Checking It Twice
Giving thoughtfully doesn't mean you can't give someone something on their wish list.0
Children make Christmas lists fully expecting that we buy them something on the list. They don’t care that we didn’t get it on our trip to Africa in the summer or hand knit it in our minuscule spare time. Children don’t mind if it took you ten minutes to order it from Amazon.com as long as it was on the list. Children of all ages continue to give lists to their parents and in some families siblings; but as you get older, the pressure to give thoughtfully grows and grows. But isn’t it thoughtful to give someone something they want?
Last Christmas I came across the dilemma and sent a snarky but sincere email asking friends and family what they want. A close friend then informed me that this was not “kosher” because they were not children and “in addition” gifts are better when they come from the heart. The dilemma: whether to buy people something the outright want or to purchase something thickly laced in thought.
Last year my artsy painter friend mentioned a Botkier hobo when we were casually perusing Bloomingdale’s one afternoon. For weeks, I had been scouring teeny boutiques in Brooklyn looking for something perfectly suitable for her free spirit. After all, she was always so thoughtful. By December 23rd, I decided to just give her the bag. Marched up to Bloomie’s, paid, and was home in thirty minutes. When she opened it her eyes lit up; she was so thrilled that someone had given her something non-art related. “But handbags are art!” I protested. But I knew what she meant. Just like children, adults like to get something they want. And the something-she-wanted turned into the best present of all.
I’m a genuinely thoughtful person and I love my family and friends dearly, but why scurry around town during the busy, tourist packed holiday season trying to pick out something thoughtful when I could just give them something they want. What’s a thoughtful person to do two weeks before Christmas and completely void of thoughtful present ideas? Give in and give them what they want. Leave the other three seasons to the beauty of being thoughtful.
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