Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thoughts on Gifts


Christmas gifts.

There are usually four camps people fall into as the buyer.

"I know you so well, I'm going to pick out what I think you like because I'm just that good!"

"You'll get my present and like it and if you don't, I don't care.  I will say let me know if you need the receipt but will use it against you in gossip and will totally complain if you don't have the item out when I visit."

"I listen carefully to clues of things you said you wanted during the year and pick up things I know you won't buy yourself."

"Give me your specific wishlist or Amazon link so I don't waste my money."

I fall into the last two camps because I have been the victim of the first two camps particularly my first 10 years of knowing the Mr.  There is nothing I hate more than seeing people waste their money.  One year I got a horrible toucan plaster pin and the back of it had a blood stain on it.  Yeah.  What about me screams "toucan!" and you obviously didn't flip it over when you bought it at the yard sale to see there was a reason it was out there.  I believe that was the same year I got earrings with ear crud still on them and it was from the same person.  I smiled, sent a thank you note and they promptly went into the trash.  That's just gross.  Since then, the person has wised up and just gives us money to buy what we want.  May seem impersonal to some but I tend to hoard it and then before I know it, I've got a lot to go toward something big.  Or maybe treat myself to a few massages to keep out of jail.  (The Mr wants me to make sure you know it is NOT him!)

We have wishlists on Amazon and my mom, best friend and Grandpa's wife shop off of them.  We add to it all year long and then 1 month prior to birthdays, we go through it and make sure we still want what's on there, delete as necessary and then release it to the family masses.  Again, may seem impersonal but it ensures we get what we want/like and not gifts we already have or have no need for.  I can't count how many times I've gotten "extra" gifts that weren't on the wishlist and I smile and when they leave it's like "um...what do I do with this?"  Then I get into a situation where I feel guilty for not using it and hold on to it like it will magically become something I need one day.  Please don't think me ungrateful, I'm not!  But when someone spends an extra $20 on something I know with certainty I will never use, I die a little inside for the money they wasted.  When you live in a shoe box, you don't have the actual room to fall into that trap.  So I usually have a box handy after the holidays and anything I get that I didn't ask for that I don't anticipate needing goes into it and straight to Goodwill.  I feel awful about it but I say a little prayer asking for forgiveness and then move on.

I always ask people what they want and thankfully they all are very specific with me because they know that's how I operate.  They know "if I tell her I want X, I'll get it" and if I don't get it, I'll pass it along to someone else who could use the idea.  I actually really appreciate people giving me ideas and specifics because it makes it easier on me and I know they'll like what they get.

What camp do you fall into as a buyer?  As a receiver, do you like when people ask you what you want or guess what they think you'll like?

Like this post? Don't miss another one...subscribe via email or RSS feed. (Or you can follow me on Facebook )


  1. Last year i took over picking out gifts for my sibs and their spouses for my Mom. She used to get them whatever and I knew it was wasted money. I know them well and my Mom could tell they actually liked their gifts last year. You really have to pay attention to be able to be the "custom" shopper. For myself, I generally give a short list of needs just by topic and am delightfully surprised by what people come up with. Its not usually what I've envisioned, its something better!
    Guess that is the reward of not being a "thing" person. I only shop for necessities and at Christmas, that's it. I am in the purge mode here at almost 50, loving the clear open spaces.
    Enjoy your Christmas adventure!

  2. I try to be a thoughtful buyer, but some people don't give me much to work with. "Oh, you don't need to get me anything" makes me crazy. I know that, but if I'm asking what you want, it's because I want to get you something. I have a short list though, so the people on it I know well enough to get wanted/useful items without specific wishlists. The only people I have trouble buying for are my parents. They tend to buy the things they need or truly want through the year which leaves little to choose from at Christmas.

  3. I prefer to go from a specific list, like Amazon, or get something the person would definitely use.

  4. I'm definitely a #3 person and a #4, even if it's not specifically Amazon. I have a friend of mine that I only get to see a couple of times a year and when we used to work together she'd ask me specifically where I'd want a gift card from. I loved that because I knew it would be something I could use. And we pretty much keep with that tradition. We're specific about what our likes are, and then shop that way. I'm very practical in the things I ask for, and while some may not view that as being "festive" or fun, I'm good with it. If someone wants a bag of high-end dog food for their pup and it would save them the $50 to buy it, I'm all about that. I'm like you, in that my house is quite small and I just don't have the room for "stuff". And after what I've been through the past year with cleaning out other people's stuff, it's made me want to get rid of more and more! LOL

  5. Please don't use Goodwill, the CEO keeps all the profits, nothing goes to the homeless or the needy. The only good thing he does is hire the handicap.

  6. I fall into the last two camps because I used to think I was in the #1 camp but after a friend of mine gave me back the movie ticket/movie type gift basket I had given her for a birthday months later saying they just don't go to the movies I realized maybe I'm not as good as I think I am lol


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I appreciate your time! (Heads up though...disrespectful or spam comments will be deleted.)