Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Gift of Giving

I find gift giving stressful. It’s not the physical act; I have no trouble handing over the goods. Now, that’s not to say that as a child that I never uttered the words “but I paid for it so it must be mine”, demanding presents I had already given my sister back. That’s a habit I have, largely, grown out of. It’s not the wrapping, or the sentiment, in fact that bit I like rather a lot. However, it’s the sentiment that’s the problem really, I want to find, if not the perfect gift, then a jolly good one.

The problem is made worse by the fact that I am often told that I am a good gift giver. I believe that this runs in the family. Before coming to Uganda my mother managed to find not one but two advent calendar cards. (I know, I never knew they existed either.) I’ve not opened my gifts yet, after all it is not yet the 25th but I can be pretty sure that they’ll be things I want. Anyway I digress; the fact that I am considered a person who gives good presents just increases the pressure to find as good, or perhaps even a better, gift the next time Christmas or a birthday comes around. I should never have moved on from my ritualistic giving of a box of Milk Tray as a gift for any occasion.

Officially the cutest advent card ever, despite lack of chocolate

Somehow though I left the Milk Tray behind, probably due to protests from a sister who had grown somewhat weary of a gift that she only liked 50 % of. These days I’ve been known to make lists and diagrams to get inspiration and as long as I have enough time I can generally find something suitable. Put me in a pressure situation though and the results are variable, I can stagger blindly through shops with “shit shit shit, I don’t know what the hecky peck to get” running on loop through my mind, or trawl all manner of websites for inspiration. When it gets to the point that I’m looking at websites which claim to list unusual gift ideas (ie. over-priced, gimmicky tat) I know I’m on a slippery slope. The truth is, at times I have got it completely wrong...

Perhaps it’s not entirely my fault though, some people are just bloody hard to buy for. The most irritating thing about people like this is that they all too often claim to be easy to buy for. People accept it, you’re not. It is also a little unfair to claim you don’t really want anything and then in the run up to your birthday/Christmas to go out and buy things for yourself, are you purposely trying to break my spirit?

This year though, being in Uganda I’ve had a bit of a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Yes of course I’ll miss the family, the roast potatoes and the bread sauce. But the stress of last minute Christmas shopping, trying to think of something new for stocking fillings and desperately thinking of a gift for one of those ‘harder to buy for’ people? No chance.

Merry Christmas one and all ^_^


  1. ahhh, that's my least fav part about Christmas. Having to buy all those gifts! I don't mind doing it for my close family because they really don't care what I get them. But the others that do- it's so annoying!
    Merry Christmas!!

  2. Thank you kindly for your gift of a comment and Merry Christmas to you too MissEmy!