I am a guilt giver and it’s a habit that I should’ve grown out of like yesterday. I’m that person who spends money she doesn’t want to or worse, shouldn’t spend. I do this – most times – only because those who are on my “Don’t get them a gift” list long before Christmas gets here end up getting me a gift and I feel bad. I don’t know why but there’s this feeling I get when I’m given a gift and don’t have one to give. I feel like the giver is always secretly looking for something in return. No, seriously, hear me out because I’m not one who believes people when they say, “You don’t have to get me anything.” They’ll be the same ones, five Christmas’ later hollering, “You never get me anything”. Now, you’re standing there with the confused face listening to the little voice in your head say, “But didn’t they say I didn’t have to get them anything?”
Before children and marriage, I wasn’t stressing about gifts because aside from my parents and youngest sibling I wasn’t giving them. I was getting my (then) boyfriend gifts but my family stopped getting together for Christmas before I reached adulthood, so I didn’t worry about it. I didn’t have a duty then like I don’t now to buy gifts, so I don’t stress about it. I’ve had – and still have – people in my life that till this day ask me what I want and never show with anything year after year. So, once I had a family, I didn’t want those same people to affect my children the same way because I know how it made me feel. I don’t promise anyone anything hell I don’t even ask to be honest. And it is because I don’t care so I won’t even lie. You’d be surprised at how serious some people take getting a gift however I’m not one of them – except with one person. And it’s not because I’m selfish which is what it may sound like but here’s my logic. I barely talk to you all year, I don’t get you anything for your birthday, you can’t even remember my birthday then Christmas rolls around and you think you’re getting a gift from me? I think not, no sir, no ma’am.
When gifting I always put thought into it, so I think of what the person likes and/or can use – and how much I’m willing to spend on them too. It’s never a “you gone get what I give you” type thing which is why it bothers me when people are ungrateful. My mom and dad are great examples of two kinds of receivers I can and can’t gift. My mom is the most grateful person I know every single day of the year so, of course, I’ll go all out for her. I can get her a card, or a matching soap, lotion, and perfume set and she’s good. I can get her the same gift every year and she’ll be cool – even though I won’t do that. Whereas my father, he’s difficult to shop for which is why I’m not sure if I’ll be shopping for him anymore. He likes the Baltimore Ravens, so for 2014, ‘15, and ‘16 I got him three different kinds of Ravens hats. Well, 2016 he goes, “Oh yayy another Ravens hat”, and that was it for me. I could already tell the first two times he was expecting more but I’m not going broke for some shoes – which is what he likes. I want to get him something because he’s my dad and there’s the guilt. I do what I can and if it’s not enough then I’ll cross you off my list altogether.
People turn into who they weren’t all year once the holidays arrive and I don’t understand it. If you don’t give in any way, don’t expect to receive in any way. If you weren’t going broke shopping for yourself, don’t go broke shopping for others. It would be lovely to receive and exchange gifts for Christmas however it doesn’t work that way with everyone. And I am firm believer that Christmas is more for children than adults. Now, my husband is a person I do expect a gift from as he does me. I feel that’s a given though but with everyone else it simply is what it is. I’ve given kids gifts that they didn’t appreciate AND THEY’RE KIDS. I’ve given adults gifts that they didn’t appreciate and the ungratefulness is what makes it easy for me to keep money in my pockets. I know people don’t have to like what you gift them however I’d respect them more for expressing that versus never using it.
It’s not a crime to say, “I don’t like this” because I can exchange it or just get my money back, which brings me to my next point. Again, I don’t shop with the “you gone get what I give you” mindset, so I do gift with receipts if I don’t feel you’ll absolutely love it. Some see it as a waste and I see it as a way you won’t waste my money. Christmas could be less complicated if people only put more thought and less money into it. It’s become more about who can spend how much or the most money instead of “will they even use or wear this after this month?”. “You can’t buy happiness” is the truth, so no I don’t feel like you should buy expensive gifts for those outside of your household because that’s you going broke to buy a gift that you probably wouldn’t buy yourself. And I’m sure they wouldn’t buy for you either.
IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO PROVIDE FOR OTHERS WHAT THEY AREN’T WILLING TO PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES. As a parent you’ll probably go all out for your children and significant other – and maybe your parent(s) – but it should end there. Cards with or without money in them is acceptable for birthdays, baby showers, graduations, and so on so why not Christmas too? And let us not forget about gift cards as well. It’s the thought that counts not the money so put some thought into your gifts instead of your bank account. If it’s going to leave you broke or wishing you hadn’t did it then just don’t.
I hope you have a VERY Merry Christmas, but don’t come asking me where your gift is because….