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Gifts and Giving

November 14, 2008

Here are some thoughts on gifts and giving (brought on by helping to open a “new” retail store – really it’s just the re-opening after a remodeling – at the onset of the holiday season). DISCLAIMER: This is in NO WAY a personal attack on anyone. I am merely shouting from a soapbox built over the couple of decades of my life.

Why is it so important to ask people what they want? I can understand kids or other youngish relatives that you haven’t seen or been in touch with for an extended period of time since likes and interests can change, often on a whim. But when the individual has past the interest ADD stage of youth and has entered or has a level of maturity and when there are frequent interactions which lead to a knowledge of the receiver’s likes/interests/dislikes, it really shouldn’t be that hard to come up with something that the said gift receiver would appreciate. What is so hard about seriously evaluating and contemplating what the person you are giving something to would enjoy/use/find beneficial.

I believe that a person who cannot legitimately come up with gift ideas – be they funny, a joke, or overly practical – for someone that they know does not pay attention to those around them and really get to know their circle of friends and aquaintences. For example: I like baseball, scuba diving, the ocean and beach, classical music, and I am getting into wine and photography (just to give a brief list). Oh, and I want/plan to go into medicine. Anyone who has been around me for a limited amount knows at least one if not all of those interests. The gift possibilities are nearly endless given the wide range of genres there. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very grateful person and I know that any gift is given with an intent. But it says more to me when I am given a gift that has obvious thought put into it. Again, I’m grateful for any gift I am given – from a $3 coffee store gift card to an expensive or elaborate ______ (fill in the blank) – and I will use it or cherish it with that giver in mind.

Christmas is fast approaching, and the shopping season has already started (Black Friday is ONLY 2 weeks away)!!!!! When you are checking your list, seeing who’s been naughty or nice, and attempting to select that perfect gift, please, don’t ask them what they want. Be creative. Find something that fits with their personality or likes (even if it is just a sweater). And don’t just grab the first thing that speaks to you. Look around. Take time. Really think about that special someone. If you go with open eyes (and ears), you will find something that screams “I’m perfect so-and-so.”

Happy Hunting!

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