Monday, December 17, 2007

It's hard to fulfill unexpressed holiday wishes

So, is everyone ready for Christmas? I'm certainly not. I haven't even started my shopping. Fortunately, I only going to get gifts for immediate family this year. That's all that -- and probably more than -- I can afford.

I am not one of those people that's good at shopping for others. I need specific gift wish list ideas. If I have pre-approved options to choose from, I then feel a little more comfortable venturing off the list for some secondary gift of my own choosing, because at least I know I have something the recipient will like.

I sort of miss the days when my daughter was younger. There were distinct phases that provided gift ideas. There was a Disney princesses phase, a Barbie phase and a Harry Potter phase. There were years when all I needed were sizes and I could even feel comfortable and confident selecting clothes.

Now my daughter is 16. When we go clothes shopping now, my contribution is providing transportation and one -- or more -- credit cards.

I do know the stores she likes, or think I do, but knowing the fickle nature of teen tastes, maybe that has changed too. So, I supposed I could go the gift card route. While I love the practicality of that, it seems a tad impersonal for the person I most enjoy buying for doing things for.

I am far worse at buying things for my parents and brothers. I could chock it up to being out of the house for so many years, but I never knew what to get them when I lived with all of them either. And my dad is the hardest to shop for of all.

But buying gifts for my daughter, which has been so much fun over the years, has gotten me past the dread of gift buying/giving. I can, and sometimes do, actually enjoy gift buying sometimes. Of course, I find many more things that I think would be fun to receive as gift than things I'm sure will be good gifts for those I love. And my parents and I are so bad about admitting the things we want as gifts. When one of us ask, "So, what you do want for Christmas, the inevitable answer is always, "Oh, nothing." Or that other old chestnut, "I don't need anything."

But the thing with gifts, and a truly great gift (especially for adults) is not getting something you need, but getting something you want. We tend to buy ourselves the things we really need. What we don't tend to do is buy things we would like to have, if we had a little extra money to splurge on a little something for ourselves. That's a good gift. Why can't my parents (or me for that matter) provide a few hints at things that they would like?

The bad thing is, now my daughter is getting more coy when asked what she would like for Christmas. She used to be pretty good about putting a wish list together (and then providing me with a copy, which is pretty key to the whole success of the list). Apparently she inherited the "nothing" response gene, and it's kicked in at adolescence.

Poor kid, she inherited the freakiest things from my family. Fortunately, the looks she gets from her mother's side of the family.

So, I still need to get my shopping started, but I'm fairly confident my days of waiting until Christmas Eve to even start are behind me -- I think. We'll know for sure in the next few days.

1 comment:

Gene said...

Um...Christmas?...Gifts?...What?...?

(Cash v Gift Cards? Cash.)

Agape, and pleasant Solstice.

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