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tools and christmas gifts

updated thu 7 sep 00


Ingeborg Foco on sat 2 sep 00

Tools, I have a lot of them ---good and bad. For a long time, I got =
everyone's discards, tools that had seen their day. My husband gave me =
his old level--- the one with the bubble that worked only occasionally! =
I used it for a while but it was really worthless. I could eyeball =
things easier than to jiggle the level around. So, I took it to Sears - =
it was a Craftsmen, guaranteed for life. The thing was so old, they no =
longer carried that model or size. I got upgraded, for free, to a fine, =
new, very large level. He regularly borrows it now and doesn't complain =
about it being covered with clay!!=20
Finally, I just got tired of getting everyone's worn out junk. Decided =
to buy myself the tools I needed. Also decided we would do Christmas =
gift exchange a little different. You agree to a $ limit (if you want) =
and then you simply go out and buy your own gift.....exactly what YOU =
want. You keep it a secret and wrap it up put the other person's name =
on the package and put it under the tree. Christmas Eve, HE opens the =
gift which is really from him but you bought for YOURSELF; he is =
surprised and you are very pleased. Everyone gets exactly what they =
want. That's how I got a new drill (to replace the worn out piece he =
gave me), a ratchet set, a set of decent screw drivers and so forth. =
Each year at Christmas, that is how we do the gift exchange now. No =
more opening a gift box, looking in dismay and saying "Thank you" while =
keeping in mind that it's the thought that counts....and then sneaking =
back to the store standing in those awful lines to exchange.

As for the "all knowing" guy at the hardware or the propane guy who =
doesn't know diddly about kilns ----but acts like he knows everything =
and then asks me about my "Oven" ....well, that is another story.


A Reid Harvey on tue 5 sep 00

It seems to me that if one had a choice of gifts, one tax deductable and
the other not, it may make more sense to chose that gift that is not
deductable. For example, you really want both a tool that is $100 and a
CD player at the same price. A parent gives you a choice. Let them give
you the CD player, which you can't write off, then you buy the tool
yourself. This you can write off. Make sense?
Bye for now.
Reid Harvey, middle aged and only just beginning to think about tax
write offs.

MBnews@AOL.COM on wed 6 sep 00

Just a note on the subject of tax deductions missed/gifts. It seems to me
that if I buy a $100. anything and deduct it...if I am in even the 50% tax
bracket (who is, we go to dinner-you buy) this saves me $50 off my tax due at
the absolute maximum. I am out of pocket $50 so to speak. Now, if some
generous someone gives me a gift of that same $100 something, I am out of
pocket nothing...which is what matters to me. The lower my tax bracket...30%
for instance, the more I pay. Unless I am very mistaken, gifts are easy on
the budget and another plus.

I have some things, a versabat set for instance, given me by my husband's
parents one Christmas. They are both dead now, but the bats are still around
and using them is a lovely reminder of their support. I don't know. Maybe
someone has already said all this. I've been off-line a lot this summer.
Still, it does seem that sometimes we can be so smart we outwit ourselves.
Forgive me. I don't mean to offend. I just really do appreciate the things
around me that come from people I love and have wanted to say something about
that. When you get right down to it, it's the tools and cups and glaze
directions and whatever that have come from family, friends and one of you
all that matter most to me. Much more than something I buy for myself.
Everytime I touch that tool or whatever the person crosses my mind. They get
a little good wish and I get the job done. Beats a tax deduction anytime for
me. Maybe I am just getting old.

Would you believe 60 degree temps in North Carolina. Cool and rainy.
English weather. What a crazy year for climate, etc.

Mary Beth Bishop