Gift Gaffs

As Christmas approaches and thoughts turn to what to buy, especially the grandchildren. My husband and I were in agreement that it was ‘No more toys’ as large quantities of toys are to be found in virtually every room of their home. It wasn’t much different for my children I don’t suppose but we are just more aware and have enough of a seperation to think ‘is it really necessary to have so much stuff?’. More importantly is it what they want? Am I alone in only really remembering the gifts that didn’t quite come up to my expectations? A couple of presents I received still resonate.

I remember the pressure to have the latest Barbie and my slight disappointment that I actually received Tressy instead but then ‘bigging-up’ how cool Tressy was and that I wasn’t a sheep by getting Barbie and anyway Tressy had really cool hair that could be long or short…… Well that was until I decided to do some styling of my own involving scissors.

I also still cringe about a jumper I received for Christmas when I was about 13 or 14, proudly wearing it out with friends when going to the local cinema only to see the ancient woman selling the tickets at the cinema wearing exactly the same jumper. She was probably not that ancient, certainly younger than I am now, but the shame of having the same clothes that OLD people wore was indescribable. Suffice to say that jumper got stuffed to the back of the wardrobe and didn’t see daylight again in public.

The quandry I have about present buying is whether buying vouchers or giving money is a cop-out. It certainly avoids the errors of judgement but it is so impersonal. There is no frisson of excitement when you open a card containing a gift voucher or a cheque, unlike the fun of fondling a present before opening, trying to guess what it can be, before tearing off the wrapping and then…….……………..well sometimes disappointment, poorly masked, but sometimes complete and utter joy that you have got something that your loved one wanted, and will cherish.

So I guess we will  play Russian Roulette again this year and just hope we mainly get it right and ignore the excessive amount that is given and received. Instead we will just enjoy the day and breathe a sigh of relief that the agonies of what to buy is over for another year.