I find this time of year to be rather frustrating. Not only are ads being flung at us at a high velocity, informing us that we must buy, buY, BUY to show our love, but we’re also asked to not buy anything for ourselves so that folks can show their love by buying something for us in the way of a gift.

My husband starts a moratorium on buying things around Labor Day. “We need more toilet paper!” “Don’t buy it, Christmas is just around the corner”.

Now, I’m a guy that knows what he wants, right down to the finest detail. I want a certain pair of shoes or I want a specific book or I want a particular piece of tech. I plan, I consider, I purchase; this is the way I do things. I fully appreciate the intention of someone giving me a pair of shoes or a book or a piece of tech, but because of my somewhat obsessive nature about these things, as well as my perfectionist tendencies, I sometimes struggle with waiting for a gift instead of just buying something for myself, especially since I know exactly what I want. I don’t want to be the guy that gives details on a gift right down to the serial number, but it takes a lot of restraint for me to refrain from doing exactly that.

Hence, the most frustrating time of year.

Personally, I’m happy with warm regards, a small token of a gift that makes me smile, and maybe a card. That’s it. All in all, I just want people to be happy this time of year, no matter the reason for the season, and I don’t find the crass commercialism of throwing things at one another to be a fair substitute for the warmth I’m looking for.

I guess I’m just an overly sentimental, old-fashioned kind of guy. I’d rather enjoy a drink with friends or a nice meal with the family. When I see a small card sitting on my shelf and it makes me smile, I find all the holiday greetings I really want or need.