Christmas is right around the corner. I have already turned in my list to my mom. Yes, I am a women child. Go ahead and laugh at me.
My sister and I finally convinced my mom that its okay to be practical at the holidays. We don't mind getting new sweat pants or pajamas. Those items are useful. A gift card is also nice. It's those other things!
So lets talk about the nightmare gifts of the past. One year it was a headless figurine that was supposed to hold necklaces. My mom not only bought one for my sister and I, but all the cousins got one too! Another it was ear covers for the cold weather (think spock). Then my dad joined in the fun. He got us these headlights that attach in your car. They are suppsosed to provide light in case you need to open your hood at night. The dutiful daughter kept it in her glove compartment for 12 years! Yes, I did.
And let's not forget about all the cat stuff! Yes, I love my cats, but that doesn't mean I want dish towels with cats on them!
So why do we keep these things we don't want or need?
1. Your family member comes over and asks you about them. Everytime my mom comes to visit, she looks in my closet for a necklace she bought me off a cruise ship. She then admires it and asks what I wear it with(thank god my closet has plenty of black outfits).
2. We feel guilty about the money spent on the item. One lady that I met actually built cabinets in her basement to store all those nightmare unwanted gifts she had recieved over the years!
3. It was a gift and we develop an attachment to it.
Yes, we all have a certain level of guilt when it comes to gifts that we receive. Some people even put a time limit on how long they will keep the gift.
While we can't control everything that comes in our homes, we can educate people about the things that we like. I try to take notice of the things my friends and family enjoy. It's amazing how much you can learn about someone from seeing their environment.
So before you pluck down that credit card on a gift for someone, think:
1. It is something they can use?
2. Is it part of a collection they have?
3. Do they need it?
One can only have so many picture frames and candles.
Remember, the most important gift is the time with spend with those we love!