This year, things are a bit different among the adults of my family, as we have decided to go with the "Secret Santa" approach of gift-giving.

In the past, each person would pick a name out of a hat, and that's who they'd buy a Christmas gift for that year. My oldest sister would watch the name-picking, and record each name as it is chosen. A few days later, she'd send out a mass e-mail with a chart of "who has who."

For Secret Santa this year, though, things went a bit differently. We all picked names out of the a hat, but with no one to record the chosen names. My oldest sister was not allowed to look on because it's a "secret".

Well...we picked the names in mid-October. It's now early December, and 50% of the people have no idea who they are buying for! Some can't remember if they picked cousin Jim...or Uncle Jim. My brother-in-law and uncle both say they're buying for the same person. My other brother-in-law just forgot because he simply doesn't care.

Now the women of my family are frantically sending texts and e-mails to everyone, asking who they picked for Secret Santa. They hope by process of elimination, all will work out. I don't think so.

My prediction for Christmas Day: there will be 20 American Express gift cards under the tree. You can't go wrong with an American Express gift card.

The lesson: Always write it down! If you have an idea for a book, if you think of a joke, if you don't want to forget to tell your wife what you saw at the store today, if you think there's no way you'll forget the name you picked out the hat - write it down!

"The faintest ink is better than the best memory." - Mad Men, Season 3


(Youtube user blendedlibrarian)