Overindulgence or over-saturation (as the case may be) of anything is generally a bad thing. And if your family is anything like my own, Christmas is a massacre of wrapping papers and gift ribbon. There are so many gifts given that the appreciation for any one is almost impossible.
I’ve come to realize over this past Christmas that I’ve got a problem. I really like to buy people things.
When Christmas and Birthdays roll around though, I can get a little crazy. We’re not talking about a Rolex here, but really- And for someone (yours truly) who’s still got a good chunk of student loan and car loan debts? It becomes an uphill battle of steady, albeit smaller debts which are preventing me from tackling the bigger, more expensive debts. I realize this is all self-inflicted, but still. From towels, to stuffed animals, and especially a nice meal out… I like to give gifts.
The other half was looking at the response to the gifts received. Nothing against my family, but this year I was very aware of how little a gift meant to many of them. In most cases I spent days and hours wracking my head, reading articles, window shopping and investigating to find something useful, extraordinary and meaningful.
In the end, I was lucky to get a, “That’s great. Thanks.”… Now I suspect that the gifts are set aside and already gathering dust.
I realize the expectation that one might value a gift to the point of daily use is entirely dependent on the individual- their needs, their priorities, and their desire/need for the gift. And one should never give the gift with the expectation of the life-changing response. But while I’m not looking for this or any such extreme response. I am, looking for something greater than indifference.
This year I came to conclusion of just how little I cared to give people something they could just as easily purchase for themselves. Discovery of something that meets your need is one internet search away from a solution. You don’t have to travel to a store to find an expert. You don’t have pay someone to compare and contrast like items. The internet is really, a very useful resource. The only reason you might go to the store (at least, in my personal experience) is to physically inspect the purchase in question.
So why should I buy you something you can afford, but obviously don’t care/need it enough to purchase it on your own?
I’m tired of the mass produced. I’m tired of giving the forgotten.
Instead? Like most of my most cherished gifts, I’m going to aspire to the simple and original.
I’m going to make my gifts and they’ll likely be simple, but they’ll be well made and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Will they have any dollar value? On my end certainly, but to you? Just as it would be with any other gift you’ve received… They will have the value you place in them.