The first Christmas after Mary Ellen and I got married we discovered that we had a true cultural divide when it came to gift giving. In my family, Christmas gifts had to be a surprise. It was inappropriate to ask for something specific. Christmas morning was all about the anticipation of what you might be getting. It wasn’t what you necessarily wanted, but it was exciting.

In Mary Ellen’s family, however, requesting an item made perfect sense. You got exactly what you wanted; there were no real surprises. Mary Ellen and her brother still exchange gifts. They both ask for Amazon Gift Cards. The only excitement is seeing who sprang for the most.