The Enthusiast’s Gift Guide

With only a little over a week until the jolliest day of the year is upon us, it’s time to put away the hot chocolate, lace up our L.L. Bean duck boots, and get shopping. There are too many people on your gift list to put it off any longer. Yes, I am looking at you, procrastinator-student-workaholic relative.

And once you get shopping it is hard to know exactly what to get everyone on the list. People are different and buying gifts for them is more than just raiding the $3 section of Target. That’s why gift guides are a beautiful thing that just about no one takes advantage of. Don’t know what to get your sister? There’s about 40 million gift guides that cater exactly to your sister’s needs.

The Enthusiast’s gift guide is for everyone on your list. Mom, Dad, brother, sister, best friend, significant other, that neighbour who gives you pocket money for cleaning dog poo out of their yard, etc. They are gifts that work for any kind of person and your shopping will now take less than an hour. And you don’t even have to pull on your duck boots.

And you don’t even have to thank me. But if you want, I accept cash and Starbucks cranberry bliss bars.Read More

Finding That Perfect Gift

Remember when you were a little kid and it was your birthday and you would stay up all the night before because you were so excited to open all your presents? Well, as I’ve gotten older and more generous than my 5-year-old self, I’ve found that I will stay up all night excited to give someone else a gift.

When you find that perfect gift for someone you feel like dancing. It’s better than chocolate. I’ve only had this feeling once, and it was so great I decided to share it with you!

My best friend is named Amanda. Her favorite color is pink. We are both on the shorter side of five foot, light brunette, and bespectacled. And, as best friends, we spend an immense amount of time together. So, being similar looking and always being around each other, we are constantly asked if we are twins. We are completely amused by this and it was the inspiration for my gift.

The end of September was Amanda’s 18th birthday and I really wanted to get her something that wasn’t just a birthday gift, but something that would connect us and remind her of me whenever she saw it, especially since I’m leaving for university next year. I thought and I thought and I thought. I probably spent two months throwing gift ideas around. Three weeks before her birthday, I came up with the perfect gift.

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A Post in Which I May or May Not Brag About My Birthday

…I don’t like to brag, but, my birthday was yesterday. Yay!!!!

My birthday is one of my favorite days of the year. And it’s not because it’s all about me and I get to eat unmonitored amounts of cake. I like my birthday because it’s a time that family and friends get together and we all have a really nice time. And that’s special.

Turning 17 has been a real eye-opener. It’s finally hitting me that this is my last year of being a child. In 364 days I will be an adult, someone who can vote and go to jail. Wrapping my head around it is proving to be impossible. I’m only a ninth of the way around!

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A Very Morgan Christmas

Happy Boxing Day!

I hope you all had an absolutely fantastic Christmas day and got all of the things you asked Santa for. I myself had a lovely Christmas and owe it all to my loving family.

It all started when I woke up at 7:30 and woke my brother up. “It’s 7:30! We’ve got to get up and open our stockings!” I believe my exact words were. If you don’t know it already, I became 4 years old when December 25 comes around. Over the course of 3 hours, we opened our stockings and presents and drank immense amounts of coffee, tea, and eggnog. It truly was magical.

Then we ate our annual Christmas morning casserole and went on to sleep (my parents) and play with our newly acquired presents (my brother and I). By far, my favorite present this year was a little teapot shaped like a double decker bus that I’d seen at my grandmother’s during Thanksgiving that she gave to me. BEST. GIFT. EVER.

All of my relatives and friends gave me fantastic gifts too. I received a pair of brown boots that I’d been wanting forever, gift cards to stores that I really love shopping at, scarves for my ever-growing scarf collection, and a pearl necklace that has been handed down in my family for a few generations. I feel so overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness that I might just pop!

Now today, on the non-American tradition of Boxing Day, I’m writing my thank you notes. I’ve found that quite a lot of people don’t write thank you notes, and I find it kind of rude. If I spend time looking for a gift for you, I expect a small little handwritten note in return. It’s only fair. Anyway, I wrote all of mine today and find that with each note you end up making them special in your own way. If a relative is on vacation somewhere special you put that in your note, if you are going to see them soon you put that in your note, if you plan on using their gift in a super awesome way you put that in your note. So, as I’m completely in practice of thank you notes now, I thought I’d write one to you.

