Christmas Gifts

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Jill and Mark talk about Christmas gifts and Christmas shopping.

Mark: Welcome back to the EnglishLingQ Podcast.

Mark Kaufmann with Jill Soles today, as usual.

I guess not every time, but…

Jill: …most of the time.

Mark: We are getting closer to Christmas.

I know Jill you’re quite anxious for Christmas morning, have you been a good girl?

Jill: Yes and I had a long, long, list and I better get everything on my list.

Mark: Did you send a letter to Santa?

Jill: Well, not this year, I didn’t have time.

Mark: You didn’t have time?

Jill: No, no, but I’ll have to get on that for next year.

Mark: Well, you know, Santa is not a mind reader.

Jill: No, but Chris has explicit instructions.

I told him the stores, the sizes, everything, so there are no excuses.

Mark: Wow! That’s organization.

I must say that lists like that are helpful, yes.

Jill: Well, this is what I thought and I gave my mom a list too.

My mom is very good at picking stuff out for me.

I find women, in general, there’s more you can buy for women than for men.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: Because, you know, women will wear jewelry or wear perfume or bath stuff or they like little pretty things.

Mark: Yeah, I would agree with that, but what’s interesting is that I find my son much easier to buy for than my daughters.

Like my daughters, I don’t know what to get them; like it’s hard.

Him, any sports equipment, whatever, videogame, he’s just happy.

There’s so much stuff I could buy for him.

Jill: Boys, you’re right, for boys.

Mark: And girls, I don’t know, I guess clothes and I don’t know.

I mean they play sports, but they’re not…

Jill: …diehard…

Mark: …diehard keen on them and most videogames yeah, they’ll play them, but they’re not super keen on them.

Jill: Lots of little girls I know really love things like stuffed animals, Webkins, Barbies, My Little Pony and art supplies.

Mark: Yeah?

Jill: They like to be crafty and so, you know, that kind of stuff.

Mark: But we have so much of that stuff already, but yeah, they’ll get more of that stuff, but you look for other things to get them.

Jill: Probably once they start getting a bit older, and even Annie being 10, a lot of girls start getting interested more in clothes and it is exciting for them to get new skirts and tops and pretty things they can wear to school.

Mark: Yeah and I think that’s the case now even.

She’s starting to know what she wants to wear and look for stuff and ask for stuff.

Jill: Right.

Mark: Whereas Kyle, I mean I don’t think he knows what he is wearing most of the time, you know; it’s just different.

Jill: A t-shirt and a pair of pants and it doesn’t really matter.

Mark: Yeah and whatever, hopefully, a jacket if he remembers, because it’s cold out.

Jill: Yeah, but kids don’t feel cold.

Mark: No.

Jill: They’re immune.

Mark: He doesn’t, his sisters certainly do.

No, that is funny and I think you’re right it’s much easier to buy for women than for men.

As you say, there are many more options, different things.

Jill: Yeah, I mean there’s so many of these little stores around that have just knickknacks and trinkets and just little things and a lot of women like all that kind of stuff.

It doesn’t have to be functional.

Mark: No.

Jill: It doesn’t have to be practical, it’s just something sort of different, sort of pretty, unique, and women like that, but men have no time for stuff like that, in general.

Mark: No, pretty much, yeah.

Jill: And Chris has no time for me getting stuff like that either.

Mark: Does he have time for him getting you stuff like that?

Jill: No.

Mark: How about that?

Jill: No, no, no, because he hates clutter.

He just doesn’t want our house just full of little things which, actually, I kind of agree with now; I like that.

My mom is always buying things.

She loves to shop that’s where I get it from and she’s always, you know, every year too she decides she’s got to change all her decorations and furniture and stuff and so she buys all these things and a lot of them aren’t cheap.

Mark: Right.

Jill: Something, a statue sitting here and this is sitting there and it doesn’t look cluttered.

She doesn’t go crazy, but she used to always buy me those kinds of things too for presents and I quite liked them, but now that I live with Chris and he’s totally against them, he’s banned those sorts of things, I realize yeah, actually, I don’t have any use for this just to go and this thing to sit here and collect dust.

I don’t like to dust.

I don’t need more things that are going to collect dust.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: So, I sort of understand that and so my mom this year did buy me…I wanted a food processor, actually, and an apron.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: So, she bought me those things.

Mark: Nice.

Did you tell her that, you know, maybe this year to hold off on the knickknacks?

Jill: Well, yeah, I told her a couple years ago, no more knickknacks and so this year she did end up giving us this heavy, beautiful, sort of statue I guess, of course, of a mother holding a baby.

