Presents! I love presents, don’t you?

by on August 25, 2010

I love presents. Maybe you shouldn’t have, but I am so delighted you did!

Cole loves presents.  He tears off the wrapping paper, disregards the bow, and rips open the box.  A squeal of delight and a big hug follows.  It’s never been about, “Did you bring me a present?”  It’s all about, “Oh WOW!  You brought me a present!”

Joe loved presents. He would savor the wrap, look at the package, shake it a few times, and exclaim, “Oh, come on.  Is this for me, really?” He would then open the package with great deliberation, and upon opening, pronounce it the best gift ever. He would then set the gift on the coffee table so he could look at it. His Father ‘s Day Gillette shaver sat on the living room table for almost a month while he admired it before its first use.

A long time ago, I gave a present to the three-year-old daughter of a friend.  She tore off the wrapping paper, pulled the toy out of the box, and turned around and threw her arms around me exclaiming, “I have wanted one of these my whole life!”  I later found out she already had the toy.  It comes as no surprise that this toddler, now a high school senior, has a talent for the theater.

Lately, I have tuned in to conversations about appropriate gifts, as in gifts that “send the right message” or how to guide family members and grandparents towards the “right gifts.” What? Huh? Oh, and then there is the minimalist, organic trend towards not giving presents at all, or giving the presents meant for you to a less fortunate person. You’re killing me!

I  just don’t get it. Yes, we are more fortunate than many, and certainly we should teach our children how fortunate they are, but it makes me a little sad when a seven-year old would rather have me write a check to Haiti than give him a birthday gift. It does give a parent bragging rights, though.   “Jimmy asked for donations to Haiti, instead of presents for his birthday.”  Joe and I coined this, “parenting for an audience.”   I have a better idea:  Jimmy’s parents can write the check to Haiti while I wrap a Dora Doll or Avatar Na’vi Mountain Banshee Creature.

Birthdays and holidays are great gift occasions, but it’s also fun to give a “just because” gift, just because gifts are perfect to give to your friends. By the way, it’s not just the thought that counts, so pay attention to your friend when they talk about their favorite post-a-note color, or a certain cooking spice they are dying to try.

Then there is gift disappointment.  If you have not already worked this out in therapy, and are over thirty, please get over it.  Joe gave me shoes as presents.  He did not buy me a wedding ring. However, one afternoon he handed me an Irish Claddagh ring as a “just because” gift.  My claddagh ring is a “token of his friendship and love.”  I gave him coats and hats. He never needed them, but he always loved them.

Teach your family early on that yes, you do want gifts. Often. Fortunately, my mother never tells me, “Oh honey, I don’t need anything,” but instead says, “I would love this new mascara.”  My dad is harder to buy for, but now that he has a Kindle,  Amazon’s gift certificates are our oysters.  Oh, and when a family member gives you a gift? Love it. Just love it. Try it on, talk about it. If there is one rule about gift-receiving, it’s  “Never ever open it later.”   It’s better to exchange a present if you are not going to wear it or use it. If you are always exchanging gifts, the problem is probably yours and not the gifts. “I’m saving it” never fools anyone. It means you hated my present.

If you want to make me happy, accept my gift with excitement, open it right away, tell me you love it. It is blessed to give, divine to receive, and impossible to have one without the other.

Do you want a present? Let me know on Facebook or in the comment section.

Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to hang around with us any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!

Katybeth

{ 16 comments }

Cynthia

In my opinion, gift-giving is an art. Nothing makes my heart sing more than a gift that shows that the giver has been paying attention to me. I would rather receive a box filled with my favorite colored pencils than a pair of diamond earrings because that is what makes me most happy. I am teaching my son to listen to comments people make in passing as it gives clues to their inner wants. I think he is getting it as last winter I received a pair of Vibram Five-Fingers shoes. One of the best gifts I have ever received….

