Christmas is always a weird time of year for me. The question that gets thrown around a lot is “What do you want for Christmas?” And for whatever reason, that simple phrase comes to dominate the feeling of the season for me. It doesn’t help that my answer is often “I don’t know,” or that I have to convince myself that I “deserve” presents and nice things.
I’ve reached a point in my life where I have most of the things I need, and asking for socks or similar is just boring. And the stuff I don’t have I can quite easily go out and obtain for myself. Of course there’s stuff I want. But these days, the stuff I want is expensive enough I don’t feel comfortable asking someone else to buy it for me. A $30 game is one thing, but a $350 graphics card? That gets awkward.
And just asking for money is awkward in its own way. I know that I have a bad habit of squirreling away cash in my savings account, then not really ever doing anything with it. But that totally defeats the purpose of the gift! And giving someone money isn’t as fulfilling as giving them a more tangible gift.
But that’s the situation I find myself in this year. The things I want (not that I need them) are expensive, and mostly have to do with building a new computer. So when asked the titular question, don’t be surprised if I answer “I don’t know, computer monies?” Because that’s all I’m coming up with.
Yeah, I hate that question for most of the same reasons and will generally avoid answering it. Which often ends up with me getting a gift that I don’t want or can’t use because people don’t like to give gift cards, I guess. Which makes me feel bad because I wasted their money.
I’ve started asking for donations to charities that I support. That way, they can feel like they gave me something (they usually come with a little certificate thing for gifting) and I can feel like they didn’t waste their money on something I’m going to goodwill after they have seen it in my home/on me once or twice over my inability to decide that there is anything that I actually want that is of a reasonable size that I can ask for it.
Hilariously, I get caught in the same trap for other people. Gift cards seem like an easy way out/not personal enough/I don’t want to admit what I spent on your present, but I probably don’t actually know the person well enough to know what they could use or what their secret desires are. I sometimes stalk people’s Amazon wish lists, but most of the people I have the most trouble with don’t have one or don’t ever update it.
Good gods, I hate gift giving holidays and the obligations that come with them.
I know, wasn’t gift giving so much easier when we were kids? When even a little craft project would be appreciated. Now one has to worry about budget parity, and the whole “but if I get this person a gift, I should get one for that person too…” thing. It’s enough to make me want to say to people “My gift to you is freedom from the stress of having to get me a gift.”
That being said, I’m still selfish enough that I enjoy getting gifts/free(ish) stuff, so I’m not sure what to do.
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