(This may be short & incoherent, as I am sick from raw spinach. I told you veggies are bad for you. I should have had the burger.)
I love giving gifts, but only to certain people. J is easy, I can find a million things to buy him. He loves stupid movies & games, and he’s so easy to buy clothes for (plus, I can secretly throw out his old, grubby clothes and feign innocence when he looks for them weeks later). Plus, who doesn’t love new socks & underwear? My mom is another easy one to buy for, because I know what she likes and she tells me what she needs. My brother can be hit or miss. I sometimes find the best stuff for him, or at least something decent. My dad can be tough as well. Sometimes he’s tell me what he wants, and its usually some obscure car part that I make my mom pick up for me. Most dads want something easy, like a toy, but my dad has to have something I have the schlep to AutoZone for.
Everyone else is hard. My little cousins are practically grown ups (sniff sniff) and don’t want art supplies or a trip to Build a Bear. Now they want Coach purses and war games. I tried to buy something for the girls at the Coach outlet, but I couldn’t even afford a key ring. Besides, how is it fair that a 13 year old has a Coach purse and I don’t?
I digress. I’ve resorted to begrudgingly giving a lot of gift cards. I know people like them — heck, I love them. But I feel like its so impersonal. I want to find the perfect gift for everyone, I really do, but its too hard, and I always feel like I can’t quite get it right. So gift cards and $4 bottles of wine fly around my parent’s house on Christmas Day like there’s no end in sight.
This year, a friend mentioned she buys gifts each year for homeless veterans, so, as my one good deed all year, I signed up. The vets fill out a wish list with clothing wants and personal wishes. It was fun shopping for my guy, because he told me exactly what he wanted. I didn’t spend a ton of money on him, but I made sure his jacket was warm, his jeans weren’t too crunchy, and I threw in an extra hat for good measure. I wish everyone was as easy to buy for. Then I could stop giving out gift cards.
Every once in a while, I do a really good job on picking out a gift, and I truly am happy to see the looks on the recipient’s face when they open it. I think the last time it happened was when I dragged Rock Band into the apartment for John’s birthday gift. Hopefully he’ll react the same way to his socks this year.