The Art of Gift Giving (or Lack Thereof) (Part 1)

Around this time every year I start to recognize that some people are simply natural gift givers. You know the ones; they always seem to get it right. They don't even have to know you very well but they pick up on your intricacies and even the smallest gift is about as perfect as you could have imagined. It's as if they put in hours and hours of contemplation (which they don't because they are naturals!) on what that one perfect thing would be and then they make it happen with ease and grace. And it never breaks their bank because they always know where the best deals are. And sometimes they already have the perfect item on hand. Because they are psychic. Which is why I think we should go on a witch hunt and get rid of them all. Or at least ban them from the holidays because honestly people, YOU MAKE THE REST OF US LOOK BAD!

No, I am only kidding. But unfortunately, I happen to dance around in another category of gift givers. And not the in-between, so-so gift giver category. No, try as I might, I am a terrible gift giver. A creature of habit, there are some people who have received the same thing from me every year for almost a decade (like the calendars I make for the grandfolk...is that even a word? While it is tedious and time consuming, I don't have to think about it. I just know what I am going to do and eventually I find an hour in the middle of the night, around December 27th, to get it done....every few years I even manage to surprise them and get it to them before the New Year begins! And so I feel accomplished.....See? I am a terrible gift giver!)

At any rate, I finally figured out why this is. You see, while the old saying goes, "It's the thought that counts," for some of us, it is the very act of thinking about gifts  (or anything really) that is the core of the problem. We don't have a lot of time for thinking beyond the moment, the day to day stuff that is so darn demanding of us. And when we do finally find that moment (likely in the middle of the night, perhaps cleaning kid puke off a bathroom floor before accidentally sticking our heads through a wall) it is quite likely ridden with anxiety.

What does that person like/need/want? What can I get them that they don't already have? What can I afford? After all, I could quickly find myself in the Best Gift Giver EVER category if I had unlimited resources or even only one person to buy for! And finally, there is the fear that they will have to fein excitement or appreciation over the worst present ever! I am just crossing my fingers that my poor gift giving skills never come face to face with someone with terrible receiving skills. Then, feeling really bad, I will offer to buy them a pony or a Ferrari, whichever they want more. It kind of eases things over, ya know? (At least until I ask if I can borrow their credit card!)

So that is why Target and I have become best friends because who can't use a Target Gift Card? It's like the best do-it-yourself gift ever, or at least tied with Coffee Shop, iTunes, Amazon and Wine Store Gift Cards.  And if that person lives out in the boonies, hours away from the closet gas station much less a Target, well all they have to do is hop online and BAM! Still the best gift ever. And if they don't have access to the internet well, then they can give it back and take the pony. (That jerk.....I can call them that because without internet, they will never read this.....)

See what I mean?

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