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SIL #3 recently wrote on her Facebook page she thought it time her daughter A.K.A Princess-Goddess needed a new jigsaw puzzle. She write P-G accused her of ‘getting a ‘Tom Spo gift’.* A ‘Tom Spo’ gift is named after the patriarch of Spos, Thomas. It is nearly impossible to shop for Tom and Christmas and his birthday are especially ticklish times. When he actually mentions something he would like he announces later on he has bought it himself before his progeny can pounce on it.  The other definition of a Tom Spo gift: a gift you receive knowing the giver wants to use themselves.  Thinking of something for Mother on her birthday or at Christmas is an easy task;  shopping for Father is tedious – and then he pulls a Tom Spo and gets it himself.  Oh the pain.

Are men harder to shop for than women? I believe so. I used to think this was because men don’t want/need things as much as women but where’s the data to support this? I now think this is based on the axiom men are not as good as women at speaking up to ask for things.  This includes Christmas prizes. Right now my brothers and relations are trying to figure out the solution to their selected Secret Santa. I’ve learned to just call the SILs and ask them directly what Brother #1-4 needs or wants.  Sometimes even they don’t know.

Someone is no exception. He never wants anything nor is he ‘into gifts’ as a love language sign.** I am the opposite: I love giving gifts and I admit I like getting them too.  Worse luck! Someone’s birthday is near Christmas making it all the worse.  Usually I get him some sort of electronic gadget or techie-toy for his birthday. I’ve learned I should spend too much as this makes him feel bad  (he is Bill-Master; he sees the credit card statements).  This year Someone is getting a whimsical holder made of stone for the kitchen sponge. It usually lies flat on the ledge of the sink making for a morass of bacterial contagion. Soon it will be standing erect to dry out between washings. This is a crying example of a Tom Spo gift if ever there was one but that’s what happens when you don’t speak up.




*PG wasn’t wrong.

**I am certain I have this phrase wrong; please don’t write in.

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December 2019

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018