(1) When we're kids at Christmas time adults give kids what they, the adults, want the kids to have. When the kids become adults the adults ask them what do you want for Christmas? What changed? When my kids ask what I want for any present, Christmas or birthday, I reply; whatever you want to give me. I always gave my kids what I wanted them to have that I could afford and my youngest son told his wife; Dad always gives the coolest present. Not patting myself on the back, just presenting a personal anecdote. But the curiosity is, for me; giving someone a gift, for whatever the occasion, why is the person receiving the gift even consulted? (2) Have people always been so image conscious vs being substantive? I became aware that image is really important, to some if not many, in the 80's (I was in my early 30's). I worked with a man who said of another co-worker; "he's not a slave to fashion" - LOL- while it was true what does that tell us? It wasn't meant as a malicious statement as much as an honest observation, but, it did create a curiosity when I started thinking about it. (3) Why does it seem that people are so superficial? Is that a by-product of no.2? What do people have against being quite and just thinking things through? I realize message boards aren't scientific and not used as empirical evidence but they are a pretty good cross section of people. There are some good thinkers who respond, but, by and large, what I see are reaction. Reaction is superficial. Thinking through doesn't seem to be all that common. I have more but I'll address those later.