Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Classic Christmas Gift Fool

How did Christmas gift-giving originally start? Was it the gold, frankincense and myrrh given to baby Jesus by the three wise men? Or was that just a descriptive detail made up by the author of the bible because his creative writing workshop told him he needed to include more imagery in his work?

Buying gifts for people always gives me anxiety, especially at Christmastime when you have to buy something for everyone you know. The real problem is figuring out what to get everyone on my list. I think the whole point of buying gifts is to show someone that you were thinking of them. Like "I saw this commemorative Two and a Half Men plate at Target and thought of you, so here you go!" But Christmas kind of ruins that sentiment because you have a deadline and you're only buying people gifts because you know you'll feel like a classic fool if they get you something and you don't give anything in return.

 I'm a classic fool.
So you begrudgingly participate in the annual gift-giving extravaganza and face the arduous task of finding the perfect something for all of your special someones, which is difficult because not everyone you know likes Two and a Half Men. I decided to stop asking people what they want for Christmas, because I've found that I always get one of three responses:
  1. The person gives me one idea, which I buy for them, and which they know I'll be buying for them since it's the only idea they gave me.
  2. The person has a list ready, which he/she also gave to everyone else who asked and distributed in an email blast, on their blog, and on Facebook. The gift I select ends up being the exact same thing someone else buys the person, only mine is inevitably the cheaper knockoff version.
  3. The person asks for gift cards, sometimes to an actual store, and sometimes "the kind you can spend anywhere," aka a pre-loaded debit card, aka cash.
But just because I don't ask for ideas doesn't mean I don't get hounded. In fact, I wasn't even allowed to leave Thanksgiving this year without first writing out a Christmas list. Every time I looked like I was about to set my pen down, my mom cracked the whip and forced me to write more. I've been fielding texts and phone calls all week from family members who need to know what I want them to buy me for Christmas. I ended up making a list of things I was planning on buying myself and just handing that over to them. For instance, I just ran out of coffee, so I put that on the list. I might add milk and bread to the list too if I get asked tomorrow, because we just ran out of those too.

And God forbid I buy anything for myself in the month of December. "How DARE you!" my family will say. "We could have bought you that for Christmas! Stop being so selfish!" I am pretty selfish a lot of the time, taking away opportunities for people to buy me gifts. Instead of buying coffee, milk and bread for myself, I should stop and call a family member to let them know they need to buy it for me instead.

1 comment:

  1. This. All of this. We tried so hard to convince our families not to do the whole gift exchange this year and they refuse to get on board. Lame.

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