Gift Giving

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

I suffer from gift anxiety, but only for major gift giving holidays and only for my kids. I never doubt whether my husband or mother will like the gifts I pick, but I am paralyzed with fear that I will buy one of the kids something they truly don’t want.

What’s strange is if I suddenly find myself with a little extra money and the urge to do something nice for the kids I can pick out a gift in minutes. Yet, when a major gift giving holiday is at hand birthdays, Christmas or even Easter I find myself dithering in the aisles torn between gift a, b or possibly c.

There I stand in the aisle mumbling to myself ‘Wait did I see c for a better price on the other side of town. What if the intended kid doesn’t like it.’ One year I spent 30 minutes trying to decide if my daughter would like a sing along Barbie.

To combat this I go shopping with my husband. He is never uncertain about what gift to buy. He doesn’t vacillate between two toys. If the kid put a lego set on his wish list then by god he is going to buy a Lego set. He will not spend more than 2 minutes deciding between Lego Star Wars and Lego Hobbit. He will grab one and we are off to the next item on the list.

He is also helpful for carrying packages, which is something I hate to do.

How about you? Do you suffer gift anxiety or do you grab and go?

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10 thoughts on “Gift Giving

  1. I understand and feel your indecision. It never used to be difficult, but now that everyone is older or adult, they have most of what they want, so what do I add? Doris


  2. When it comes to kids I usually wait until the last minute. They generally change their mind right before the gift needs to be wrapped. Then the challenge is finding what they just asked for.


  3. Most kids are pretty clear about what they want. At least my brother and I were, and my brother’s kids are. Last Christmas while my brother and I were doing last minute Christmas shopping, his teen-aged son kept texting him with a multitude of things he wanted.


  4. I have gift anxiety too. Like you, if I just see something that I know someone will want, not a problem. But when I have to figure out what to get or decide between various items, it can take me a long time.


  5. It’s funny, when my kids were little we had to be careful with out money and would try to get the best deal. Now, however, our grandkids get so many presents they can’t even remember who gave them what, and that somewhat diminishes the desire to gift. Still do of course, but don’t expect them to be particularly noticed.


  6. For my own kids I tended to know what I wanted for them and, like you, hoped they were good choices. Now I’m in a quandary for my great- nieces’ gifts. One in approaching 12 and that’s a difficult stage since she;s now past the ‘Craft kits’ stages. I’m glas that the recipients have all been brought up to appreciate the gesture rather than the actual gift.


  7. I so relate to this Jennifer. There was one Christmas that we tried to make very special for our two teenagers and our soon-to-be teenage son. At the time we lived in the Ozark Mountains and my husband did a lot of target shooting. Our youngest always begged to go with him and he used an old 22 we had. Our two teenagers were really into music and we knew our gifts of boom boxes would be a hit. We bought the youngest a 410 rifle. He had already taken a gun safety course. When he opened up his present, instead of the screams of joy we expected, he started crying – because the other two got a boom box! Go figure! Luckily his birthday was only a couple of months away and he got the boom box. Sometimes it’s hard to know for sure what someone wants. I tend to give a lot of gift cards these days!


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