Gifts (with links)

So its that time of year when we all try and find the perfect gift for every important person in our lives. I'm not sure if its just me but I love to give gifts but I HATE to give bad gifts. Its a lot of pressure. Also, I'm not very good at receiving gifts. In fact, I can hardly think of a more horrible person to buy something for than me. Its not that i'm unappreciative of the things its just that I often think it silly that we manufacture this sort of gift giving social contract. I suppose I always get stuck on this idea that a gift should fill a need (or desire) and if it doesn't its not worth giving. So with that little thing in mind, to give a good gift you really need to know someone's actual needs and i think that is something most people don't know. We might know someones hobbies or their favorite foods but i think its rare that we know precisely the item that was lacking in another persons life. I know that for me, there is very little that I need. If someone out there has a sweet post-doctoral appointment for the next couple of years...I do need that...and I forgot to ask Santa for it. So in the tradition of last year, i would encourage you all to look for a charity to donate to so that actual NEEDS can be met during this holiday season. Of course, I'll give you some good options if you can't decide on your own.

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