Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2000

Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / December 9, 2000

The holiday shopping frenzy is upon us, and I’m afraid that I’m no exception.

However, it still astonishes me when I hear it said that men are hard to shop for.

Sure, many of us like power tools or a nice sweater or a new bathrobe or warm bedroom slippers. I’m not particularly a clothes-horse, so I could likelyuse a new shirt or two and definitely some socks.

But I tell people that I enjoy music, videos and books. And people should nevertry and surprise me with a particular item because the odds are excellent that I’ve already seen it and bought it.

My wife was one of those people who thought that gift certificates were “impersonal.” I hope I’ve finally persuaded her to believe otherwise.A gift certificate is an acknowlegement of the recipient’s individuality, allowing us to select our own gift, and knowing that whatever we choose, it was the giver’s intention that we have it.

So a gift certificate is an ideal present – we get what we want, no duplications result, it’s easier for the giver to stay within their budget and everyone is happy.

My musical tastes, for example, continue to develop and change over the years. Where once I enjoyed 1960s rock, and even some 1970s meadow-rock, the era of punk completely passed me by and I’ve since developed a passion for the present-day alternative music.

So while I can still appreciate Little Richard or Gene Pitney or late-60’s Rolling Stones, I’m also picking up a few choice Metallica or Limp Bizkit or Smashing Pumpkins CDs.

Movies is an area where my tastes are truly diverse. My video collectionranges from the original “Nosferatu,” a German silent film, to “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” I can enjoy a good James Bond flick or still shed tearsover Jimmy Stewart’s reunion with his son, feared dead in the Civil War, in “Shenandoah.”And while I couldn’t stomach the original “Charlie’s Angels” TV show (though I confess to once having a Kate Jackson poster), I thoroughly enjoyed the movie version now in the theaters.

My books range from true-crime to entertainment biographies and I love poking around an old atlas from 90 years ago. So don’t even begin to make aguess there.

Who’s hard to buy gifts for? Not me!

LEONARD GRAY is a reporter for L’Observateur.

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