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Quiz: What's your holiday gift-buying style?

What would you do for money quiz

Yes, it's the spendin' season, and we each approach it with our sundry styles -- what's yours? A scootch Scroogey? Splashy? Crafty? Wait, we may be mixing this up with the seven dwarves ...

Back on track here: Maybe you're one of the blessed and balanced few who is smartly in the spirit. To gain the gift of self-knowledge, unhand that credit card and start clicking away at our quiz.

  1. When you enter a store brimming with holiday-gift possibilities, the thought bubble over your head reads:

    A. ''Charge!'' (And, yes, you mean it both ways.)
    B. ''On the whole, I'd rather be at home, poking sharp sticks into my eyes.''
    C. ''Ah, America, land of 1,000 hobby craft and hobby shops -- is this a great country or what?''
    D. ''Hope I can find all the stuff on my list -- but if not, serendipity can be lurking around every counter: Let the games begin!''
  2. You do your holiday shopping with:

    A. Friends who also just love to shop 'til they drop. When one of you falters, the others can provide quick infusions of extra cash, credit, oxygen -- a brisk slap in the face; whatever's needed to keep the competition going.
    B. A simmering resentment that everyone's conned into the crass commercialism of the season.
    C. Eager anticipation to see what clever gifts you can create, to delight everyone in your crowd.
    D. Gratitude and joy that that we live in a culture that affords so many ways to show our holiday spirit.
  3. ''Oh, you shouldn't have!'' Yup, we've all heard that from one or more recipients of our gifts; and often there is a telltale expression in the person's eyes or face that reveals what he or she really means. A realistic assessment of your giftees' expression would generally reveal they are:

    A. Stunned by your largesse.
    B. Teary with disappointment.
    C. Impressed with your creativity and cleverness.
    D. Tickled that you got precisely the one item on their dying-to-have list.
  4. Now, it's your turn to get -- and what you get is a polyester pot-holder from your new neighbors, Roy and Rayette Radon. If you'll allow us to peek into your thought bubble once more, we'll read:

    A. ''Dear Lord, the Radons must be on public assistance -- must remember to hide the good silver next time they come calling.''
    B. ''Whew -- now they won't expect anything pricey from me.''
    C. ''Wow, wonder if they made it themselves. Used to love making stuff like this at camp ... Hmmm ... ''
    D. ''Mighty neighborly of them. Let me jot them on my holiday list right now.''
  5. Whaddaya know -- a street vendor is selling Gucci-look scarves for three bucks apiece. You think:

    A. Ain't nothing like the real thing.
    B. You just knocked off everyone you're obligated to get a gift for in one swell foop -- say hallelujah.
    C. You can make a nicer scarf yourself -- but at that price, maybe you'll get a couple and add the personalizing bells and whistles yourself.
    D. ''Is there anyone on my list who'd like a scarf -- and this style in particular?''
  6. Needless Markup department store is having a blowout sale on gift-boxed knit-glove-and-hat sets. Yep, those dopey (unless you own them, in which case we mean ''fine'') acrylic tug-down beanies with the frayed pompom on top and the matching gloves in a cheesy knit to allow all the chill air in. They're tagged at a stampede-provoking sale price of $5 for the whole kit and caboodle. Tempted?

    A. You don't hate anyone that much.
    B. Your checkbook's out.
    C. No, they're so unimaginative.
    D. You're not sure -- you may know someone who would appreciate such a set; you want us to wait while you check your list and comb your memory. (If you prefer, you may comb your list and check your memory -- reader's choice.)
  7. Hey, ever use tin foil as gift wrap?

    A. Not since you were, like, 6. Where do you live -- Dogpatch?
    B. All the time -- it's nutty to spend money on fancy special paper that'll only get ripped up, anyway -- what a scam.
    C. Sometimes -- it can actually look quite pretty on its own, and it also makes a nice base for adding your own gewgaws.
  8. Wow -- pay dirt! Your little local consignment shop got in this great vase. It's really quite the beauty and you know your friend Chiffon would just love it. Only problem is, all the consignment shop can offer you is a crumpled plain white-paper bag to tote the vase, so you'll:

    A. Fish out one of the fancy-store-name boxes you keep at home for just such occasions. Well, it could have come from one of those stores…and what's the problem with making a nice presentation, anyway?
    B. Smooth out the crumples. Problem solved.
    C. Seize the opportunity a plain white bag gives by personalizing it with all kinds of fun stuff -- ribbons, decals, glitter touches, personalized sayings and the like.
    D. Buy attractive packaging at a stationery or card-and-gift shop.
  9. When do you start your holiday shopping?

    A. Hard to say when you start, considering you never really stop.
    B. When Kmart's blue light casts its heavenly glow.
    C. When inspiration strikes.
    D. Generally after Thanksgiving -- that when the spirit moves you, and your annual ritual of making that list commences.
  10. Reveal to us now what is most important to you, in the realm of gift-giving:

    A. Buying items that are more expensive and extravagant than what the recipient would normally purchase for him/herself.
    B. Getting the most bang for your buck.
    C. Using your creativity to make memorable, and often one-of-a-kind, items.
    D. Working out that magic mix -- where your spirit soars with the season , but your list and your budget keep you reasonably anchored to terra firma.

-- Updated: Sept. 20, 2005


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