Are You Santa or the Grinch?

It’s no big surprise that this is the time of year you’ll see many blog posts about gifts. This is another one. But I have a few thoughts you might not read in your typical gift post. Then again, maybe that’s not true. But, whatever.

I’ll start with a question. Is there someone in your life that’s a terrible gift giver? Maybe they’ve kown you your whole life, or at least a large portion of your life, yet they don’t seem to have a clue about you and the kinds of things you might like to have?

Just picture it, you’re sitting around the Christmas tree exchanging gifts. Everything gets passed out and you all take turns opening your presents. You reach for that beautifully packaged box and open it, only to find a book about gardening and you live in an apartment with no yard? Their reasoning is that you’ve always wanted to have a garden, so I got you this book on gardening.

Or lets say your kids grandmother bought your teenaged daughter one of those little makup sets intended for a 9 year old. Or your son gets a toy drumset intended for a 5 year old and he’s 12.

Let me be clear, neither my kids not I have ever received any of those items as gifts so I’m not being incredibly mean to anyone specifically. However, there might be people like that in my life. People that don’t seem to have a clue when it comes to gifting us. I think I’m pretty easy to buy for on the cheap. Starbucks cards, dinner at a sit-down restaurant, movie tickets, gift cards for craft supplies or makeup or books are always welcome. Bath sets as long as they’re not those horrible ones thrown together for the holidays you find at a store like Walmart. Quality bath salts, bath bombs, bubbles, lotions are always good.

I like to fancy myself a thoughtful giver. Sometimes I’ll buy an item that a person wouldn’t buy for themselves because it’s too expensive. However, it’s not so expensive that it would break the budget to give to someone as a gift. For instance, I have a family member that has always wanted something from a specific company known for its quality and high price tag. However, the piece I bought is going to be useful and it was very reasonably priced to give as a gift. It’s just not something he would buy for himself.

I’m sure there are times I missed the mark as well, and the person thought to themselves, what the hell was she thinking? Why would she ever think this was a good gift for me? Well heck, a few years ago I got Jason socks, underwear and undershirts. I also got him a Marshall MXL 990 as his “real” gift. Those necessities were something he desperately needed, but took a back seat to all the other things we needed to spend money on. It may not have been the most exciting gift ever, but definitely welcomed.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. I guess I’m wondering what you do when someone misses the mark on your gift. I’m sure most people would answer, “Smile and say thank you.” Or what if you give something to mom and when she opens it you can just tell you failed. What do you do?

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Jen Tucker

I'm a wife, mother of three and stay at home mom. I consider myself blessed to have such a wonderful network of friends and family around me. It may not be large, but it's an important one. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and it is my hope that I can bring a smile to your heart as you read.

4 thoughts on “Are You Santa or the Grinch?”

  1. Wow, that’s kind of a tough question to answer. What I do really depends on the gift I get. Of course I always say thank you and fake a liking of the gift, becuase the person I know who misses the mark most, loves me and probably spent a considerable amount of time trying to pick out that gift for me.

    People may get the impression that my house is modestly decorated because I don’t have things to decorate it with, but the truth is that I don’t care to have nick knacks that I have to dust laying around my house. So people on occasion have bought me nick knacky type decorations in which case I put them out before the giver comes over. It may seem like a lot of work but I only have a few items I do that with.

    On the other hand, if the gift was fairly inexpensive and given to me by a co-worker or an acquaintance I don’t see very often, I have been known to re-gift the item to brighten someone else’s day who I know would enjoy it.

    I know how hard it can be to find that perfect gift for someone and stress out that it may be totally off the mark, so I always try to be sensitive to that fact and I haven’t broken hearts yet… that I know of.

    1. The thought that counts… yes in theory. But to get a so-so gift year after year begins to wear on you, and can’t help but make you wonder if the giver even IS putting any thought into it.

  2. Ivy puts a lot of thought into the gifts we give to the other adults in the family and more often than not we get back something generic. She doesn’t stop putting in the effort, though.

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