Friday, December 10, 2010


i've been thinking about presents a lot in the past few weeks. on sunday i felt sick at work. at the end of the night, a friend, seeing i'd packed up some leftover mashed potatoes to take home, gave me a little leftover gravy to go with it.

"i noticed you weren't having the best night. i thought this might help."

and you know what? the pure out of nowhere sweetness of the gesture made me feel worlds better. right at that moment i felt like it was the best gift i'd ever been given. gravy.

in the last month i've caught the flu bug and the cold bug, but i still have yet to catch the christmas bug.

i’m tempted to say i don’t like Christmas. in fact, i have said this, many, many times already this month. a(male) friend gasped with horror at that very utterance. but it’s true, i'm not religious and i don't like buying or receiving gifts. but as i began writing this post, i realized i kinda do like Christmas.

i like the lights and decorations, the tv specials, the smell of pine, the advent calendars (though i don’t have one this year), the get together with family (though i’m staying in NYC this year). i even like the Christmas carols.

so it’s not that my shoes are two sizes two small. it’s just that i hate the whole gift thing. like, really, really hate it. for an incredibly indecisive person like myself even grocery shopping can be painful. which makes shopping for others pure agony.

if only i could buy presents with the assurance of my red haired sis.

“i got you something you’ll love!” she announced a few days ago, to which I responded, “super. i’m not buying gifts this year.”

if only i could receive gifts as sweetly as my little sis, who takes joy in the transaction start to finish. first she slowly, slowly unwraps it, then her whole face lights up. give her a stick of gum and she'd thank you with genuine gratitude, saying it was exactly the flavor she'd wanted. 

that just ain't me. the worst thing someone can do is give me a gift receipt. it’s like why i hate scrabble. the sole idea of a better option out there prevents me from embracing what's in front of me. one year my mom bought me a pretty bracelet from a free-trade gift shop. I returned it for this:

it's not that i'm picky. a friend sent me this recently and i love it!

i'm starting to think people should reverse psychology shop for me. if my mom had bought me that bird thing (seriously, what is that?) i probably would have returned it for the pretty bracelet.

most years i end up making gifts. one year I made my mom dolls of everyone in our family. another year I made quilts. this year, to pass the cold months, i’ve been sewing stars from fabric scraps. the original idea was to string them garland-style from the ceiling in my bedroom. 

i told my mom about it and she said, “there. have that be my christmas present. all i want is one of the stars you've made.”

but how exactly do you turn this into a gift?

or this

it's like the universe farted and out came my stars.

these are small problems to have. i'm lucky that i can complain about giving and receiving gifts. it's like the times at work we complain about staff meal, then hear ourselves, realize we're sitting with giant plates of perfectly acceptable food in front of us, food that other people would be thrilled to have, and feel crummy for our lack of gratitude.
but i've been thinking about presents a lot lately, wondering how i can make the giving and receiving process as meaningful as gravy. so far, i haven' t come up with anything.


  1. Awe, Lady, you are awesome! I love your stars-farted out from the universe and all. The very act of you creating them with your splendid hands is what turns them into a gift. It's magic- you make it, you give it= a gift. I'm with you about the season- I like the lights, the cheesey movies, even the cheesey music- but I hate the gifting. Too much pressure.

  2. I like giving gifts if I happen to find that perfect gift for someone - HATE it when I end up just buying something because I have to give them "something." Yuck.