Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Joy of Gift Giving

Everyone loves getting gifts right?

I mean who wouldn't?

But there is a different level of joy that you can associate with GIVING gifts. 

Before I get too far I want to recount a story from back in the day when I was still in University and with my Ex-jerk of a boyfriend.

We had been dating for a year and I was working at Chapters (a bookstore for my American readers) and it was the night of our 1 year anniversary.  It was November and we were in the middle of a horrible snow storm.  Near the end of my shift, I got a phone call.  It was a florist calling to tell me he had a delivery for me but that he wouldn't make it by the end of my shift at 7pm because the roads were horrible.  He was asking if I could wait.  I said yes of course and in my excitement called my boyfriend because I knew it was him sending me flowers on our Anniversary.  I was 19 at the time and this would be the first time anyone had ever sent me flowers.  

Calling turned out to be a big mistake.  My Ex was so angry that the driver had spoiled his surprise that he called the florist and angrily cancelled the order.  He wanted it to be a big production of surprising me while I was at work, and now that the surprise was ruined it was no longer worth it. 

I was heartbroken.  I mean I was 19.  I wanted pretty flowers.  I didn't care that it wasn't a surprise anymore.  But to my Ex, the act of sending me flowers didn't have anything to do with me, or doing something nice for me.  It was all about the production and showmanship of it.  I guess he wanted to appear like a great boyfriend who made public displays for his girlfriend.  

I just wanted my flowers.  I found out later they were two dozen pink roses.  I also found out that they gave him a serious credit on his next purchase.  We were together for almost 4 years beyond that and I never did get my flowers. 

Now back to gift giving.  For me, giving gifts is all about making the recipient happy.  It's not about how much money you spend, or the production of it all.  It's about knowing that the person you gave the gift to, felt loved, happy, appreciated and so on.  It's about making a person feel special on their birthday, or about cheering them up when you know they've had a tough week.  Sometimes all it takes is a card.  Sometimes it's a silly gift.  Other times it's something you know they want but can't afford to buy for themselves.  Regardless of what the gift is, it should be about THEM.  Not you.  As the giver, your joy could come out of making someone you love smile.

Think back.  What was the best gift you ever got and why was it so special?




  1. Replies
    1. MY thoughts EXACTLY! I really want to kick him in the shins. Also: Best gift I ever got was a few months ago from Brian...I was unemployed, depressed, and the dog broke the necklace chain that B had gotten me for Christmas. On the afternoon of an interview for a job, we met for lunch, and he handed me a little box with a chain and an emerald pendant (my birthstone.) Awesome. It wasn't about the gift, it was about making me feel special. It was the best interview I'd ever had...I felt so confident in everything.

  2. I think the most special thing I ever received was from the kids. It was a card on Father's Day about 6 or 7 years ago. All three of them signed the card and it was a Father's Day card...with dad on it. Not step-dad, not bonus-dad, just dad. I bawled.

  3. OMG my lady-heart broke when I read this. What a fucking dick.
    And this is what is so frustrating about the whole act of giving gifts. It seems as though it becomes more about the giver than the reciever, and that's bull-shit.
    My Caveman has surprised me many times over, and since he mostly frowns at the whole gift-giving process, it made it extra special.
    The absolute best has to be from my fairly semi-new step-mother who gave me an amazing snake watch and an beautiful sugar skull statue from Mexico. What was so cool about it was the fact that she took a minute to get to know me well enough to know the kind of weird shit I love. That's a 'fuck yeah' in my book.

    1. LOL he was a fucking dick. Ah to be young and stupid.

      My biggest pet peeve is when people think that just because they dropped a ton of cash on a gift that it's more meaningful. Screw that. I think homemade gifts are awesome, especially if the person has gone to great lengths to consider what you'd like.

      Yay for your caveman. It's that much more special when it kinda goes against their personality.

  4. Spot on, Ash. I love to give gifts that mean something. I'm totally on board with the idea that it doesn't have to cost a lot to be special to the person receiving the gift. If it's $5 or $100 I'll give it as long as I think the person is going to enjoy it :-) I'm also a fan of giving "unscheduled" gifts. If I see something that I think a friend would like I'll get it just because it cries out to be theirs, not because it's their birthday or Christmas or whatever.

    1. Unscheduled gifts are the best. As the person who sent the last one to me knows, they can randomly make me cry.

    2. Teehee...I'll include a Kleenex or two with the next random gift.

    3. I'm gonna get you!!! Don't know when, don't know how, but I will get even :P

  5. I'm just shocked you ever let him go, Ash. He was such a gem. Maybe you're being too picky...


    The whole gift-giving thing is out of control. It's about the thought, not the money behind it.

    1. I know right? I was such a fool to walk away from such a fantastic man!! *gags* I can't even say that with a straight face.

      You feel my pain when it comes to the wedding gift thing, I know. It's getting out of hand.