I know I will get comments where no one will agree with me.
So be it - it's my blog and I am sharing anyway.
I hate gift lists, wish lists and registry's
I know people who hate gift cards. If being honest, those I do not mind at all.
If someone loves nothing more than to get high end cooking items why not a gift card to William Sonoma? Yes, a gift would rank much higher but this is at least better than someone handing you a list of what they want you to buy them. You at least put some thought into what type of gift card and to what store they would like. But that said, try buying a gift is my point.
Wedding, shower and other registry's I find offensive.
I hear you scream, "But what do I buy them then if they don't tell me what they want?"
"I don't know them all that well." Then why the hell are you buying them something if you don't know them?
To me it just that - reading someones list who is basically saying to you, buy me something!!
Look they bought me what I asked for! They can take direction.
An example of this I will use my grandmother and me.
I know how much she liked to read and how much she loved her "good" chocolate.
She loved soft things and silky things to wear. She loved to dress well, smell nice and always wore her lipstick. Even in the nursing home God love her.
She loved her chocolate so much she kept a "stash" in her bedroom closet.
I remember a day she said to Rick as he was in the hall by her room, "psst, Rick c'mon in here."
Rick never being one to walk away from a woman asking him to enter her bedroom he immediately went into her room. He found her sitting on the edge of her bed choosing a piece of chocolate from a beautiful ornate box. She slide the box off her lap and handed it to Rick, "Have a chocolate" He took one and she said, "I have some chocolate covered pretzels in the closet too. Would you get those for me? Do you like chocolate covered pretzels?"
Rick's eyes lit up and he did indeed fetch those for her.
He brought them back to the bed and she said, "Well have some of those too, they are so very good" They both just sat there and enjoyed their chocolates and gigged like little kids.
I have to tell you that is such a big memory for Rick of his time with my Grandmother.
They bonded over their love of very good chocolates and he knew her hiding place. He liked that he knew where she kept them and I hadn't up to that point.
Every once in a while Grandma would call one of us in there and she'd share from her "stash"
Now because my grandmother loved candy and reading I bought her things pertaining to that a good many times. Why not a reading light for her to read at night? Why not something yummy from her favorite Chocolatier? I didn't need a list. I didn't need her to tell me what she wanted. She loved soft things. So a cashmere sweater one year or a soft throw would make her happy. It was the thoughtfulness that went into a gift. It was knowing her and thinking of what she might like or even need. Although my Grandmother didn't need anything. Her favorite perfume in a powder perhaps or anything silky. My goodness this woman would not wear flannel. She loved a silky nightgown. She got funny gifts too. My father bought her a basket for her walker. You know the kind you put on a bicycle.
My mom sewed these ugly flowers on it. And they gave her that as a surprise gift.
That was funny.
They attached that to her walker and she could throw in her book she was reading and head on into another room. It ended up being something she didn't even know she wanted. Then she couldn't live without it. That was a thoughtful gift not on any damn list. And besides she laughed so hard when she got it she about peed her pants.
Someone you barely know sends you a shower invitation. You know she is having her first baby. Why is that so hard to figure out what she would need? She needs everything.
I just recently had that situation for my neighbor. I said - Phooey to that damn 'buy me all this from my list" and I went rogue.
I bought her all these things for safety. Plugs for the outlets. Soft and safety things for the harsh corner of her glass coffee table, safety latches for her cabinets. I bought her a tub/bath for the baby to bathe in along with bathing items of wash clothes, towels and an adorable towel that looks like a dog that wraps around the baby. Did she ask for any of them? NO.
In fact she laughed at me when she got them and said, "You have to put the baby in this and then put him in a tub to wash him?" Guess she thought you just threw the infant in the tub. Oh Lordy. (I didn't have kids and I even knew that.) So fast forward to several months after said baby and guess who is thanking me now? Yep, she really did. I even got stories and pictures. It's now a funny joke to she and her hubby that they didn't know. So now the 4 of us have had a good couple of laughs over this.
The same goes for a wedding registry. As Rick likes to say, "do they have a list of what we HAVE to buy them or can we buy them what we want?" Oh this topic fries his arse.
