I have an idea for next year’s Christmas gift exchange. Instead of each person buying gifts for everyone else, we should all just buy gifts for ourselves. Like this: “The next present under the tree is to Elisa, from Elisa.” And then I would open the box and find a live pet squirrel, and I would smile and say “Wow, this was exactly what I wanted!”
It solves the how-much-should-we-all-spend issue, because everyone can spend as much or as little as they want and it would still be fair. If Brother buys himself a real helicopter, and Other Brother buys himself a Snickers bar, it’s fair. If Mom gets a new sweater, and Husband gets a Ferrari, it’s still fair.*
And then, in the end, everyone gets exactly the gift that they wanted. No fruitcakes.
I know you might not all think this is the most fantastic idea, but the truth is, you’re wrong. It is fantastic. Don’t worry; you have 370 days to adjust to the idea. And I have 370 days to find a squirrel.