Buying vs Giving for the Holidays
My wife recently asked what I wanted for Christmas. It’s a question I hate, because I’ve found myself replying “I really don’t need anything”. I remember when I’d ask my dad the same question and how that answer would drive me crazy. Instead of appreciating the fact that he honestly didn’t want more stuff, I immediately slapped the label of “difficult to buy for” onto him. Well, now I’m the one who’s difficult, I suppose.
It’s no secret why we feel compelled to buy things during the holiday season. We often measure affection by the size, cost or amount of the gifts we give. And even though we’re aware of the inherent sadness of such a measure, we do it anyway. And afterward, we’re sometimes left with the feeling that we didn’t give enough, or give the “right” gift. Of course, when it comes to children, giving during the holidays is a different story, one with many different approaches and philosophies. That’s a discussion for another day.
When it comes to adults, especially those who “need nothing”, gift giving can be a huge source of anxiety. My wife, her sister and my brother-in-law all face this issue when coming up with a gift idea for my in-laws. They’re retired, well off and have virtually everything they possibly need. The only thing they ever seem to want is more time with all of us and our kids. So, last year, we all went in and rented a cottage in Michigan for a long weekend with all the families. They absolutely loved it!
The point is, when you ask someone what they want, you’ll rarely receive a specific answer. And, if you do, and you get that desired item for them, where’s the actual thought? It’s kind of a passive-agressive way of letting yourself off the hook. So, it’s up to us to put in the time and effort to really think of what someone may need or want. And often, it’s not an item, but an experience or a service that will put a true smile on their face. Do they love cooking or fine dining? Skip the new pots and pans and hire a personal chef to cook them a wonderful meal at home. Do they love music? Find out their favorite genre, skip the digital gift card and send them to see an up and coming artist. Is their home or garage a cluttered mess? Call on our partners at
NAPO Chicago and send over a professional organizer to straighten things out. Or, better yet, get all that stuff into an 8ft container with Zippy Shell and give them their space back (I know, I know…I had to!).
However hard the person may be to “buy” for, chances are they’re really not that difficult to “give to”. Yes, it takes a little time and thought, but in the end, you’ll be able to truly make someone happy if you think less of what to buy and more of what to give. Happy Holidays from all of us at Zippy Shell North Chicago!