Tis the Season for Bad Giving

Photo Cred: Miss A 

Are you notoriously known for something? I am. I am notoriously known for giving horrible gifts. I don't know what's wrong with me. I could say I cave during Christmas chaos. I could (and do) say I get frustrated because everyone just buys what they want because their in better financial standings than myself (read: I'm poor). Truthfully, when I see the displays of cheap, holiday crap gifts (TV remote organizer, anyone?) a wave of anxiety rushes over me. I stand there- with too many people crowding my personal space- and I silently give in to the paralyzing anxiety of picking an acceptable gift that will not get me banned from future family gatherings.

For Christmas, I have given the worst gifts imaginable. Remember that generic remote caddy I mentioned earlier? Yeah, I bought Micah that for Christmas one year. I have given oven mitts. (The cheap Walmart kind, not a monogramed pair of Calphalons from Bed Bath & Beyond.) I have given $1 body wash that was more than likely made of glitter that felt more like slimy sandpaper. I have given nail polish samples, and plain votive candle holders. In short, I have given some bad gifts. The worst part is, I know I am no good at giving gifts. It's not even a sin of ignorance! After two years of poor gift-giving, I decided enough was enough, and it was time for a change.

But, not this year. Oh, no. I put my kitten game face on with determination to give better gifts. I started buying Christmas presents months ago. In fact, I only have a few left to buy. I'm not going to lie, some blood, sweat, and tears went into making this just-short-of-a-miracle event happen. (And I've not officially pulled it off yet, so fingers crossed.) I took inspiration from Amy Poehler's character, Leslie Knope on Park and Recreation. Leslie knows what just to give people. She gives things that people didn't even know they wanted. She is the ultimate gift-giver. 

 First, I came up with a strategy. Throughout the year, if I saw something and thought, "Hey, ______ would appreciate the humor in this.", I went ahead and logged it away for Christmas. I stalked FaceBook profiles. I made mental (and shamefully enough, actual pen and paper) notes of what individuals were drawn to, what they talked about, what they pinned, and what made their eyes light up in conversation. I studied the past. What did this person go to school to study? What is their favorite pop culture icon? What is the one thing so and so would like, but would never buy for themselves? (I'm pretty sure I now have the prerequisites to become a private investigator.)

Did I find each individual person THE perfect gift? No. Admittedly, I bought someone a Chia Pet. (If you're reading this, I'm sorry. It had to be done.) I'm not sure I've ever met someone excited to receive a Chia Pet, but I felt compelled to buy it. There is another gift, I'm plan on returning in favor of something else entirely. There's one gift I'm not entirely sure they person will like. (But, of course this person will graciously receive it and thank me because they are kind like that.) 

 The point I want to convey to everyone that receives a gift from me is this: Hey, I saw this, and it made me think of you. I love you. Merry Christmas. Pass the pie, please. Thanks. 

Jessica Wynn

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