Sunday, January 04, 2009


So I've been mildly grumbled at this week. My birthday is coming up in less than two weeks now and family down south would like to be able to send me things for the occasion. Here's the "issue" - there's nothing I need.

Look, life's been good to me the last few years. And after Christmas there is virtually nothing I need at this point. Hell, there was a video game I was looking at (Lego Batman) and thought "I didn't get that for Christmas, it would make a new birthday gift." I suggested it which lead to come confusion among Cathy's parents as they gave it to me already for Christmas. A frantic tear around the apartment found the video game (Hurrah!) along with two stocking stuffers that Cathy forgot to give me.

So on top of the ludicrous amount of gifts I got for Christmas, I got a little top up for New Year's. And all of this and I still have the quandary of what to ask for my birthday.

By the way, for those who say I might want to suggest charitable donations or something along those lines, I have suggested it already and it has met with a sound, "that's very kind of you, but we want to actually get you something". So that idea is pretty much out.

I always used to joke that having a birthday in the middle of January was worse than having one right next to Christmas. These days most family and friends are pretty sensitive about making sure your birthday is treated special along with Christmas. Cathy gets a birthday cake and her gift is wrapped in different paper than her Christmas gifts.

In the middle of January, people are done with shopping, just want to take a break from all the running around and have likely just received the Christmas Visa bill. So they want nothing to do with your birthday.

My birthday hasn't been a big deal in ages. And I'm all right with that, really. So if family and friends are reading this, the whole idea of charitable donations really is fine. So are Chapters gift cards.

By the way, having now had a bit of time to play with the gifts we received for Christmas, I've got to say, the one I'm enjoying the most are the digital picture frames. Both parents sent us frames, which was a bit of a mistake, but one that works out well. One picture frame shows horizontal photos, the other frame shows vertical ones.

And it's nice. I have something like 3,500 photos on my computer and most never see the light of day. So it's good to put a couple of hundred of them in these frames, put them on a one minute random rotation cycle, and just watch vacations, wedding, walks with the dog and everything else cycle by. I had my doubts about these gizmos, but I change my mind...they're very nice to have around.

Last Five
1. Hole in the rive (live) - Crowded House
2. Broken arrow - Robbie Robertson*
3. Rowdy blues - The Be Good Tanyas
4. Underneath days - Bob Mould
5. If I was a painter - Norah Jones


Tracey said...

I love the digital photo frame I got for Christmas too.
As for having birthdays just after the holidays, the good thing is people can get you things at a discounted price. I'd suggest people give you money if you might have spent a little too much on Christmas presents. It's easy to just drop by the bank you deal with and make a deposit. I prefer my birthday when it is, which is the middle of August.
Have a good one.

In Iqaluit said...

How about this for a gift idea: gift certificates?, dinner at a restaurant in Ottawa, St John's or whever your next vacation will be, for the Astro Theatre. Or do travelocity or expedia or something give gift certificates?

And if they can pull this off, how about getting you some sealskin mitts? Aaju Peter makes the best ones in town. I think they cost $180 or so.

Anonymous said...

Lego Batman rocks! Er, that's what Travis told me anyway. Darnit I need batteries for the Wii remotes.

Mireille Sampson said...

I know many people think it's a cop-out, but I like gift cards from book stores. Of course, they are not that useful in a state that heavily censors books, nothing but text books are going to get through customs. The virgin megastore isn't exactly mega here either. At least I've been able to find Doctor Who DVDs.

towniebastard said...

I'm all about gift cards, but some tend to few this as too impersonal. And you know, God bless them for wanting to get me something more personal than a Chapters gift card (which I quite like). And money, which was very highly thought of several years ago when I was a starving journalist and Cathy was substitute teaching, isn't quite as necessary now that we're doing fine.

Although my dad did send me some Australian money for Christmas, which was pretty cool. That's some seriously weird currency. ANd it will come in handy when we go there in July.

Alas, got a pair of nice sealskin mittens already.

As I said, I hate to complain and thank you for the suggestions. There are certainly much worse problems to have than to not really need anything.

Matthew and Michele said...

Batman Lego does rock. I started playing it a bit yesterday and it is fun. Simple mindless fun.

Gift Certificates are great. My brother sent us a couple from Amazon this Christmas. Perfect.