Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Gifts

Christmas is a tough time for me. I don't mean it the way that it's a tough time for most people who say that, though. I understand how all of that family and togetherness can get overwhelming for people who lack those things. Even if you have those things, the darker sides of commercialism certainly rears its ugly head around this time and threatens to cast a pall over the season.

That said, I'm fortunate to be both surrounded by lovely friends and friends during Christmas, and even in my numerous holiday seasons working in retail I've always felt that the good more than makes up for the bad during this time of year.

No, my problem is gift-giving. It's a stressful experience for me.

Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Giving the gift is the easy part. Finding the right gift to give is the hard part.

I'm of the opinion that if I can't give something thoughtful then I have no business giving something at all. This approach is the only one that makes sense to me, but it presents a couple of key problems:

First, meaningful gifts take time and effort, and I don't always have a whole lot of either to spare. In the past, I've mostly just relied of serendipity in choosing gifts--if, in my wanderings, I happened to come across a perfect gift I'd go ahead and pick it up. If I did not, I wouldn't give anything.

That kind of behavior is acceptable when you're young, poor, and have a license to still be selfish. As you get older, though, expectations change, and that apparent selfishness becomes less acceptable. Which brings me to my second problem:

If every gift must be thoughtful, an awful lot of people simply aren't going to be getting gifts from me. In short, my high standards are going to affect other people. This makes me seem rather scrooge-ish, I think.

If so, well, so be it. I'd rather be a scrooge than a person who hands out gift cards. To me, the disappointment of people who don't receive gifts from me is worth it for the smiles of the people whose gifts I was able to actually think about.

That said, most of the time I only give one or two really thoughtful gifts per year because I'm still a scrooge who doesn't take the time to actually spent time or effort on other people during the holidays. I'm trying a little harder this year so that I'll at least have gifts for my niece and nephew, though. One step at a time, I suppose.

1 comment:

  1. realtalk, if you're a recipient of a Thoughtful Charlie Gift, your Christmas has been made. Thank you again for my Secret Starman gift last year! :)