It is both a long-running joke and a badge of honor that I carry: I am the ULTIMATE GIFT GIVER. I pride myself unabashedly on almost a daily basis.
(Reinforcing my need for Jesus and the humility that just doesn’t seem to come for me, despite my best efforts. Holy Spirit, I’m waiting patiently for you to take over. Any time now would be good. But until then, I just gotta be who I was apparently made to be… Sorry readers: that ‘s a little snapshot to the near-constant convos I have with myself and my brain and I see no reason to spare you from this.)
So anyway, despite my routine of paging hurriedly through the newspaper and throwing it in the bin, this article caught my eye. Stick to the List. Yes… seems like a good idea. Indeed, I DO stick to my list. My list is lovingly and obsessively curated all year long. I have a notebook in Evernote dedicated to Gift Ideas. I observe and listen (YES I DO TOO LISTEN TO WHAT PEOPLE SAY ON OCCASION). When someone (you?) admires something that I have, I jot it down under your name in my list. I snap pics in magazines. I copy links from emails. I brainstorm. I Stick to My List. Because:
I. AM. AN. AMAZING. GIFT. GIVER.
So, mom, when you give me your list and all it has on it is: “New Potholders, Perfume (again), and Slippers.” Forgive me for not shopping from your list. For, I have much better plans for you. Why? Because I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THAT, OK? Now for the love of PETE, stop complaining to everyone you see that you did not receive your damn potholders and go buy them yourself!
With that said, I am also quite well-known in certain circles for my sometimes ulterior-motive gift giving. While we all know that my blog-hating brother Bennett is too cool to chime in here, I would be remiss if I did not pre-empt what I know he will throw in my face the next time I see him, if I don’t just put it right here in black and white:
The incident of the Travel Scrabble Game of 1981.
First, let’s be clear about something: this was way before I had truly honed my Amazing Gift-Giving skills – I was 16. I really, really wanted that Travel Scrabble Game. What better way to ensure that I, 1) had access to its tiny, blue-encased cuteness with the tiny wooden squares, and 2) had someone to play with, than to give it to my brother for Christmas?
I’m still thinking he should finally just shut up about it and say “Thank You.” I don’t recall getting anything from him at all back in those days. And really: who doesn’t want a Travel Scrabble game? Honestly: it would have lasted a lifetime… I wonder if he still has it.
Anyway, I’ll admit: I can occasionally still be accused of pushing my own agenda when selecting gifts. Mostly it’s in the electronics category. iPhones, iPads, The Fly Pen, LeapPad, Bluetooth Speakers, Swag Headphones. But seriously:
WHO DOES NOT WANT TO RECEIVE GIFTS LIKE THAT?
But MOSTLY I give from the heart. From my carefully curated list. You are welcome, lucky recipients. I truly envy you.
The second issue I have with being the Most Amazing Gift-Giver Ever, is my distain for those That Aren’t. I DESPISE giving people my “list.” For heaven’s sake, if you LOVE ME, you should DELIGHT ME with THOUGHTFUL GIFTS like the ones I GIVE YOU.
Is that so hard?
Apparently it is. To be fair, I understand that not everyone is as great as I am. So I have learned to adapt. I provide a list. But with the list goes the magic of Christmas.
(I just thought of something else that relates to my brother: I should admit that based on my stance, my brother does not request a list from me anymore. However, he pisses and moans about this ad nausea, so it almost doesn’t count. I believe there is also going to be a funny addendum to this post after Christmas based on a text exchange he and I had regarding Christmas shopping. But that will have to wait. –Arent’ you SO EXCITED?! Oh the suspense!)
Coming back to the article that prompted this post: Sticking to the List. So, just what do they have to say about this topic, you ask? You can read the whole article here if you like, but just to paraphrase:
Here’s the quandary: We want to (or feel compelled to) surprise and delight our friends and family with gifts that demonstrate the time and effort we put into finding just the right present for just the right person. (YES, EXACTLY!)
Surely… our loved ones will be touched by our thoughtfulness, by how we met desires they didn’t even know they had (YES, EXACTLY!)
Wait. There’s more…
Studies say that people who get unexpected gifts often wonder why the giver was so thoughtless as to ignore their wish lists … so selfish as to think that if she liked it, everyone else would, too. (????!!!!)
“With regard to thoughtfulness,” the study said, “it’s the giver who appears to reap more benefits from thinking a lot about the gift than the receiver.” (SO?)
The article goes on to say we should all stick to other people’s wish lists or get them a gift card (you read that right: a gift card.). It’s finally official: this world has officially gone to Hell in a hand basket.
To be clear, I will continue to be the thoughtful and Amazing Gift-Giver that I am. As I mentioned earlier, I can no sooner change this Amazing Trait any more than I can change my potty mouth.
Besides, as the sayings go:
- It’s not about receiving gifts, it’s about giving them.
- It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts.
- It’s not the gift, but the giver.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it. And smile and tell me how much you love your gift (and me). The good news is that I always include the receipt.