Sunday, December 14, 2008

I hope you like the Snowman Cardigan and matching socks

I am very funny when it comes to Christmas. First, I like to wrap everything and I appear to be in no hurry, I have been wrapping since mid-November and still have more than half of our gifts left to wrap. Actually, that is what I am supposed to be doing right now but I had this thought and I needed to share.

I think the best gift given is the truly thought out gift. I am in the middle of putting together several thoughtful gifts. Even if they aren't truly appreciated I will know that I put a lot of time and thought into them. I think the worst gift given is a gift card-in a gift bag. Nothing says I thought of you very little and spent very little time on you this holiday season like a gift card in a gift bag, except maybe nothing at all, not even a holiday card (yes, I'm eventually sending out cards).

Now with that being said, I don't expect you all to agree with me. Don't get me wrong I LIKE to receive gift cards, I just don't like to give them, just a personal preference. If you knocked out your whole Christmas list in 5 minutes at Sam's Gift Card Center, good for you, you saved about 143 hours compared to me this holiday season. I on the other hand, am sorry to say this year I had to resort to buying a gift card.

I had these wonderful (or so I thought) Christmas gift ideas for all of our family that live elsewhere and it was not a neon pink shirt with all of their names written on the back in lime green, I promise. I had made a list of everything I was going to get for each family and was feeling pretty good about it. But then my sister-in-law responded to some silly forward I sent her via e-mail in which there were like 50 Christmas questions to answer, one of them being 'what is the worst gift you ever received'. Her answer was something about a not too pretty sweater she once received and that she hates to get DVDs for gifts and that they have a pile of them unopened and unwatched. A DVD was at the center of her families gift. In fact, that part of the gift had already been purchased. But how could I, at this point, finish compiling my gift and send it to her when I knew that she hated the core of it? Well, I just couldn't. I immediately was able to scrape up gifts for her two children (at a much higher cost than my original plan) but I have been unable to come up with ANY ideas for her. I don't know her that well, I've only spoken to her a few dozen times maybe. I am almost afraid to get her something for fear of it being the wrong color, size, shape, or just plain wrong. So after much thought and consideration, yesterday afternoon in a desperate attempt to finally be done shopping, I bought her a gift card.

And I learned a valuable life lesson. Gift cards can often be the result of TOO MUCH thought and consideration. Gift cards can sometimes be the answer for the picky people you WANT to get something for, but really have absolutely no idea what to get.

So I still don't prefer gift cards to give-even if that's what people prefer to receive. And I will NOT be sending the gift card in a gift bag. I'm stubborn like that.


James said...

I agree for the most part, but sometimes a gift card is exactly what some people want.

wesley's mom said...

I'm with you. I delight in trying to find something perfect for everyone. Sometimes it's just not possible.

Some people DESERVE gift cards.

Cheryle said...

And my two oldest grandchildren are getting gift cards at the suggestion of their father! What to get them? I don't know their sizes, their preferences, what the current fad is - but I do know they both love to read! And I have vivid childhood memories of getting gifts from my grandmother that were so inappropriate that I wondered if she had sent it to the right person, or if she knew anything about me beyond my name!

Of course, I also have picked up little things for the boys, but the major gift for each of them is a Barnes & Noble gift card!

(Otherwise, I'm pretty much in agreement - it's lazy shopping!)