Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chronicles of Life ... what do YOU want

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I love the music, the family togetherness, the food and most of all the gifts. Getting is wonderful, but I especially love giving. The problem is most of my gift recipients are making hard for me to shop for them.

It’s my own fault. I should know the things they like. They are my family. My friend, Cee, does an excellent job of gift giving by keeping track of things people mentioned during everyday conversation throughout the year. If I did that, and shopped year-round for gifts instead of waiting until Dec. 23, I would be amazing! Well I don’t!

Why can’t everyone just give me a list of what they want? I do it every year. My parents received my Christmas/birthday list Dec. 7. Neither they nor my brother extended that same courtesy.

Long ago I gave gifts without asking. Most were hit or miss. There was the era of the homemade gifts like key chains, pot holders and vases. Nothing says “I love you” like a nice homemade gift. Or at least that’s what I thought until my mother said the vases looked like they came from the Dead Sea.

Everyone received unique presents from the art museum gift shop I worked at during college. Then my parents laughed at the nose-shaped eyeglass holders they got one year. I don’t know why. They both wear glasses.

I put a lot of thought into the gifts I made/bought. But I got tired of the smart remarks. Apparently, no one appreciates my thoughtfulness. So I prefer to buy exactly what a person wants.

I’m getting better at buying mainstream gifts, I think. I bought my dad a GPS system for his birthday. It was just what he wanted. I should have saved that as his Christmas present. Now Christmas is nearly here and I still don’t know what to get him. When I first asked he said, “I don’t know.” WHAT KIND OF RESPONSE IS THAT? If you don’t know, then how am I supposed to know?

It would also be nice to receive gift lists featuring items from a variety of price ranges. Whenever I ask my family for gift suggestions, they always remind me that I’m poor. Well then, suggest something that you want and know I can afford. Throw me a bone here.

I give up. Everyone’s just going to get a gift card somewhere. OK probably not. I don’t like giving out gift cards, unless it’s specifically requested. Otherwise it seems so impersonal. Kind of like how bath and body products and shaving kits are the generic gifts.

Gift giving is starting to make my headache and bring down my holiday cheer. Next year I’ll just be the Grinch. Nobody is getting a present from me.

Who am I kidding? I’ll be at the gift giving again by Valentine’s Day. I just like to give gifts. All I want for Christmas is to know what other people really want.

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