Monday, September 26, 2011

Why Do You Give Gifts?

Why do you partake in gift giving, it is a really good question to think about and find the root of why you personally give gifts.

For me it is a question I started pondering last year about this time and the answer isn’t as easy as one would think, especially not for me. You see I like to give gifts, but admittedly am a bit neurotic about it. Too many times have I been the recipient of the “what were they thinking” or “really, who were they actually shopping for”.

This has turned me into the gift shopper, who will shop and shop until the perfect gift is found. Like this year, for example, I started a custom order back on the first Saturday in August. A simple item really, except first we had to change the length on the order because it was originally ordered in too long of a length. Right now the perfect color combination is what is being worked on, because it has to be perfect. Yes, sad to admit to myself much less say I am that shopper.

My theory is and has always been, if I am going to give gifts then they should be something the person actually wants, will use, or needs. Admittedly it does make gift giving a bit more challenging. But I had an epiphany last year as I sat down to plan out my holidays. The realization that I was doing gifts out of the feeling of obligation, not because I wanted to, it was a rather startling conclusion.

It isn’t that I don’t care about the people I am buying gifts for; it is the sense of expectation from the gift recipient that their gift should be better or larger than last year’s. Not a happy realization for me as I do truly enjoy giving gifts, but my epiphany prompted changes in my views and how I am approaching my gift giving.

First off while I haven’t given up holiday gift giving, I have stopped gift giving at birthday’s this year. Let me say it has not been well received. The nieces and nephews were not pleased. Now, I will take partial responsibility here, I didn’t handle the notification well. Had I handled it differently it might have been received better. However, I am glad I made the choice to stop giving regular yearly birthday gifts. Instead they get time, which in my book is the most important thing.

As far as the holiday gift giving goes, for me that is, at some point I will be giving up the annual tradition, for a short time anyway. Keeping up with the joneses in gift giving is not why I like to give gifts. Will it be this year? NO. It may not even be next year, mostly because I learned a lesson and will handle it differently than I did with the birthdays. And at some point I will return to giving gifts both at the holidays and on birthdays, but that is only going to happen when the joy of gift giving returns for me.

What are your thoughts on giving up the tradition, expectation, and obligation of gift giving?

edited post 10/3/11

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