Let’s talk about gifting.* Have to admit, not super great at it. But I’m trying to be better. Part of my problem is that its very hard for me to keep track of birthdays. For a very long time, I felt like I was not alone in that, but now with the whole world on Facebook (minus me). I do realize that people are wishing each other well on their special day or sending a virtual cupcake or whatever you people do. (I know, I know, make a spreadsheet, get an app. ) Anyway, based on my lackadaisical style, years ago I started building a loose philosophy on gifting that continues to evolve. It goes like this:
1-If you are prepared and you feel inspired, buy someone a birthday gift and give it to them as soon as you can (or as close to their birthday as you want). Even if they are with you when you buy it! Shopping with friends & fam is fun.
2-If you forget, don’t panic or worse, panic purchase.
3-If you can’t figure out something perfect to buy (or make) on the fly, then don’t. Wait until it finds you, then just give it to them whenever.
4-Don’t sweat the sussie. If you aren’t familiar with the term, this is what the urban dictionary says: sussie: A small, inexpensive gift, chosen specifically because it has relevance to the intended recipient. It has been a tradition in my family since I was a girl. Mostly between women in the past, but these days we do also include men. How sweet. What’s great about a sussie is that it says, “hey I was thinking of you and thought you might like this bath bomb” (your supposed to fill in that blank). Anyway, no biggie, but a super fun way to gift.
5-Don’t have a budget restriction. If it costs 5 bucks, that’s cool. If it costs $100 and you know they will love it….splurge. It doesn’t mean that year after year you you are committing to spending that same amount.
6-Unless it’s your mother or significant other, you don’t have to buy a gift for every birthday. Mix it up! It makes it less of a chore and more inspired and the person will feel less obligated to reciprocate.
7- This is my new favorite. Try a shop, drop, and roll. And by that, I mean buy someone something, or give something of your own that you think that person will like. But instead of waiting until you see them, just drop it at their doorstep and roll on out. I used to think it impersonal, but then I started to think of the joy that is walking outside your front door to a lovely gift for no good reason. No need to see the person’s face or to wait in silence while they open it. Awkward. Just delight in the idea that you did something nice. Tip: Don’t forget a card or something to indicate who it’s from. I’m sure that sounds obvious but I neglected to do this once with the intent of following up and didn’t. While it made for a good laugh that my friend spent weeks wondering who bought her a dress and left it at her door, it could also be creepy and cause much confusion.
*A recent shop, drop, & roll from my friend and heart & heron’s unofficial aunt Louisa inspired this post. XO