Friday, January 23, 2009

Gift giving: The dilemma of January 27th

I love giving presents. Love love love it. Going shopping for myself for long periods of time gives me a headache (don't get me wrong I love having STUFF I just hate the process); however, if I am shopping for other people I can spend days examining every item in every store in every local mall. It makes me happy. Some day, when I have super amounts of money I will make that a hobby. I will just give gifts to every one.

There are three problems with this love of giving though. I will list them for you:

1. I tend to over-spend on gifts in ways I would NEVER over-spend on other things. (For example, I never buy single serving yogurt cups more expensive than 33 cents each. It is a rule I haven't broken for the last three years. But I will easily buy you a snow globe for fifteen dollars. This brings us to the second problem...)

2. I am really bad at picking out gifts. My family has a history of doing this. It's not the regular problem buying things for people that I would like to receive---the problem is I buy novelties for people-- stuff no one likes. I don't know why. I think what goes through my head is something like "Oh, a USB beverage chiller! Becky would never buy that for herself! I better get it for her!" In my own defense, I would like to say that I have never bought anyone a snow globe and I am getting a lot better at choosing gifts. Let's remember the present I picked out for Alison that she liked enough to read twice (thanks to Bridget for recommending it on her blog).

3. The last problem is it is really hard to give a person a present when he or she expects it and it is supposed to somehow quantify my love for the him or her. For example, Father's Day is a hard one for me. I am supposed to pick out some sort of gift for my father that expresses how grateful I am for him giving me life, providing for me, making endless sacrifices for me, being as sad as I was when I didn't make the basketball team, and teaching me how to be polite and friendly even when you don't like someone... How is a tie considered appropriate for Father's Day? It seems more insulting than anything else. There is no good Father's Day gift! Mother's Day is the same. Billy Collins explains it pretty well here. Just don't let his introduction throw you off.

So here is why this is important now: Chris's birthday is next Tuesday, January 27th.

He's only my favorite person in the world (that's a lie, he's in a contest with Soapy but she was so whiny today that he has temporarily drawn ahead). I am supposed to be celebrating his birth and somehow I need to find a gift that shows him how much he means to me. Also, I am doing this on a law student family budget, or in other words-- something hand made. AND Valentine's Day is less than a month away!

I have one pretty okay idea...but if you have any good ones feel free to let me know.


Bryan Lewis said...

You can always do what we did for each other's birthdays: make little gift certificates! Things like "I will be your slave for one hour" or "I will bring you breakfast in bed" or, my favorite, but sometimes the most dangerous, "I will clean the house by myself." Remember to put expiration dates on those things because David always just kept them year after year and blackmailed us that he would make us clean up his room if we did something he didn't like.

ali said...

oh man. i am so glad you got me that book. i am now making all my friends read it.
and i love shopping too!!!
but for myself more than for others heehee.

Kathy Haynie said...

Anna, I'm a terrible shopper, so I don't have any ideas for you...sorry. I have a hard time thinking up gifts. Katie's niece, who is also named Katie, turned 4 last week, so I made a bright yellow dress for her and told her it was a Sunbeam Dress, and that Jesus wants her to be a good Sunbeam for him. Her mom says she will be excited to wear it to her Sunbeam class in Primary. Of course, this is no help whatsoever to you in figuring out a gift for Chris! Good luck!

Just remember it's not really the present that expresses how much he means to you. It's YOU!

Lisa Lou said...

I hope he likes his helicopter! shoot! sorry to give it away...

Bridget said...

How was it?? I hope it was awesome.