I’ll admit it, I’m not a great gift giver. Some people are, and I’m not. I’m getting better, but it is one of those examples of a weakness becoming a strength (and that’s not a quick process!) The problems with gift-giving can be twofold.
The first problem is actually thinking to give the gift. In addition to mandatory gift events there are some people who are aware of the other gift-giving opportunities. I’m not that person. I think it’s partly because as a child I missed a lot of social cues, but also because as an early adult in our college-life we had no money nor did our friends. It’s only now as a grown up that I’m learning the intricacies of social gifts.
The second problem with gift-giving is finding just the right gift. It’s tempting to purchase something you would want instead of what they would want, or to just walk in the store and get something. This is a more sophisticated and delicate art. I have an especially hard time shopping for someone whom I perceive as being financially comfortable because I immediately assume they can get for themselves anything they want or need, and I worry that a homemade gift would seem cheap.
I think every year I’m getting better at both of these aspects of gift giving, but I still have a long way to go. To anyone who has ever opened a gift from me and thought, “huh”, and to those who never got a gift, please remember that I’m still learning. (I’m still learning, incidently, was the original title of this blog.)