I'd gather up the JC Penny or Sears toy catalogues, get some lined paper, and make lists like a 7-year-old accountant. Item name, item number, page number, price. Maybe it was a sign that I should have been an accountant rather than a writer. At least my desk would be more tidy.
This year, I made a list for my SO. It is mostly books. BECAUSE WHAT ELSE IS THERE?
Rather than discuss the books I'm asking for this year, I am going to list here the books that I own and want to read, that I own and hope to read over the week OFF I am taking soon, that I own and that call to me from the shelf, promising wonders.
So, in no particular order (well, I am pretty much looking from the top shelf down on the case behind my desk chair):
New York by Edward Rutherford (I love his sweeping historic (doorstops) books)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (I am so far behind that I still haven't cracked this one open)
The Decadent Gardener by Medlar Lucan & Durian Gray (I've no clue, really, just *what* this book is, but it's kinda-sorta research and looks intriguing)
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (a student gave me this as a gift last year and I've never read Murakami, but friends love him, so...)
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (Dracula in Victorian London revamped (pardon the pun): what's not to love?)
Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer (I got this last xmas and have dipped in and out of it)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (another gift from that same student: the cover is gorgeous)
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill (I *heart* Joe Hill and read about a third of this last xmas...and then got stupid busy again, so hoping to finish it this time round)
Little, Big by John Crowley (I've started it 3? 4? times, and liked what I read, but life got in the way, alas)
The City's Son by Tom Pollock (Tom is a friend in the SFF community here, I've seen him read, gone to his signings...and never had time to actually read this. Bad Friend! Bad!)
That's ten. I am only taking a week off, which will be full of get-togethers and such. Once again, my eyes are too big for my stomach.