You know, she’s very into that sort of thing.

As she gave it to me she said “Now, I know you guys don’t like this kind of thing, so if you don’t like it give it back to me because I love it and I’ll keep it.”

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: I mean I do like it, but…

Mark: You gave it back to her.

Jill: No, we kept it.

I mean right now in our place we just don’t have room.

We don’t even have a proper bedroom for the baby.

It’s just like a small office, so we’re not going to be setting up a whole bunch of things in there.

Eventually, when we move, we’ll put it in the baby’s room somewhere.

Mark: Yeah, no, actually, we don’t have much in the way of knickknacks either.

Kindrey’s not big on knickknacks and I’m certainly not, so we don’t have that problem with collecting knickknacks; although, Kindrey’s I guess step-mom has given us some very strange knickknacks the last couple Christmases, I guess.

One in particular stands out.

She’s an artist and she’s involved in the arts community in Squamish, which is a town 45 minutes from here.

They live nearby, they live in Furry Creek.

Jill: This is Kindrey’s dad?

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: I thought they lived in Calgary.

Mark: No, he finished off working in Calgary, but they always have had a place here at Furry Creek.

Jill: Oh, okay.

Mark: Now they’re basically here and they spend some time in Calgary, but mostly they’re here.

At any rate, yeah, she gave us like a copper…it looks like a basket-weave type of copper thing.

Jill: It’s like a copper basket?

Mark: Strips of copper woven together into like this lump of stuff.

It’s just horrible.

It’s just what is that?

Jill: So is that the gift you bring out only when they come to visit?

Mark: Pretty much.

Jill: And you bring it out to make it seem like you actually use it?

Mark: Yeah, exactly.

It’s like what is that?

You don’t want to be rude, but I mean it’s one thing to be artistic and to like different artsy stuff, but that, I mean, it’s truly…my inclination is just to melt it down so, you know, at least it can…

Jill: …be used for something else?

Mark: It’s truly amazing.

Jill: That’s the problem with very unique or very artsy-type things is you really need to know somebody’s taste and people have very different taste.

Mark: You know, people often say don’t buy other people art.

Jill: No and you shouldn’t buy other people perfume, unless you know the one that they wear, because scents are so different on different people and some people really have bad reactions to certain smells and there’s just things that you just shouldn’t buy for other people.

Mark: And most people like particular perfumes and don’t like, strongly dislike, in fact, others.

Jill: Exactly.

Mark: Well, we get the garbage truck in the background.

Jill: It’s a little loud today.

Mark: It is.

Jill: So, yeah, you have to be careful with presents.

Mark: For sure.

Jill: Don’t waste your money.

I mean I’d rather somebody gave me nothing.

Mark: Totally, absolutely, I mean now we feel like we have to keep this thing out on display when it’s just, honestly, a total eyesore.

Jill: It’s hideous.

Mark: It’s terrible and, in fact, I think it’s like spray painted a bit.

Jill: It’s got the gold spray paint?

Mark: No, it’s like a blue or maybe that’s just a discoloration of the copper, but I don’t even think it is.

Actually, I think it was spray painted to look like discoloration of the copper.

It’s just horrible.

Jill: And who knows, she might have even spent quite a lot on it.

Mark: I’m sure it cost something, yeah.

Jill: It wouldn’t have been twenty bucks, probably.

Mark: No, probably not, you know.

Jill: You know what, if ever in doubt, just give a woman chocolates.

I mean you can’t go wrong with that.

Mark: I think pretty much most people, give them chocolates.

Jill: Yeah, even men.

Mark: Very rarely, oh darn, a box of chocolates.

You don’t hear that very often.

Jill: No, no, so.

Mark: When a box of chocolates shows up in the office it doesn’t linger very long.

Jill: No kidding, even if there’s only two women here, the box will be gone pretty quick.

Mark: I don’t think it’s just the women eating the chocolate.

Jill: No, that’s what I’m saying, even if there are only two women, the box is still gone pretty quick when the rest are men.

Mark: For sure, for sure.

One thing I was going to ask you, you mentioned that your place is kind of small and you don’t have a room for the baby, what are you going to do?

Jill: Well, as Chris points out frequently…

Mark: Here we go.

Jill: Being the practical, engineer-type that he is, our place is still much bigger than what most people have in the world and that most people live in places as big or much smaller than ours with whole families and they do just fine.

This is certainly the case, I think.

We have people making faces at us right now in the office, sorry.

Mark: Very childish.

Jill: Very childish people we work with here.

But, anyway, so I mean it’s not bad, our place is pretty close to 1,000 square feet.

