When I was younger the idea of Christmas or my birthday were exciting for many reasons, but mostly because it meant that I got to get and give presents. The entire act of exchanging gifts has always made me incredibly happy. Whether it was baked goods or expensive toys I was pleased to be on either end of the exchange.
Of course as I have gotten older things have changed. I still love giving and getting gifts, but I find that the nature of the gifts have changed. There are still homemade baked goods, thoughtful trinkets, and expensive toys exchanged. I am not sure that will ever really change. If I think it would be something you would enjoy I am damn well going to give it to you.
What has really changed are the things that I want to receive. I love getting all of the things people think I would enjoy and I do have an Amazon holiday list full of DVDs and books. The thing is that when I really think about it, the things I want aren't material things easily wrapped with a bow.
My mother once told me that she knew she was an adult when she asked for new tires for Christmas. It was an expensive gift, but it was completely practical. You aren't supposed to ask for practical gifts for Christmas or your birthday, you are supposed to ask for things that are more want than need. Apparently growing up means those two things blend together more.
Every time someone asks me what I want for Christmas I will generally shrug or point them to my Amazon list. I have things that I want, but they just aren't things you ask people for. I mean telling someone that I would love to wake up and find that someone has finished mudding, texturing, and painting the guest bathroom, or that someone had fixed all the cracks in my walls and ceilings from the foundation leveling doesn't seem festive or feasible. Saying I want a new back fence doesn't really go over as well as saying I want the series 7 of Doctor Who on DVD.
Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly happy with getting the things on my Amazon list or baked goods or whatever. I don't expect anyone to just randomly do manual labor or chores for me, that is sort of ridiculous. I may ask for a hand when I get around to these projects, but they are all things I will do myself. I am just pointing out that the more practical things have become so incredibly appealing.
I think it is safe to say that I have grown up and am no longer a Toys R Us kid, but now very much a Home Depot adult. Not that that will stop me from playing with any new toy that comes my way. All it really means is I will consider a new Dyson or power drill as much a toy as I did a Barbie or Lego set as a kid.