It pains me just to read this post's title, because I used to be one of those people who shopped all year long for the holidays. I'd find the perfect doodads and baubles for every person on my list and pack them away into Rubbermaid tote boxes. Then, on a chilly December day, I'd pull them all out and start wrapping, overjoyed that I had too much stuff for everyone.

Yeah, that lasted until the whole "cow decor" thing became unbearable.

Allow me to explain. Back in the dawn of time, I kept on telling everyone I knew that I wanted to have a black and white kitchen when I finally had a house. Not just any old black and white kitchen, mind you, it was going to have a Hershey cow theme.

Hey, if you're gonna dream, dream big.

When the DH and I were married, some items we received followed the theme. A cow-shaped milk pitcher, bride and groom cow salt and pepper shakers and a very cool cow clock were just a few of them.

Next thing you know, every occasion resulted in a cow-themed item. Soon I had multiples of Hershey stuff because all of my relatives shopped at the same stores. The worst part was, we hadn't even painted or renovated the kitchen yet, so most of the stuff simply a bunch of cows. I didn't even want to drink milk anymore. It was a bad scene.

Still, the stuff kept on coming.

I'd pack it up in boxes and tuck them into any available space. Soon word got out that I wasn't really in need of cow kitchen accessories anymore.

So they started giving me cow-themed bathroom stuff. And clothing. I'd even get mooing jewellery.

It got to the point where I'd be afraid to open a package. Especially if it had Hershey-patterned paper. I started holding yard sales in secret, praying that relatives wouldn't be in the neighbourhood to spot me selling off all the unwanted cow stuff.

After more than a decade, I can honestly say that 99% of the cow gifts have stopped arriving. There are still the odd things that people find that they forgot to hand over back in 1995. And I'm fine with that.

Oh, and we finally painted the kitchen. Bright yellow.

Then I started thinking, if I felt that way about receiving cow stuff, imagine how my friends and family felt about getting the same types of things (with completely different themes of course) from me? Something clicked and I've stopped collecting on behalf of other people.

It's probably more fun for them to do on their own anyway.

Creepy cousin update: He's fine and has been sent home. He also doesn't want any cow-themed stuff. Rats, I had a toilet brush and everything.