Unless it's a bad gift. Or a ridiculously expensive gift from someone you didn't get a gift for and now you feel completely taken off guard and end up buying said Gifter some overly priced piece of shit from the Museum Store to settle up. Because that's what we're doing sometimes when we gift, isn't it? We're trying to keep the score even. Aunt Lucy gave me socks last year so she gets a candle this year. Whereas the mailman surprised me with a homemade batch of cookies so he gets warm cocoa and a crisp twenty when he comes by this year. It's not supposed to be this way, right? Gifting is about treating someone you care about to something you think they'll enjoy. Well, at least it should be.
Too often we get wrapped up price tags and the expense of a thing rather than what the thing has to offer in the first place. I know some people, who shall remain nameless, who don't enjoy Christmas because of the stress of the season. They can't get on board with a holiday that gives them errands. Give me Thanksgiving, they say, with it's simple "Let's all enjoy each other's company and eat much food" theme. It's hard to argue with that.
Christmas gifting can be overwhelming. Or birthday gifting when you're unsure if a card, a beer, or a present from Tiffany's will suffice. And in today's economy we can't afford to spend money on frivolous things. So I introdue an alternative.
Mike and I received a gift the other day. We were not growing older nor were we moving into a new house. We were not expecting anything. Yet a thing arrived. It was a wall clock from our dear friend Rachel. It had our picture on it. It looked like this:
Our Wall Clock
Rachel and I had been joking about getting our friend Annie a wall clock as a gift while on our way to Chapel Hill for her wedding. And the joke continued the rest of the weekend much to the dismay of our friends who do not always get our special brand of humor.
When a package came in the mail three weeks later I was confused. Then I saw the wall clock and I burst out laughing. There were our faces on a wall clock!
The gift was simple, unexpected, inexpensive, and brilliant. It didn't require a gift in response, it's useful, it's humorous, and it reminds us of the giver whenever we see it and we smile.
It's the perfect gift.
So this holiday season, and watch out because it's coming up sooner than you think, let's say that less is more but fun is better. Gifting should not be a chore, it should be a pleasure. So shop and smile, friends. Shop and smile.