So I'm thinking about presents. And here's what I'm thinking: I think when you get a present, there's only one response you get to make, and that's this: Thank you.
I read all these letters to Dear Amy and Carolyn Hax complaining about getting crappy—or just the wrong—presents, and asking for advice about how to tell the gifter that their presents suck. You know, in a nice way.
And I don't get it.
I mean, of course I DO actually get it. Everyone hopes that their loved ones will know them well enough to know what would please them. But don't these people get how lucky they are that someone remembered them at all??
I decided—because I'm a saint? um, no—to be happy that someone thought enough to remember me. Period.
I know people will disagree with this philosophy, but really, it saves so much angst. Granted, I don't have a big, extended family, so I don't have anyone to fight with, impress, or feel bad about. And, aside from Number One Daughter, there are no kids awaiting presents from me. So I know I have it easier than most.
I also totally don't get what's bad about re-gifting. I gave a friend of mine a hardcover book that she saw me reading on vacation, and admired. I enjoyed the book, but knew I wouldn't re-read it, so gave it to this person for Christmas. I honestly saw nothing wrong with doing that. Yet she was offended.
I guess it's easy for me to be sanguine about the whole gift-giving experience since there's really only two people who give me gifts (and hey, thanks to both of you!)
Oh, I realize that giving presents often has nothing to do with the actual giving of presents. It's so symbolic—of what I mean to you and vice versa. I guess if year after year I give you presents that seem to imply that I know nothing about you, or have never actually met you—well, I guess that could get on a person's nerves.
To illustrate: One year I came home from work to find a box outside my apartment door, in the hallway, leaking some red fluid. A Christmas present! But what's that red...wait...is it blood? Is this some weird reprise of Se7en???
Oh no, it was just a Christmas present from me mum. She'd sent a box of frozen steaks.
I'm a vegetarian.
So yeah, I get the disappointment that someone who should know you—at least a little!—doesn't. But you can't make that happen.
We all have so much crap already. I mean really. Think about it. Don't you have everything you really need? Who wants more stuff?
Well, unless it's something like this. A girl can't ever have too many of those.