Gifts

I love to give gifts, but I am not good at it.

I’m not particularly crafty. I like to make things — I take pleasure in creating; that’s why I write. Perhaps I could be good at knitting or sewing or woodworking, if I put in the effort. But I haven’t, and so my skill remains lacking.

I like to draw, but again, my talent isn’t developed enough that something I’ve drawn can often be seen as a gift. Instead it feels to me more often like I’ve given someone something less good than they deserve.

I like to buy gifts, when I’m giving them, and if I were rich I imagine I’d shower my close friends with gifts constantly, as my whim dictated. I’m not rich, though, and I may never — I will probably never be.

I like to give gifts, but I’m horrible at thinking of what to give. I don’t know why. Sometimes I wonder if I don’t pay enough attention to people.

My husband used to drop hints throughout the year about what he wanted, because he knew I was bad at coming up with anything, but I always missed the hints. The one time I picked up on them, I took too long, and he has already gotten himself what he’d been hinting at.

Maybe I think too hard about the question. What should I get? What should I get? It becomes a chorus in my brain which drowns out any actual thoughts I might have. It’s frustrating, and it’s more frustrating because I love the act of giving and I wish that discovering what to give came easier to me.

The best gifts I give are those that occur spontaneously to me when I’m not trying to think of anything. I’ll see something, think “Oh, this would be perfect for this person in my life!” So I buy it, and I set it aside for later.

Maybe I’m too worried about seeming insincere with my gifts. I know my friends will appreciate them, whether I felt they were thoughtful enough or not. Still, I get oddly sad and frustrated every year, because I never feel like I’ve gotten the “right” gifts.

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