Oh, and a merry Christmas Eve to you all. Just in case you need some really last-minute gift ideas, here's the entirety of things that I've bought as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Festivus gifts so far:
Firefly: The Complete Series for my parents, but specifically my mom. They both like action and sci-fi, and my mom loves westerns, so Firefly was a no-brainer. Unfortunately, I found out that they already watched the show (and loved it) when it was on TV, so they'd already seen most of the episodes that aired before it was cancelled. Thoughtfulness: 9. Selfishness: 0. Effectiveness: 3.
A big box of Baker's Candies Meltaways from Greenwood, NE for my officemate. He likes chocolate, and complains about the terrible selection in the vending machines at work. If the nutrition facts on the box are correct, they are approximately as healthy as sugar-coated butter chunks, but it's the best chocolate I've come across yet. Thoughtfulness: 8 (-2 for being a stereotypical gift). Selfishness: 3 (gave me an excuse to get a small box for myself). Effectiveness: 7.
Guild Wars for my friend Marc. We've been playing World of Warcraft for eleven months now. This gives us something interesting and new to do when we can't find a group in WoW. Thoughtfulness: 8. Selfishness: 7 (guaranteed entertainment for me included with purchase). Effectiveness: not sure, just started... fun so far, though.
And that's it. I need to get something for my brother now since he implied that he got me something. Apparently he didn't get the memo about not exchanging gifts. I didn't want to be part of the family gift exchange because it's not only a hassle, but it's also based mostly on obligation and buying things from prepared lists anyway. I enjoyed buying random stuff for people who weren't expecting anything. (Well, my parents probably had reason to expect something.) I would have gotten stuff for more people had I been able to think of anything that they wouldn't already have if they wanted... that's always the hard part for me. An interesting gift takes more time than I really spent thinking about gifts. I bought those things listed above a month or two in advance, but I started thinking of things to get other people a little too late.