Give Them What They Want: A Musing

Chaos Here!

I would like to take a moment to talk about gift-giving.  Now before you say, “Chaos, it’s not even Thanksgiving; can we hold off on gift talk?,” I should point out that gift-giving can happen any time of the year.  So, this discussion is completely seasonally and chronologically appropriate.  

Also, I used to wait until post-Thanksgiving to handle presents, but Confetti feels that’s waiting too long.  Shipping delays, harder to get things done with a small child around, more people to shop for as we get older, mounting stress, items running out,  etc., etc., etc.  I suppose I can be thankful that I can check a few people off my list early.

Anywho, my big message of this post is: 

Get people what they want, even if it doesn’t totally make sense to you.

Obviously, I mean that within the proper reason.  Don’t break the bank unnecessarily, get an addict their substance of choice, or commit some sort of crime.  Bad things for the right reasons usually are still bad things.

What I mean is that year after year, I see a trend of people questioning what people explicitly state they hope to receive because of a lack of understanding on why someone would want that.  

Look at me for example.  I keep a running Amazon wishlist.  It’s purpose is twofold.  1) It acts as a reminder of items that I would like to eventually get myself when I have the time and funds.  2) It removes the burden of friends and relatives having to  figure out what they should get me if they don’t want to take on that task.  I am still totally open to getting gifts that are not on my list and being surprised by what I receive, but the list is stuff I would definitely appreciate getting.  

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?  Wrong!

If you don’t know by now, I love to read.  My wishlist consists mostly of books and comic books.  I might not have enough time to read everything I would like to get to, but I sure want the option of picking up these books when I have the time.  

And let’s be honest, I’m going to put plenty of responsibilities on the back burner so I can get to my books.

Unfortunately,  I constantly hear the same refrain: “Can you put things on your list that aren’t books or comics?”  What’s up with that?  Why are people judging my desires?  

Help me help you!

This isn’t just people questioning my picks either.  I have a sister who loves figurines, but I hear people asking if she really needs any more or where she is even going to put any new ones.  One friend of mine has a rather large board game collection and another has a giant horde of action figures.  Again, I hear people questioning whether they need more of that stuff.  You probably have a few people in your life who are popping into your head right now too.  

Sometimes I wonder why Confetti needs more bath bombs when her unused ones are enough to create a pop-up Lush shop.  That doesn’t mean I don’t get her more though.

As much as gift-giving can fill us, the giver, with a sense of joy and love, it is supposed to be about the receiver.  I think too often the giver gets caught up in their own desires or thoughts.  It’s not whether that person already has something or whether it’s something you would like.  It’s not about whether the gift makes sense to you or whether you think it is practical.

Yes, I know one day my son will start asking for specific things and I will struggle because I want to give him things that guide him towards my interests and hobbies.  I’m only human!

Again, I’m not saying don’t get people stuff they haven’t asked for directly.  Some of my favorite gifts were complete surprises or things I never knew I wanted.  I’m simply saying don’t not get something for someone because you don’t understand their desire for it.  

Crystal clear, right?  Double negatives make everything better!

So, this holiday season, as you pick out gifts for Tiny Tim, Ralphie, and the rest of your loved ones, remember to make the gift about that person and not your own wants.  Then, be happy that they are happy as they open their gifts.

Also, if they’re not happy, you can blame them because they picked out that stupid gift anyways.

And yes, for those wondering, this is totally a post that not-so-subtly is meant to remind people close to me that they should get me some awesome gifts.

Speaking of gifts being about the receiver and not the giver, I wanted to share my thoughts on thank you cards, but Confetti says I’ve already exceeded my rambling quota for the week.  Alas…

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