The most recent non family wedding we were invited to had a link to their requests for gifts. It listed nothing under $150. Okay not a big deal but after I made my purchase I wondered if there were any folks who perhaps couldn't do a $200 gift? So do they go rogue and wing it and buy something for only $50? Does that bride then scoff? If so where is her appreciation? Is she getting married for the jewelry and gifts or to share her union/love with family and friends? That was rhetorical because sadly I know the answer on that one.
I just believe that gift giving should be done because you want to.
It should be done thoughtfully.
I think it should be done to say thank you, I love you, you mean a great deal to me etc.
Not because someone hands you a list of gifts they want you to buy them.
A retired woman who lives across the street from me was going on and on about how she loves Xmas. She said she loves to receive gifts. Well who doesn't?
She had just decorated her house inside and out. I stood there listening to her and smiling and was attempting to share in her joy. I may not have that joy but I wasn't telling her that.
She continued on and on about how she made a list of what she wanted and made copies and was giving it out to all people who she thinks may buy her a gift. She said I hate getting gifts I don't like or need. I asked, "Are they really that bad? Can you just take them back?"
She said, "But if they just buy me all the things I want then I don't have to?"
I asked her about a gift she hated. She shared a story of her grandson that bought her a book she didn't like. She went on to tell me that he was so excited because he was so sure she would love it because he remembered her talking about this author with his mom. It was the same author who wrote the books she read to her grandson or they read together when he was little. But now the author was doing grown up books.
She told me she never told him she took it back because it would hurt his feelings.
Gee Ya think? You were smart enough to realize that yet you took it back anyway.
She said she bought something there that she wanted instead, not even a book.
Okay this is where I know it's just me 'cause my thought was, Then fuck you lady. Your grandson was excited because he thought you'd like it. So you didn't. It cost you nothing to thank him, hug him and put that fucking book on the damn shelf. It was a good memory for him, you reading to him. Maybe you could even try to read it. He's 14 for heaven's sake. You said he bought it with his own money. He tried to be thoughtful. Accept it in the way it was given. Soak that up most of all. Embrace the love. So what you don't think you'll like the book. But I said nothing and just stood there and smiled. My head was about to explode.
I know in my family we would have kept that damn book and not just me, and it would be a joke years later.
Once my sister who is now 40 bought me this horribly neon bright orange red sparkly nail polish. Not just sparkly but it had silver flecks in it. Very whorey, white trash. ..tee hee.
This was in the very early 80's. I had very short nails and didn't wear color - ever.
Nor would I wear this color if I did wear color. But I kept it. I kept if for 20 some yrs.
Now we laugh about this because we see how funny this is. She was 5 or 6 at the time. My mom brought she and another sister to the dollar store for them to buy their gifts. They spent time looking at things and chose things that they thought were like the people they were buying for. All were a damn hoot. You saw their little minds working.
The girls insisted that they could pick out their gifts to their sisters. My mom shared with me this trip to the store. She too found it funny and knew I was not about that neon orange red sparkly color. My mom let them fly their freak flag for the gifts. My little sister loved the color so she thought I would too because it was pretty. She even said that to me when she gave it to me. She told me it was pretty like me. Now, c'mon why wouldn't I keep it after that?
No it wasn't on my list if I had had one. No it wasn't even something I would ever use.
But it was thoughtful. She knew I loved pretty clothes, pretty makeup and I get how a little girl can go to this spot next. It was damn thoughtful. Sure my mother knew damn well these were probably not suited for us. But this was how they saw us. I loved that damn ugly orange red nail polish for years. I finally threw it out after another move to another city and it was all hardened. But it made me smile. Ugly as hell but I loved it.
So remember this when you are gift giving or are accepting gifts this holiday season.
Try to think about the person. Don't just hand over a list and say, "This is what I want you to buy me. Give me your list"
Allow someone to really buy you something they want to give you.
Allow them the chance to say how much they think of you.
Embrace how they see you.
Besides you may just get the gift you never knew you wanted.
It may be just perfect, like my grandmother's walker basket and my nail polish.
My sister saw me loving neon sparkly orange red color on my short stubby nails. It still makes me laugh to this day. To me it was the most perfect thoughtful gift ever.