Confession: I’m just really bad at Christmas and gift giving

Does anyone else do this? All year I try to file little things away in my brain when one of my loved ones states they want something so that I can get it for them for birthdays or Christmas.  And then said birthday and Christmas rolls around and my brain just looks at me blankly, all “I really don’t remember you putting anything in the filing system. I think you drank those memories away.”

Christmas is a little bit nightmarish for me because I have to think of a bunch of presents all at once. I don’t have the mental capacity to even starting planning or shopping until after Thanksgiving.  This year, I was all about getting me some good deals. I’ve already sung the praises of Amazon and I decided I was going to use Cyber Monday to my advantage to get all my Christmas shopping done at once.

After about an hour of scrolling through Amazon’s Cyber Monday lightning deals (uh, which I totally did not do at work for any coworkers who may stumble upon this), I came to one conclusion:

I don’t think Amazon’s Lightning Deals are meant for me or my family. I can never find anything I’m even remotely interested in or would be even a little bit useful to anyone I have to actually buy gifts for.

So I’m scrolling, going through hundreds of items that are super on sale and I start to feel desperate because I feel like I SHOULD be able to find something considering how many people I have to buy for and how many items are listed. Then I start talking myself into terrible ideas like “yes! My in-laws would totally love the entire Dark Shadows series on DVD!” (And holy freaking cow, why so expensive? Are there really that many people who are yearning to spend $350 on a TV show from the 60s?)

By the way, this is what happens when bad things happen to mediocre good (created) rubies: Behold. Think my grandmother would like it?

So, in desperation, I turn to those gift giving guides that various websites have to try to help you think of good gift ideas.

These have never, ever been helpful to me. I just can’t picture myself giving my loved ones a Snowman Kit or a patterned wireless mouse.

I hate gift giving guides that suggest stuff like the iPhone. I need gift giving guides that are like “The totally perfect gifts for your friends and family that cost $20 but looks like they cost $100!” If I had $400 to spend I’d already have a pretty good idea of what to get because I could pretty much afford whatever they’d ask for.

My favorite gift guide I’ve looked at so far is MSN’s which is basically a paid advertisement for whomever wanted a space on it.  It seriously suggests an Android app. That’s free. What am I supposed to do with that? “Merry Christmas! Now give me your phone, I have to download your present for you. And I got out of spending money on you! Sucker!”

(By the way, the ad for the app totally worked, dammit. I downloaded it. And it’s kind of cool. STILL not a valid Christmas gift though.)

And oh my God, y’all. Good Housekeeping has a guide for gifts for your pet. This exists. Look, I love my dog as much as anybody, but the most I’m going to do for her for Christmas is get her a new squeaky toy and I don’t really need a gift giving guide for that.

Also, I have no idea why Catnip Fortune Cookies, or a DJ Turntable for Cats even exist. WHOSE JOB IS IT TO THINK OF THESE THINGS?

The other reason Christmas shopping is difficult for me is because that I always end up buying stuff for myself. In scouting out Cyber Monday deals I ended up buying two mirrors for my house, a couple of pairs of shoes, and a laptop.  Me: 5 Family and Friends: 0.

I’m just really bad at this Christmas shopping thing.

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