Dear readers,

Thank you so much for being so amazing this past year. For reading, for commenting, for liking, etc. Your complete dedication and encouragement has meant so much to me and that’s why I will keep on writing. I might change over the next few years, what with heading off to university or changing a theme or even changing my name for reasonable purposes, I promise to keep it to you straight and true. And most of all, thank you for subscribing. I hope to catch you all reading Teenage Enthusiasm next year!

Your blogging friend,

Happy boxing day!

Totally Awesome Christmas Story Winner!

Merry Christmas Eve!

As I promised, today is the day I post the winner of the Totally Awesome Christmas Story Contest. Yay!

The winner comes from a forward that my mom sent me. If you are the author of this story, please let me know in the comments! It truly shows the meaning of Christmas and goes right along with my post from yesterday (which you can read here). So, without further ado, here is the winner of the Totally Awesome Christmas Story Contest’s totally awesome winning entry.Read More

My True Thoughts on Christmas

I was babysitting last night. As I was laying the kids down for bed, I asked them what their favorite thing about Christmas was. The little boy answered, “Presents! Lots and lots of presents!” I turned to his sister and she agreed. This small exchange really made me think about Christmas.

As small children, all we really thought about Christmas was that we received a large number of presents from our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. As we got a bit older we learned more of the religious aspect of Christmas. But we never really strayed from the main objective, ‘lots and lots’ of presents.

Now, I like presents as much as the next person, but I find that Christmas gifts really do distract from the real wonder of Christmas. I’m not talking the religious reason either. I’m talking spending time with your family and loved ones, being surrounding by those that mean something to you. That’s what Christmas really means to me.

People put such a pressure on presents now, with “You’d better get me something I like” and “I already own one of these” and “Did you really think I would like this?” coming out of our mouths so much this month. I want it to all go away, to no pressure and just the fun of giving someone something because you care about them.

During Christmas, I get completely wrapped in the spirit. In being with my family decorating the tree and drinking ridiculous amounts of eggnog. In having a Christmas party with my friends on the day before school gets out for break. In planning the look on my brother’s face when I give him his gift. In baking Christmas cookies, remembering cooking them as a kid. In putting up the Christmas decorations. In wishing for snow so you can have a white Christmas. In not caring what presents I get because I will be grateful for everything.

That’s what  I truly love about Christmas.

So, in the next two days, don’t focus on the presents under the tree. Don’t fret over who has bigger presents than you. Spend the time remembering all the amazing people in your life. That’s what Christmas is really about, being with the people you love and loving every minute of it. And, if you are religious, baby Jesus’s birth.

Two more days until Christmas! I will be putting up the Totally Awesome Christmas Story Contest winner tomorrow!

Revealed: My Wish List

One of the most time-honored traditions of Christmas is writing a letter to Santa Claus. As I am sixteen, I grew out of doing that long ago. But I still like the idea. So I wrote a mental list to Santa. And I’m going to share it with you. So, without further ado, here is my wish list to Santa.

Dear Santa,

This year I would like…

  1. The new Adele DVD. Adele is my soul sister. And her new live album at the Royal Albert Hall is so good. That’s why I want the DVD for it.
  2. All of the Harry Potter films. I want all of them. In a boxset. And then I may have a Harry Potter movie marathon on Christmas. Which I really want.
  3.  A white Christmas. Please let it snow. Please.
  4.  A new MacBook. Yes, Santa, my laptop is still broken. And I need a working one.
  5. A beret. I’m going to France in 6 months and I want to look French. S’il vous plait.

Merry Christmas,


And those are all the materialistic things I would like for Christmas. Other things that I would really like are for people to be more considerate, an end to world hunger, and for people to donate to their local children hospitals. If people could do that, I wouldn’t care whether I got my new MacBook or not.

Only 4 more days until Christmas!

Secret Santas

I’ve always found the idea of Secret Santa to be pretty amazing. Drawing a person to get a present for and then spending x-amount of time looking for a gift for them while secretly hiding it from them. Absolutely brilliant!

