Friday, May 21, 2010

Gift Giving

So, I'm stepping out on a ledge here...on a topic that is kind of silly, but it has been bothering me.  Here goes...

I have noticed over the years that gift-giving has become much more difficult. I'm not sure what it is.  Is it that I was more confident in my ability to buy something that people would like?  Is it that I just bought whatever seemed good and didn't pay attention to what people would like?  Is it that now I'm just more concerned about making people happy?  I have no idea, but I know that gift giving, which I LOVE, had been more of a challenge as I get older.

When I was younger, Roby and I just bought stuff for each other all the time. Sometimes just goofy little things, sometimes things the other person had been dying to have. We just took such pleasure in gifting each other. Later, I was friends with a person who insisted that we come to a spending amount agreement - "what if one person spends a lot and the other person doesn't spend as much?" It was a little odd and uncomfortable. One time, with $3.98 left of my agreed upon $50, I ended up buying a bag of Skittles and a glass jar to put them in. I felt like I should include the receipts as proof that I spent the whole amount.

The next gift-influencer was a person who told me that they "hated the obligatory gift-giving that was associated with holidays like Christmas and birthdays". Instead of asking questions (which would have helped), I then spun into the self-questioning. "What if I find something they like? Do they like presents at all? What if they don't like it? If I give them a present, will they feel like I am obligating them to reciprocate? If I find something they might like but it is too close to a holiday, should I wait to give it to them until the holiday is farther away?" This definitely had a negative impact on my willingness to put myself out there.

Then there are the flower haters. I used to love to just get some flowers or a balloon for someone, but then I met a bunch of people who don't like to get flowers for various reasons.

Maybe I shouldn't worry about any of this. Gift-giving is an act of friendship and I guess if I want to do it, I should just do it and not worry about all the other stuff. Unfortunately, not worrying is not in my nature. I worry that people won't like it, already have it, will be irritated. It might be the wrong color or brand or edition. It isn't the perfect thing...Aaarrgghh! It shouldn't be this hard.

Anyway, I did overcome my fears for a friend this week and decided to just try. I think the success was in the fact that there was giftage and that I made an attempt to get them gifties that were in the realm of their interests. That's really all I can do. And hope that they know that the gifts are from the heart and that the intentions are good.

1 comment:

  1. I think gifting should come from the heart, and is more meaningful when it is impulsive than compulsory. When you see something that is fitting for someone you hold dear in your life that you want to give to them out of love/friendship, great. Gifting in this manner is wonderful.

    Feeling that pressure to "have to" find that "perfect [insert gift-giving event here] gift" is nerve-wracking and I think diminishes what the gift ultimately should represent. I'd rather give/recieve a gift because it was heart-felt, not because it was expected.

    Giving a gift from the heart? Fabulous. Giving a gift because it's what our materialistic culture expects? Too much pressure!!

    Cynical? Surely. Jaded? Absolutley.



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