For most of my adult life, the running joke is that my ability to give decent Christmas presents (or any presents, for that matter) is directly proportionate to the status of my love life. So, needless to say, those close to me have been left wanting for the past few years.

My love life aside, this has been a momentous year in almost every other way.

I saw my dad leave his job for one with much greater potential. I’ve seen my mom be the bond that continues to strengthen our family, no matter what comes our way. One of my sisters began a career and at some point we realized our other sister was actually really funny.

I took a gamble on my future and announced my intention to leave Daktronics and Auburn University, and then went on to have my most enjoyable season yet.

I followed along as friends got engaged, some became pregnant and others gave birth. I forged life-long friendships, traveled to the Bahamas, and started this site.

But when I look back at the year 2010, the one theme that stands out above all others is financial responsibility. By finally attacking my last debt, I realized more freedom than I’ve had in years. Stress I didn’t even know I had disappeared. Options and possibilities appeared.

As I look forward to 2011, I have no clue what’s in store. For the first time in 8 or 10 years, I honestly don’t know what my life is going to look like a few months down the road. I plan on taking some chances and trying a few new things.

I’m sure I’ll fail. Probably a lot.

But hopefully through all the failure something will pan out along the way.

If not? I haven’t really thought about it. But I’m sure I could get on the babysitting circuit, what with these people popping new kids out all the time.

Oh yea, about the Christmas presents. One thing I am good at is recommending books. So this Christmas, I want to recommend the book that has completely changed the way I think about & deal with money. Without this book, my life would be very different in a not good way.

It’s because of Dave Ramsey’s book “The Total Money Makeover” that I’ve been able to quit a well paying job to pursue my crazy dreams. Because I know how much it’s changed my life and the lives of several friends, I’d like to offer it up as a Christmas gift.

Between now & Christmas Eve, I’m going to send copies of the book to 5 random people. All you have to do to be eligible is email me, share this link on Facebook, retweet it on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

(Update 12/21/2010: I’ve already selected 5 people to send the book to, but I’ve decided to give away 5 more. I’ll send you an email if you’ve been chosen.)

What was your life’s theme this past year? What do you hope it’ll be next year?