I'm Bad at Gift Shopping

8:00 AM


My love language is not gifts. I like stuff. of course, especially stuff I can consume and use -- PopTarts, dresses, jewelry, goldfish, vanilla Coke.

Not chocolate.

Unfortunately for everyone who wants to bless me, I dislike chocolate. We have a tentative, off-and-on, love/hate relationship. I've got to be in the right mood, and it's got to be the right kind of chocolate. My roommate discovered my stronger passion for white chocolate, which chocolate lovers passive-aggressively point out is not chocolate.

Fine. Not chocolate, period. But Sour Patch Kids. I can do that.

Because I'm an extremely picky gift-receiver, I'm a crippled gift-giver. Will they use this? Will they like it? Will it get anything beyond the thought that counts? As I creep through the jumbled up Walmart aisles, I can see them pasting a fake smile onto their face.

I hate fake smiles more than chocolate.

You can feel the palpable terror in my soul, then, when my music fraternity announced "Secret Smothering." I, the smotherer, got a senior (the smotheree?) who then received all of my love via gifts.

I hate gift giving more than fake smiles and chocolate combined. I cannot handle it. Not even her detailed list of likes and dislikes assuaged my fears. In fact, they heightened them. I can't find bows! Will she accept lace and flowers?!

Heaven help my doomed soul.

Once I got over my embarrassment of shopping at Walmart on a budget, I slowly warmed up to the gift giving. Huh, that's a cute scarf. Ooo, I can buy her that. Oh my goodness gracious it's the cutest planner on earth. (I'm pretty sure I stopped at every planner I saw and just fangirled...until I saw the price tags.)

I amassed all the goodies. Then the fun part began -- distributing them secretly. It was a harrowing experience. I contacted an English professor to usher her into his office to receive her planner. I pretended to be someone else in order to give her a gift card to Jilly Beans. I raced her to the music building to hand off the scarf to our voice teacher before our recital began. She entered the concert hall right as I exited. It was a beautiful moment. The adrenaline ruined my vocal performance, but whatevs. Priorities. And she loved every single thing I gave her.

Did I forget to mention? My smotheree was allergic to chocolate. We were kindred spirits to begin with. No wonder the gift shopping wasn't too terrible.

How do you feel about gifts? What are your shopping tips?

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8 impressions

  1. You know what, I'm in the same problem! (except that I love chocolate and am not a picky gift-receiver. ;P ) It's one of my friend's birthday in a two weeks and I'm looking all of the place. "Will she like this, will she like that?" ;) Because literally, even though I knew her for two years, I don't know what to get her!!!! It's super annoying. :/ I'm terrible at being a gift giver too. You're not alone. ;)

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    1. Isn't it the worst when you've known somebody FOREVER but you STILL have NO IDEA what she'd want for her birthday?? #friendshipcrisis

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  2. I love planners, too! Truth be told, I pretty much like everything in the office/school supplies area of a store. #nerdforlife

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    1. YES. My roommate dragged me out of the office supply section with much sad sobbing on my part. If only I liked organizing as much as I liked the cute tools that make organizing possible.........

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  3. Cute shopping steals!
    And don't even get me started on gift giving or receiving. *ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh*

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    1. Except that, you know, you're perfect at it.

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  4. Funny thing, my love language is quality time, but when it comes to loving others, I love with gift giving. Everything is too expensive for myself, but if it suits someone else - "Gah!! Look at that thing! [insert name] would love that! I'll take three." The squealing of my budget rarely penetrates my enthusiasm for gift giving.

    As for gift-giving tips... 1. Just do it. If someone knocks back a gift or makes a face upon receiving one, it says more about the receiver than the giver (because learning to receive is actually as much a talent as being generous). And honestly for the most part, all people really care about is the fact they're thought of, and gifts do that quite effectively. 2. If it's a girl, simple things: stationery, coffee mugs, jewellery, so long as it's simple. If it's a guy: chocolate. Never fails. And lastly 3. Learn to giftwrap decoratively. Stickers, ribbon, bows, whatever. It will make the boringest present seem so much more special because you took the time to make it look nice.

    That's all I've got. Hope it helps!

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    1. Love these tips, Jasmine! My sister who claims she's bad at gifts [see above comment] is a PRO at gift-wrapping. It really makes me feel incredibly loved to receive a creatively wrapped present! Last time I gave a wrapped gift, the online munchkins at Bed, Bath, and Beyond stuck it in a purple bag and shipped it to my friend. I've got a loooong way to go in the gift-wrapping department. :P

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