Dec 30, 2011 0 Share

Gift Giving


Illustration of white gift box tied with red ribbon.
iStockphoto

Christmas Day has come and gone, and I am in good spirits. I received many wonderful gifts from my parents, friends, and members of my extended family. I gave some gifts to them as well before Christmas with some help from my parents. To me, it feels good to give to others around this time, but I have some trouble finding appropriate gifts for them by myself. I usually require help in this area.

The trouble with picking gifts for others is that I am more inclined to think of what I might want rather than what others would like. I write out a list of items including books, DVDs, videogames, and other things that I would like for Christmas every year. It is easy for me to compose this list because I know what my personal interests are. However, since I tend to focus on myself quite a bit, I rarely concern myself with what others might like or want, and I find it difficult to choose gifts for other people because I do not usually remember what their interests are. In this regard, my parents help me each year with finding appropriate gifts for other people in my life.

Besides myself the only other person whose interests I can remember each year is one of my previous speech teachers. I know she likes penguins, so I try to find a penguin-themed gift for her each year. It is fairly easy to find penguin-themed items, but finding one to give to her that is original and distinctive becomes harder to do with each passing year.

Even though my parents and I speak about gift ideas for others, when I actually go out to shop, I still find it difficult to remember their interests and pick out appropriate items. Again, my parents guide me as to the person’s interests. When I give the gifts, I often cannot remember what I picked out for my friends because, again, I am more focused on my own desires than others. When the gifts are opened, however, I then remember the trips where my parents and I worked together to find them. I am always disappointed that I am unable to remember what gifts I got for each person until I actually give them the gifts, and it is not that I do not want to give them a gift or think of them during the holiday season or other occasions, but it is just hard for me to focus in this regard.      

Fortunately, there was one gift I gave this year in which I did not run into any of these problems. My father and I got my mother a high-definition television. Due to the circumstances of her life, my mother currently spends a lot of her time watching television. Therefore, my father and I decided to get her an HD TV as well as a special internet streaming player which allows her to access thousands of television shows and movies, much more than we currently have access to through our cable provider. My father picked out the television and streaming player, but I suggested that we get the player at a store other than the one where we first looked for it, and it turned out that my hunch was right because we found the same player for a lower price at the other store. My mother is really enjoying our gift so I am quite pleased that I was able to help purchase this for her.

My mother has made the suggestion that I start keeping a list of people’s interests so that I can shop more independently. I think I will do this. I always do better at carrying though with tasks when information is written down and organized.

Even though I have trouble finding gifts for other people on my own and often need help to do so, I enjoy the experience. It gives me a chance to do a bit of creative thinking as I think about what other people might like and then find items which I think they will like. I hope to become better at this as my life goes on. I want to get to the point that I can choose gifts for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, without having to rely too much on other people’s help. With a list, I hope shopping for others will go smoother. I will be able to think of appropriate gifts on my own, thus giving me greater independence.