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Holiday gift guides are all over the bloody internet right now.  So I’m not going to do one.

I never know what to buy people.  I am not a good resource when it comes to gift giving.  I would love to be that person who gives the coolest, hippest, most thoughtful gifts, but I’m not.  I’m simply not.  I don’t know what other people want.  I don’t even know what I want most of the time.

Bah humbug, I know.

I’m sure there are people who really enjoy shopping for others, but for me, it’s just a big ball of stress. I have a hard time buying anything lately.  The moment I enter a store or mall, all I see is shiny junk that will someday end up in a landfill.  And then I think, this is only one store in the city, and this city is only one city in Canada, and Canada is only one country in the world, and where the hell are we going to put all this cheap, plastic crap when we no longer want it?!

(Deep breath.  Mild panic attack.  This happens every time I see a Wal-Mart sign.)

Perhaps we need to return to the real roots of the Christmas gift-giving tradition: the pagan celebration of Saturnalia.  This is where Christmas actually originated (not with baby Jesus).  There was feasting, and drinking, and candles, and the giving of small gifts (food, charms, trinkets, wax dolls for voodoo).  People could spend a fortune on a gift (such as a slave or an exotic animal), but it was also perfectly acceptable to give a candle, or a spoon, or even a gag gift.

Wouldn’t it be great to give someone a jar of homemade jam and a freshly baked loaf of bread, or half a dozen eggs from my chickens and a promise to shovel their sidewalks for a month, and have that be a perfectly acceptable Christmas gift?  But it doesn’t fly.  I’ve tried it, and all I get is a blank stare, and a stilted, “Thanks.” If it doesn’t come from a mall, it’s not a real gift.

Wow.  Am I a Scrooge today, or what?  I’ll be honest here – I find the holidays more stressful than joyous.

Maybe some holiday baking will get me in the spirit.  Any other suggestions?  Any ideas for holiday gifts that don’t come from the mall?  I’d love to hear from you.  Leave a comment.