She: (Day after Thanksgiving) Deck the halls with boughs of holly …

Z: Cut it out. You’re Jewish. You need to lose the Santa envy. I’m pretty sure it’s sacrilege, or something.

She: (Dec. 1) Here’s the thing. Hanukkah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat. But Christmas, at least my kind of Christmas, involves eating and shopping. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Z: What was that? Was that a bolt of lightning?

She:  (Dec. 10, when Z innocently walks in the door after a full day’s work) Grrr … why do I always end up doing all the Christmas shopping, wrapping, then waiting in a really long line at the post office? All you do is sit around all day.

Z: Hi, honey, I’m home! What did I buy my mom for Christmas?

She: I don’t even know why I let you sign the card anymore.

Z: I hope I got her something at least as nice as what you got for your mom. We don’t want them thinking we play favorites.

She: When’s the last time you even shopped for Christmas? Or groceries for that matter?

Z: I’m sure it was some Dec. 24th at 10 p.m. For some reason, my shopping didn’t make you as happy as you thought it would.

She: Look, I admit I’ve got a love/hate relationship with the whole holiday gift-giving thing.

Z: Gee, do you think?

She: Don’t make it worse.

Z: I’ve shopped before, and I could shop again, if you want me to. Or made me.

She: Last time, you bought everyone in the family lottery tickets.

Z: You say that like it’s a bad thing.

She: It would have been different if someone in our family had actually won.

Z: All I can do is help them plan for their retirement. I can’t guarantee how these gift/investments will pan out.

She: I suppose it could be worse. I just heard on the radio that they’re now selling lottery gift cards.

Z: That’s brilliant! Now I can be so lazy that not only can I give a worthless lottery ticket, but I can also make the giftee shop for it.

She: And then you would make me wrap it.

Z: I like wrapping things. My only problem is that the Sunday comics only get printed once a week, and I’m not sure that the Macy’s ads are colorful or festive enough. It’s a materials issue.

She:  Let’s at least come to some sort of agreement about the one gift I do want you to buy all by yourself.

Z: Um … the gift of love?

She: Mine.

Z: That’s what I said.

She: Nothing self-serving.

Z: I would never.

She: No video games, vacuum cleaners, or anything transparent or see-through.

Z: I’ll be right back.

She: Unless of course, you plan to use them.

Z: I don’t look good in lace. It’s not as flattering on me as you might think. Satin, sure. Lace, not so much.

She:  And don’t give me something you heard me admire on someone else without confirming that I really meant the compliment, and didn’t just run out of things to say.

Z: You mean you don’t truly like my seersucker jumpsuit?

She: It’s a look. Sort of like look at me, I don’t own a mirror — or a wife!

Z: What about me? Don’t I get to give you any guidelines?

She: Like what?

Z: Like, buy me a car.

She:  Sure. What’s your favorite Matchbox?

Z: Anything fast. And furious.

She: Got any others?

Z: Something transparent or see-through. And since I’m not all materialistic like you are, I’m fine if you want to borrow it.

She: Maybe I’ll just buy you a lottery ticket gift card this year. I hear you’re feeling lucky.

Z: Yes, dear.

Send your holiday gift suggestions — and gifts — to