When I look at the people downtown shopping on television, I sigh, “Wow! Glad I am not there!” Some people love crowds but I am not one of them. The throngs of people walking down the street look like they could use a crossing guard or a traffic cop. They need someone out there to say, “Stay to the left or stay to the right.”
Or they need some of that yellow tape or ropes to help control the flow so that everyone can move in an organized fashion. But of course, that’s only a creative dream. That is not likely to happen. Again, I am glad that I am not caught up in the frenzy of making hurried choices.
And imagine trying to find gift of real substance. A lot of stores at this juncture have racks of items that have been picked over. Some of the shelves look threadbare or some may be well- stocked. But if there is an abundance of items available, that means that the store bought in bulk. So you go ahead and buy that cute, colorful little dress for an inexpensive price and wear it to a holiday party. Oops, two other women have on that same dress. You can’t go in the ladies’ room and camouflage it because the colors are hard to hide. So, you just slip out the side door of the party and call the night a wash or a wrap.
When frenzied shoppers feel that they just need to get ‘something,’ because most of the things of real worth are gone, chances are the receiver will not even like it anyway. Somehow, when receiving a gift, there is this gut-level feeling that comes with it. You can feel when someone picked a gift while they were in a hurry. They obviously felt obligated to show up with something, anything.
Then there is that other feeling that comes when a gift that has been carefully selected for you. A real gift! One that you knew was chosen specifically with you in mind while taking your personality into account. Now, that is the difference! You know when someone has taken the time to think things through and the well-thought out, well-intentioned Christmas gift truly brings a smile; as opposed to the ‘grab and walk gift.’
A few years back, the coined phrase ‘regifting’ emerged. I am so glad that it was okay to give the ‘grab and walk’ gift to someone else. I ended up giving away this set of bath oils with a non-likeable fragrance to someone else. And, I gave away a box of cherry-filled chocolates to the postman. Oh well!
I discovered that gift cards worked for me when it came to buying gifts for co-workers. I had observed them long enough to know whether they liked music, books, clothes or whatever. I knew that I would not go wrong there. I just heard that many of the gift cards are not used, but I knew these people well enough to know that they would definitely use them.
It’s beneficial to take time to know people’s taste, their likes and what would genuinely make them happy. Then they won’t have to join the ugly sweater committee or regift your purchase. But when in doubt, cash or purchasing power works every time!
Lynn December 23, 2014