas gift for you.

Personally, I’ve always found it hard to define just what my ideal Christmas present might be, but that’s because a) it’s a moving target that changes constantly; and b) I’m more into the giving that the getting. But hey, who doesn’t like getting a great present every now and then?

Hint, hint

For many of us, getting the right gift involves a stealthy game of dropping hints and careful follow-up with the gift giver. And that’s fine if it’s what you want. But this, like any game, requires some skill, and it’s easy to make mistakes. You have to be subtle… and you also have to hope that the target isn’t oblivious.

First of all, don’t try to hedge your bets by hinting about the same thing to more than one person. It might just be that they’re more savvy than you think, and you’ll end up with more than one of what you’re looking for. This has happened to yours truly, when I got the very same edition of the same book from three people.


The lesson here is that, to a certain extent, you just have to take your chances. If your target doesn’t get that you really, really want that Red Ryder BB gun (careful — you’ll shoot your eye out…)  and you end up with a Red Ryder wagon instead, well, them’s the breaks. Good luck next year!

Just tell them, for Heaven’s sake!

Enough said, really. If you don’t want to mess around with the hinting method, just tell your target what your perfect Christmas present is. If you want your car detailed, just tell them that. (That’s what I want this year.)

One caveat: if you want something specific and there are various models similar to what you want, especially if they’re all under the same brand name, don’t be shy about providing specs. After all, who wants to get a Malibu Barbie or even a Lingerie Barbie after asking for an Oreo Fun Barbie?

(Incidentally, not making this any of this up. Lingerie Barbie was produced in 2000 and 2001, and the OFB was a controversial model produced briefly in 1997. Both are rare and sought after by collectors.)

It’s easy enough to tell someone precisely what you want, and hey, you might just get it. Honesty and candor: now there’s an idea! Why bother hinting around and taking chances, when you’ve got a better likelihood of getting the perfect Christmas present just by telling someone what you want?


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