I don’t give gifts easily. My wife does. I’ve asked her how to do better. She says it’s simple: just pay attention to those around you, think of what they want or need, and chose something that might please them. Oh, and it’s best if you know their size and what colors they like.

I haven’t wrapped these up yet. I’m going to ask you all if I’ve missed the mark.

For Idaho Republicans I bought some canvas and a Speedy-Stitcher so they can make modifications to their party tent. I’m not sure whether they want to keep making it bigger, or split that circus tent into smaller sections. I figure they can vote on that.

Idaho Democrats were harder to buy for. They are so rare, it’s hard to really know what they might want or need. I found some old Cecil Andrus and Frank Church political buttons on Ebay but the shipping cost more than the buttons so I passed. I have a whole pile of voter registration forms in an old backpack, I was thinking of giving these, but then I remembered, that’s where I got them, from the Idaho Democratic Party. It’s really bad form to re-gift, my wife says. Then, I thought of the old stand-by: a bottle of Idaho Whiskey. So, I got some at the liquor store, but I hadn’t tasted it before, so I opened it before wrapping it to just have a sip. Do you think they’d mind getting a half bottle? It’s not bad.

Brad, our governor could stand a heartfelt gift this dark season. I’ve been trying to think about what he might want or need. It seems like everybody has an opinion about that. Some seem to think he needs a backbone, while others would send him a muzzle and handcuffs. I got him a bottle of that Idaho Whiskey and I didn’t sip but a little out of that one. It’s mostly full. I better get it wrapped up soon.

Our Lieutenant Governor, Janice McGeachin seems to have everything she wants right now, so I didn’t think I should give her anything. She’s got a taxpayer funded part-time job, with taxpayer funded staff and a fancy office, and the governor never asks her to do much. Plus, she gets all the free press coverage she wants. But then I remembered the legislature will be starting up soon and she has to run herd on the senate. That’s her most taxing obligation. I found an old five-pound maul in my tool shed she can use for a gavel whenever either of the Democrats rise to speak. I might put a bow on it. Would that be sexist?

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden really needs some Christmas cheer, all the griping we hear about him. He wouldn’t sign Idaho up for that Texas election lawsuit to support Trump; boy did some of his Republican tent folks singe him. But I’m getting a little self-conscious about another trip to the liquor store. I keep telling them these are gifts for others I’m getting. They just smile and nod. I have a nice pair of oven mittens that say they can handle hot coals. I’ll wash them up and send them off. What do you think?

If you give a gift to one person, and not the next, feelings might be hurt, so I made a list of all the folks in the Statehouse. By the time I got down to the Treasurer and the Controller, I realized maybe a Christmas card would have to do. We have a bunch of cards we got at an Idaho Democratic Fundraiser. They show a donkey/elk with Christmas lights in the antlers. They’ll do, I guess.

Next year I’ll ask my wife to do the gifts. This is hard.

Dan Schmidt is a family physician who lives in Moscow. Dr. Schmidt, a Democrat, served in the Idaho state senate from 2010 to 2016.

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