The holidays are a mostly frustrating time for me. All the time spent trying to find this or that perfect gift, trying to figure out what in the world the wife wants, trying to keep gifts hidden until wrapped, and keeping the kids out of them until Christmas arrives. Then there is trying to figure out how to schedule it with our immediate family, my family, the wife's family, and company obligations. Suprising anyone gets happy about the holidays. A few things get me in the spirit before the big day. Sitting alone at the kitchen table in the middle of the night wrapping gifts so no one else can see. My wife thinks I should use gift bags, but I despise them things as much as I despise gift cards. How much thought and effort go into that? Different wrapping paper for each individual so it's easier to tell when I hand them out on Christmas day. The boys presents will be wrapped in Cars, the daughters will be in Hannah Montana giftwrap. The wife will get something shiny and fancy with a curled ribbon, I think she likes that. Every corner and crease will be sharp. Spent 4 hours wrapping the treasures from our first round of gifts we purchased. Every year I decide on one home made gift to give to everyone. Last year the daughter, my brother-in-law, and his wife all got routed nameplates that I burned to go above the horses stalls. The wife got a much needed shoe rack with a few less spots than she had shoes (she didn't get the hint), the boy got his first chair of his own, built strong enough to hold my considerable weight. My brother and his wife got a cedar mailbox for the home they were finally able to buy. Mom got some shelves for all the knick knacks she has. The last thing that really gets me in the spirits before the big day is when everything is a paid for and under the tree.