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Writer's Block: It's just what I wanted
[Marimite] Thoughtful Youko
Do you prefer telling people what gifts you want to receive or being surprised?

I like a mix. I like to give people a general idea of what I want (assuming, of course, they want me to do that), but it's no fun knowing exactly what you're going to get. My parents have tended to do that more and more as I got older and it's really not fun to have to tell someone point blank "I want a PSP for Christmas" or (even worse) to be told to pick out your own gifts and just get them with no wrapping paper and zero ceremony.

I feel the same way on giving. Nothing makes me happier than surprising someone with a gift that they really want. The problem, though, is that I need a vague idea of what they want to pick something out. If not, I'm just guessing at random ideas or, even worse, buying the gift I would want. That works for certain people if there are common interests, but a couple of aunts had a very frustrating practice of giving something their daughters would want and then telling me this when they gave me the gift, which made me feel like I had even more pressure to appropriately like the gift.

Gift giving practices have changed a bit in my family, which means fewer obligatory presents for relatives whose interests I'm not familiar with and fewer presents for me that felt like someone just picked out the first reasonably appropriate thing. Now, the gifts I bought were, for the most part, gifts that I really wanted to buy and so I can be excited about giving the gift because I'm confident it's something the person really wants. And, for my part, I know that the gifts I'm given were given freely and without a sense of obligation and sometimes resentment. It's really a much better trade off, I think. Fewer gifts, but more meaningful gifts.

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I agree. I like giving a few ideas so that people know what I want and will like, but I don't want to know exactly what I'm getting.

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