No, maybe I’m wrong, about 900 square feet and a big huge rooftop deck, so it’s not a small, small, apartment.

Mark: Right.

Jill: You know, the living room is really big, so yeah, with one kid we could certainly stay there.

Mark: Right.

Jill: Like I said, there’s a small office that we’ve cleaned out and we can fit a crib in there and we can fit a little dresser or whatever and so that’s fine.

Mark: You can fit a crib?

Jill: We can, yeah, we can fit a crib and, you know, maybe a little dresser and that’s about it.

Mark: Right.

Jill: So, you know, that’s fine for now, but we definitely are going to move into something bigger.

Mark: Right.

I mean, obviously, when the baby is small it’s not like it’s crawling around.

Jill: It doesn’t need any room anyway.

Mark: No and, I guess, the argument that most people in the world…I don’t know if that’s true, but maybe it is.

Having not done the research, but…

Jill: Most people don’t live in 2-3-4,000 thousand square foot houses like we live in.

Mark: No, for sure.

Jill: I think that’s his point is that you don’t need to expect that much, because you’re not getting it.

Mark: However, most people here do.

Jill: Yeah, that’s kind of what we’re used to.

Mark: We don’t live in the world, we live here.

Jill: Right.

Mark: You know?

Jill: Yeah, yeah.

Mark: I’m giving you some ammunition.

Jill: Yes, thank you.

I’ve already told him as much, but no, you know what, honestly, I don’t want a big house because I’m not interested in cleaning.

I don’t want to be cleaning a whole bunch of bathrooms.

I absolutely hate it and I don’t want to be heating a bunch of rooms we don’t use, it’s wasteful and I don’t want a 3,000 square foot house, I absolutely don’t.

Mark: Yeah, in actual fact, it’s not that much more wasteful if the house is properly insulated.

Jill: Yeah, I guess that’s true, but I don’t feel that I need that much room.

I never had a house that was that big and I never felt like I needed more.

Mark: No.

Jill: So, I don’t have any big desire to have a huge house.

I just want a nice little house that is big enough that gives us enough room.

Mark: Yeah, I often feel and, as you say, it’s not the size of the house, but when I was growing up we lived in a house with a yard on a street where you could run around and play.

I know in much of the world most people live in apartments and you’re in an apartment condo-type of a situation there and so yeah, that’s fine too.

I’ve lived in apartments as a kid and it’s fine.

You go and do your thing on the street and whatever, but it’s nicer to have a yard and to be in a neighborhood.

Jill: And nice for parents to let their kids just go out in the yard and you don’t have to worry about them.

Mark: Exactly.

Jill: In our place, fortunately, we live so close to so many parks and the beach and so it’s not like we’re a long way off, a long ways away from good places for them to play at, but then you still have to take them there.

Mark: Right.

Jill: It’s not like you can just let them go out in the yard.

Mark: It’s busier; it’s in the city, yeah.

Jill: Yeah, exactly.

So, you know, if we could buy a house in the area that we live in we would actually stay in that area.

Mark: Right.

Jill: But, I mean the cheapest house over there is a million dollars and that’s for this tiny lot that has a house that you have to teardown and build on.

Mark: Right.

Jill: And the lots over there are much, much, smaller than the lots over here.

Mark: Right.

Well, that’s the thing, in any city the closer you are to the center of the city then it’s more expensive and you get less room.

Jill: Yeah, exactly.

Mark: That’s just how it is, so if you’re away from the center a little bit then you get more room.

Jill: Yeah, so yeah, I think, you know, we’re definitely going to be looking in the New Year, but we’re not in a huge rush and, at this point, I’m six months pregnant now.

Mark: For sure.

Jill: I don’t know, to start moving now and to have a home that we’re going to want to do maybe some renovations to or whatever, I just don’t really want to get into that right now.

Mark: And, as you say, your child is not going to be requiring that room any time soon, nor are you likely to have it go outside and play on its own any time soon.

Jill: No.

I’ve got the deck for that.

If it won’t shut up I just lock it upstairs on the deck.

Mark: Exactly.

Well, that’s good, that’s something to look forward to.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: That’s good.

With that, I think we’ll probably wrap her up.

Jill: Alright and I guess we will…

Mark: Over the Christmas period we’ll try and keep putting out the podcasts.

We may do some sort of in advance and play them sort of later, so they may not be actual up-to-the-minute like always.

Jill: They’ll be there nonetheless.

Mark: They’ll be there nonetheless and, with that, we’ll sign off.

Jill: Bye, bye.

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