Gift giving is a fun part of the holidays but I have to admit a part of me gets a bit stressed out about it this time of year. I find myself struggling between wanting to give a practical, know they will use it gift or a fun, might not be the most useful but I put a lot of thought into it kind of gift. I always find joy in watching people open gifts that I was proud to give. The smile of gratitude is priceless and you usually can tell when they really like it if it’s someone you know well. I like to be the person to give the gift that was unthinkable or “wow that was such a great idea.” I think Mr. Dr. and I definitely share this feeling because he is usually pretty creative with gifts too. But as I have gotten older I find my creativity and desire to come up with the perfect gift for people has escaped me somewhat. I think this is because of a few reasons.
First, I am doing most of the gift buying on my own. Mr. Dr.’s schedule isn’t exactly full of ample free time so when he does have time off I feel bad planning out every minute he has free. I know he wants to relax, sleep and have time for himself so its hard to turn to him and say “Ok you have the afternoon off for the first time in 3 weeks…lets go shopping!” I wish it was that easy. Second, I am fine with doing it on my own but now that we are married we have many more people to buy for – the beauty of marriage right? So in part I get stressed because of how many people I have to buy for and the fact that I am doing most of it on my own is also not the most comforting. Maybe if I was 45 yrs old and used to buying for his family I wouldn’t feel the added pressure. If everyone would just be happy with a bottle of vodka then things would just be so much easier. But I know not everyone has the same love for martinis as me. Lastly, I find myself wondering if I would want the gift I’m giving. This helps me think about whether or not its right kind of gift. But what I would want as a 28 yr old gal living in a NYC apartment may be different than what someone else would want who owns a house, lives in the burbs and doesn’t drink a glass of wine nightly. So sometimes I am stumped.
So the unselfish part of me gets ambitious and I try to write out a list for each person in the beginning of the season. Then I forgo the list and try to buy based on when there is a good sale and where I have coupons. Then I get myself to shopping…and halfway through just say screw it, skip the shops and head to happy hour instead to relieve my stress. Picking out stuff for others can be both stressful and tiring. Then the next week I try again and eventually end up with some success. But I am sure most of you can relate. You want to start early and you make an effort…but you don’t. You want to be creative…but then you can’t find what you had in mind. You see the perfect gift…but its way beyond your budget. You found something that will work…but it won’t ship in time because you waited. There is always something. I am hoping that my gift giving hat can be put on this week and stay on for the next 14 days as my plan is to finish within the next two weeks. So as I am growing up here is what I think I have learned so far – if people ask you for something…get it for them because it’s what they want. It may not be what YOU want to give or not something you came up with on your own, but its what THEY want and that’s what matters. If they don’t give you any ideas then the canvas is open…so put on that creative hat and see what you can come up with.