I have to admit, I might be one of those weird people who enjoys gifting on Christmas, rather than receiving. I think the most fun on Christmas day is seeing people's delighted (and sometimes confused) expressions after they unwrap their presents.  Every holiday season, my mom tries to convince us to not do presents and fails, quite obviously.  I totally understand her reasoning though - gift giving is hard work.  It requires knowing your recipient to the adequate degree, as designated by your relationship with him / her, and also making the correct financial interpretation of that relationship.

Not long ago, a friend told me about his daughter's Christmas wish last year.  Bella, at only three years of age, had asked Santa for a robot for Christmas.  Only weeks before, Bella had referred to the nutcracker Christmas decorations around the mall as "robots" so before purchasing anything, her parents confirmed that indeed, Bella wanted a robot.

After not a little shopping around, Mom and Dad brought home big, shiny animatronic dinosaur, reasoning that if Bella got tired of the robotic functions, she'd still have a cool looking t-rex to lug around.  Christmas morning came in a flurry and the parents gathered around the tree, eager to watch those shining eyes and little hands shred wrapping paper.  When it was Bella's turn to unwrap the big box, boy did those little brown eyes just gleam in anticipation.  She tore off the paper and stared at the mechanical dino.  Her father knelt by her side.  "Look Bella, it's a robot!"  With keen foresight, he had installed fresh batteries and the t-rex tromped around in front of them.  Bella smiled up at him and then turned to watch her brother and sister unwrap their  presents.

Later that day, Bella's dinosaur sat ignored under the Christmas tree, surrounded by bits of ribbon, tape and untacked bows.  Bella sat curled up on the couch, flipping through a picture book.

Her mom came by and asked, "Bella, did you not like the robot that Santa got you?"

"Oh yes, I do like him a lot."  Bella looked up from her book.

"What's wrong then?  Why aren't you playing with him?"

Bella paused,"I do like him but Mom..."

"What honey?"

"I wanted a robot that brings me milk and cookies."

Touche, Bella, touche.  I hope that you all get the milk and cookie robots that you can stand this holiday season!