I’m not big on birthdays, although they are better than the alternative, and I’m not big on birthday presents. I know, you insist. So, since you insist, the best present you can get me is to become self-sufficient. What’s that? You poo-poo my request, dismissing it as being nice or somehow altruistic? Well, then please think about it. If you’re self-sufficient, then you should be able to take care of 99% of your own wants and needs without my (or my wife’s) help and, in that case, I (we) won’t have to spend ten times more on you this year than your present cost. I won’t have to put your present someplace, such as in my already cramped closet space or on some table until Thanksgiving, Christmas or some other event that requires me to hide it until the guests leave.
You think I need new shoes, but I have four pair and they all fit fine. You think I need new clothes, but my closet is already overflowing – to the chair beside my bed. You think I need a new gadget or widget. I already have more widgets than I can learn to use. By the way, what happened to my iPod present? I either hid it out of view or someone took it and now I can’t find it. I want to give it to your mother/stepmother.
Now, you might think I’m selfish after reading the above, and you’re right. But, the real reason for my selfishness is not obvious from above. I have another and more important reason for wishing you to become self-sufficient. If you can stand on your own, I don’t have to WORRY about you. Please, please, please, don’t get me a present. Stand on your own in your life. Finish your education, get yourself a good job, pay your own bills, buy what you need for yourself, save money, and pay off credit cards; live your own life. That will be enough.