Birthday Present Conundrum

bday_giftTomorrow is my birthday.  As the special day approaches, people start to mention the one thing I dread about birthdays.  Ok, not greying hairs.  Or receding hairlines.  (Which I totally DON’T have despite B’s insisting that I do.)  Or more and more signs appearing that I’m no longer young.  (Instinctively referring to college students as "kids"… music I grew up with playing on the oldies station… etc.)

Ok, one of the many THINGS I dread about birthdays: Deciding what present(s) I want people to get me.

Every year, when I’m asked what I want, I start to think.  There’s always a list of some geeky item that I’d love to own.  Perhaps a sonic screwdriver.  Maybe a set of Doctor Who figures.  Possibly, a TeeFury shirt.  On the other hand, I look at the geeky things that I’ve bought in the past and I see a pile of items that I never look at.

I begin to think that, perhaps, I don’t need the new item after all.  Instead, I start to think about what practical gift I could use.  When I think of practical items, I think of things I could use while helping other people.  If I had a bigger external hard drive, I could back up more data from our computers.  If I had a cell phone mount, I could read directions from my phone while driving the boys to activities.

I’m torn between the geeky, non-practical items and the not-as-geeky, much more practical items.

When you think about presents people could buy for you, what sort of items do you choose?