Depending on how you look at it, having a birthday in December is either a blessing or a curse. Either way, at the end of December I have lots of new possessions that should satisfy me (supposedly) until the next December when it happens again. And, depending on the year, by March my most prized gift from December is finished and gathering dust while the unexpected gifts I didn't even include on my initial list are the ones I get the most enjoyment out of.
But this year is different.
This year I changed things up a bit and did not include specific gifts on my list (such as specific games or DVDs); this year I asked for themes which are consistent with this blog. Themes such as "better dress apparel", "bachelor food items", and "art books", etc. And that is what I received! After a few weeks of testing the gifts in real world situations I can safely say that this is probably the most productive gift set ever! And, even more surprising, it is also the first December where I did not receive a single video game since 1989. I'm not saying there is a correlation between those two facts, but it does show a change in my tastes and desires.
So what did I get?
The lion's share of gifts this year involved my looks. In previous years I hated getting new clothes. I liked my old clothes, I didn't need new ones, and I rather play with new entrainment items than care how others saw me. This year, those statements are reversed.
In December, I received 3 pairs of shoes, 3 hats, and a scarf. In one month I received more items in each of those categories than I usually receive in multiple years. more of any one of those items
I love the different options these items allow me. Along with various new shirts/sweaters/pants I pretty much changed my entire wardrobe in one month. Expect a post in the future detailing the different new looks.
Another surprisingly useful item I received was a front pocket wallet.When I first started carrying a wallet at age 14/15 I was but a wee lad. I placed my wallet in my back pocket and the wallet was so big on me that over half the wallet hung out of the pocket. After it fell out of my back pocket for the umpteenth time (basically each time I sat down/stood up) I put it in my front pocket and never looked back. For 14 years I dealt with a giant lump bulging out of the front of my pants leg (yes, the wallet). Now I finally have a wallet designed for the pocket that is relatively hidden when I wear it. Although I was forced to clean out some of the larger items in my first wallet in order to fit only the essential items in this one and I found some very old pictures/cards that dated back to early college. Yikes!
Finally, my last gift which has been used on a daily basis is the Rocket Blender. I'm not sure how I lived without this. Basically it is a small blender where the container is just a regular cup in which you attach the blade. It creates single serving blends, you just put the food into your drinking cup, attach the blade, put it in the metal base which automatically starts to blend (no buttons), remove the blade, and drink. It is extremely easy to clean (and this is from a bachelor) since it is nothing more than a plastic cup and a blade attachment. Considering I live 3 blocks from Northern California's largest collection of fresh fruit, this was the perfect addition for my diet. I go to the Berkeley Bowl and pick some random fruit from the thousands to choose from, toss a random variety into the blender (along with some yogurt), and have a new flavor of fruit shake every day.
And that is the essentials of my Holiday Loot. Granted I received more items (dvd, books, pictures, tech gadget) and really enjoy them. But they didn't quite change my daily life like the above items did. And it goes without saying that what I loved most about December was buying the perfect gifts for my loved ones but that will be a post for another day (my kids were the most fun to shop for).