Katybeth Jensen

Gift Giving is an art. I find the better you know someone, the easier it is….your point about listening is an excellent one! The Vibram Five-fingers shoes, I remember those and how they made you heart so happy!

Randy

Presents?? Did someone say presents? For me??? Where!! I love presents. The more the merrier. Send me one to love an appreciate–like I do you!

😆 OX

Katybeth Jensen

Ok…Randy one present coming up! The more the merrier, you are pretty funny since you are the one usually making everyone else “merrier.”

OX

Betty

I admit it, I am not very good at receiving or giving gifts. It just seems kind of needy and greedy…but I think I might want to work on it…maybe I will write a few suggestions down for my husband who is always asking me “what would you like.” and get over the idea that he should “know what I like.” He doesn’t but I love him anyway.
Thanks for the great post!

Katybeth Jensen

Great idea Betty. Keep a list, maybe shop with him. Gift giving does have to mean a wrapped up surprise package…it could mean picking out something special together and wrapping it up with lunch or diner!

Thanks for dropping by Odd. 😀

Melanie

Some people don’t like presents? Now this is odd. Very odd. I have had parents request “no gifts” on birthday gifts for their children. I know, I should honor the request and I’m a bad friend for not honoring the request but I bring a gift. An especially nice gift and make sure to point it out to the child. Ok, I’m awful but funny thing is the parents never make that big deal about it and I know they don’t take the gift away. I never push the point, and never bring it up unless they do and then I might say “no gifts? Did I miss that on the invitation.”

Katybeth Jensen

Very clever, Melanie! Its really hard to fault someone by saying and “yhea they brought this present my kid really loved, even tho I told them not to!” I just don’t think its a trend we should encourage!

Thanks for dropping by odd!

Rachel Fiske

Leos love presents…!

Katybeth Jensen

And we are so glad you do!!

Kb

Marcie

Do you ever buy yourself a present? The gift will always be the right size and color. When you have to go through something pretty awful, I find it helps to promise yourself some thing special when it’s over. Then, never ever disappoint yourself by not following through. My present to me is going to the Doberman National this year, and I can’t wait!
Marcie

Katybeth Jensen

I forgot about the gift you give yourself..the trip to Walgreens for a lipstick…or to Topeka for the National. You certainly deserve both!!

OX DD

Kathy Jernigan

Katybeth, you are sweet. I guess you can tell I would rather give than to receive. I love to spend money on others and I am not disappointed if I get nothing. I am a bad receiver as you can probably tell. Just think what I said about the ShamWow. I said you really dont have to KB cause it sounds like you will be giving a lot of them away. I am always spending my monies on others and ask my husband to let me do it. He usually does. He knows me by now. If I do receive a gift, you never will see any disappointment on my face. The fact you think about me means so much to me. Great post.

Katybeth Jensen

Kathy giving is a wonderful thing, no complaint on my end. My only thought is in order to give you really do need to receive. The worst gifts are the “have to’s.” and funny, they are usually the gifts that are the least appreciated. If you face lights up when something special comes your way..you have just “given” back in a very special way! Thanks for dropping by Odd Kathy!! 😀

Jayne

I agree with absolutely everything you say and I *love* giving presents not just on special occasions but ‘as and when’.

Has it really become a trend to give to charity instead of giving a gift to someone? Or that other minimalist thing ..no gift at all? Oh how silly. How anally retentive. How sad. “Parenting for an audience” – spot on. I must remember that phrase. 🙂

And I love the spontaneous giving of the Claddagh ring. I’ll bet that little ring has more significance and love wrapped up in it than you can say.
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Katybeth Jensen

Somehow the charity giving alternative just seems to miss the mark and yes does seem to be a current trend. No gift at all, just seems mean especially when we are talking kids. Of-course they have to much, they are children for goodness sakes. A birthday should be about you. Your day. In my grandious opinion, of-course! :-D. Giving gifts “as and when” love it. Thanks for stopping by Odd!

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