With December merely days away, the shops are about be over-run with people searching for the perfect presents. Some people love gift-giving. They are the people who plan your next birthday present the second you finish unwrapping this year’s. Birthdays and Christmas are their favourite time of the year, because they can spoil their friends and family with meaningful, generous presents. These people are great; I am just not one of them.
I hate presents. I hate having to buy them and I hate people having to buy them for me. I should clarify that I am referring presents given on birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day. Spotting something in a shop and buying it because you know someone will appreciate it – that’s different. ‘Just because’ presents are awesome. They have my full support. I’m talking about presents for the hallmark holidays, when it’s an expectation. I hate it, and here’s why;
- I’ve probably already used up my good gift ideas
If we’ve been friends for a while, chances are I am running out of gift ideas that you’d love, because I already bought it 4 years ago. How many books can you buy a book-lover? How much jewellery can any one female really own? Don’t even ask me what the hell kind of present you’re meant to buy for boys (seriously, I always struggle with this, suggestions are welcome).
- There’s nothing I could buy you that you can’t buy yourself
When we were kids, we had lists of things we wanted for our birthdays or Christmas. We didn’t have jobs, so we didn’t have money, and we would wait all year until our parents uttered those magic words – ‘what would you like from Santa this year?’. These days, when I want something I just go and buy it. I know you do the same. What could I possibly get you that you can’t get yourself? (You’ll probably also get a better version of it, because you know exactly what you want).
- There are lots of things I can’t buy you
I would love to spend hundreds of dollars on each of my friends for their birthdays – I would have so many more gift ideas! Finance wise though, that’s just not an option. Plus, unless you enjoy coming off as pretentious, no one wants to be that friend who gives a $300 Go Pro with all the extra’s when your unspoken ‘present budget’ was $50.
- I come from a big family
I have a lot of cousins and second cousins. When they are kids, they’re easy to buy for. Once they hit their teens and become overtly aware of what is cool and their personal style, it gets a little harder (trust me, I was one). The fad from 2 months ago (when you bought their present) has already become lame. So what on earth do you buy them? The adults in my family do a Secret Santa for Christmas and even then, having to write a list of things for someone else to buy me that fits within the ‘present budget’ is hard because, well, see points 2 and 3.
- You can’t buy love
Rather than some thing, I want some time. I want some quality time with my nearest and dearest. Let’s do something together. Let’s go somewhere fun and take lots of photos. Let’s go out for lunch and chat for hours. I don’t care about a present; anyone can spend money. Your time is much more valuable, and much more appreciated. After all, Christmas, birthday’s, holidays, that’s what they are all about – quality time with those you love the most. That’s the best gift of all.