My friends and I do Secret Santa every year. This was only my second year (since I’m a newbie at the lunch table) but I still enjoy it like a veteran. We all drew names from a hat (lunch pail, to be precise) and ended up with almost the exact same people as last year. Which, may I just say, cracked me up.

I think Secret Santa only really works if you know the person you’re Santa for. If you put together a random group of people and had them draw names for Secret Santas, you’d end up with a whole lot of hubabaloo. When people don’t know other people they end up buying stuff they would personally like. If I ended up having to buy something for a someone I didn’t know, I’d buy them a general gift based on their gender. Or the new Adele CD. Whatever.

For my gift, I gave my friend this really nice card I made in Photoshop (that ended up looking really nice) with an iTunes card taped to it. I also hole-punched it and strung this adorable bag of green and red M&M’s through it. Then I put it in a huge box and wrapped it up. They never saw it coming.

“You got me a box! Just kidding. What did you get me…you got me a piece of paper? Thanks. And an iTunes card? Oh, you’re awesome!”

As for me, my friend (who knows me so well and always gets me these great gifts that I adore) got me three movies. “About a Boy”, “Moulin Rouge” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. Absolutely amazing films that I love dearly. I was so excited that I hugged her tightly and possibly squealed. Three more movies to add to my vast collection.

Do you and your friends do Secret Santas? What about your family? Please e-mail me your Christmas traditions!

Only 5 more days until Christmas! Gosh, I am so excited!

Happy Birthday to…Me!

As few of you know, my 16th birthday was last week. I received quite a few gifts and a lot of them have some funny stories that I thought I’d share with you. So, without further ado, here are my stories!

My Peacock Umbrella

My parents got this for me. It was funny because three days before I even told my mum I wanted a peacock umbrella, she ordered one. I didn’t know this story until after I opened it but it cracked me up. I do not know why.

My Dart Gun

My best friend Amanda gave me this incredibly useful dart gun. When I opened it she just shrugged and said, “For when your brother annoys you.” I have since used it twice and I only got it last night. Amanda is the best friend ever.

My Elephant Puppet

Jerry! Now, why would someone get me an elephant you ask? They aren’t even my favorite animal. One of my favorite songs is “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. I really want to make a music video for it with circus performers and lions and giraffes and elephants for it. I was telling my friends my idea and Amanda said, “I’m going to get you an elephant for your birthday.” But since real-life elephants are expensive and just plain…huge, she could only get me my little puppet elephant Jerry.

My Crocodile/Dinosaur Mask

Don’t even ask 🙂

My Chocolate!

My other half (as I call him) Zak got me this delicious chocolate. When I opened it I wasn’t sure what it was first (since I’m basically the thickest person ever) and asked, “Why did you get me concert music? I don’t even play an instrument.”

My Chili Cheese Fritos

I’m addicted to these. Whenever I have a spare dollar during lunch, I get a pack of these from the vending machine. I call them my crack. They are truly the best chips I have ever eaten. And I’m a health good junkie.

My Nerds

Funnily enough, I really have Nerds. But since I am a massive nerd who enjoys Doctor Who and rewrites her school notes four times before she is happy with them, they were very fitting. And the picture works since I am wearing my nerd glasses.

My Scarf

A scarf! About five weeks ago I was sitting in class wearing a scarf. I’d been wearing scarves almost every day because they are so bloomin’ cool. Well, about four seats behind me I hear, “Who got a hickey?” followed by, “Her. That’s why she’s been wearing a scarf all week.” To clear this out, I did not have a hickey. It was the girl about four seats to my right. I wasn’t surprised.

My Fairy Wand

For when I want to be a fairy princess! I already had the tiara. It glows in the dark too!

My Films

The Devil Wears Prada, Beetlejuice, and Pretty in Pink. For all of my fashion-y, scary, love-filled needs. Pretty in Pink was from my parents because I am the biggest John Hughes fan ever! My friend Estany got me Bettlejuice and The Devil Wears Prada because they both represent me well. Scary and fun. Beetlejuice is the fun one!

Well, that’s what I (mostly) got for my birthday. I hope you all feel educated. I know I had fun opening them all!

Keep on reading this week for yet another fun, teenage-written post!