Cheers & Jeers of Gift Giving

Today is Black Friday. I don't like it and don't participate. I attempted it seven years ago at Target at like 8:00 AM. I threw a few things in my basket and headed for check out, only I couldn't find the end of the line. There were at least 150 people waiting to check out and the line wrapped around the aisles like a snake until it reached the back of the store. I didn't need Gilmore Girls Season 4 for $14 that bad. I just decided then and there that it was never going to be worth it. But I know there are people that count on the sales, door busters, and discounts in order to get enough presents for their loved ones. And I know some expert shoppers that plotted out their missions last night and will get all of their holiday shopping done today. Kudos to you, you crazies. I'm at home, in my comfy pjs, doing all of my shopping online.

I wrote this a few years ago, but thought I would share it again since everyone is getting their shopping started.

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I love buying Christmas presents. I put a lot of thought and effort into gifts and I honestly don’t care about receiving. For me, the holidays are about spending time with family, traditions, good food, cheer, snow, and experiencing it all through my children’s eyes. But since holiday shopping is a national pastime, I thought this edition of Cheers & Jeers should be about the gifts I like and the gifts I don't like. There’s nothing worse than putting time, money and thoughtfulness into a gift for someone and getting something totally lame in return.

Cheers to something thoughtful! Recognizing things I like and then really, really thinking about a variation of that item or idea is awesome. My sister is amazing at this. She’s never once asked me what I want. She always knows what I want before I even know it!

Cheers to something off wish lists! I have Amazon and Etsy wish lists along with a wish list board on Pinterest. If you’re smart, you will just search for someone’s list on various websites. Giving someone exactly what they want without asking them first is perfect.

Cheers to experiences! I would rather get tickets to a musical, concert, sporting event, or comedian over a physical present any day. I have a lot of stuff. Going out, having fun and spending time with a friend means a lot more to me these days.

Cheers to gifts for my kids! Like I just said, I have a lot of stuff. I don't really need more. I’d much rather see my kids get excited over a simple new toy then receive something for myself.

Cheers to something practical! I love getting things I’ll actually use: a hair dryer, iPod, Kitchen Aid mixer, etc. Jacob and I don't even get each other Christmas presents. Instead we’re buy something big that we both want.

Cheers to gift cards! You can’t go wrong giving someone the gift of shopping. Even when I got a gift card to Sears from an extended family member, I was happy to go spend it on some Carter’s baby clothes. Target, iTunes, Sephora, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble are my favorite!

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Jeers to IOUs. I got two of these from the same person for Christmas and my birthday a few years ago. Why? She knows I’m not going to call her up and say, “Well, you did say you’d take me to…” It’s basically giving someone nothing.

Jeers to food. Whether it’s a box of chocolates, bottle of wine, or cheese and crackers, it’s so impersonal and the lack of effort shows. Exceptions are favorite foods, treats from another geographical area, something rare, expensive or homemade. Just not fruitcake.

Jeers to jewelry. I don’t wear much jewelry, but when I do I want it to be my style. My mom, sister, and husband are the only ones allowed to buy jewelry for me. No, friend, I don’t want some random necklace from your aunt’s Etsy store.

Jeers to perfume. Everyone has a preference and unless you know the person really well or are buying a fragrance they are running low on, don’t do it. Just about every perfume I’ve been given gives me a headache.

Jeers to candles, bath beads, lotions and potions. Similar to perfume, everyone likes particular scents. Don’t guess that I like vanilla. It smells like cigarette smoke to me. And I have sensitive skin so I stick to certain brands, which means I probably can’t use what you got me.

Jeers to things I already have. If I’m, say, a golfer or a great cook (I’m neither), don’t get me golf balls or cooking utensils. I already have plenty of them and you probably just gave me something useless. I am a movie watcher. Don't get me one that I quote constantly and came out six years ago. Chances are I already have it.

I hope this helps a little with your holiday shopping!
(And that I didn't come off like a grinch!)


Karen M. Peterson said...


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

MFD and I each spend $100 on ourselves, $50 on each other (he needs gifts under the tree) but then we either pay for a vacation or buy something for both of us. In January we'll buy a king bed.

I shop on Black Friday from my couch. Never ever ever in the crazy store.

We did do small businesses today in lieu of doing them tomorrow like we usually do for Small Business Saturday.

Misty said...

I don't like the smell of vanilla either. I've been given a lot of peach bath products over the years, and peach smells even worse than vanilla. Barf.

I absolutely hate it when someone tells me they have no idea what to get me. I'm an open book when it comes to what I love and hate. If you don't know what to get me, we shouldn't be friends.

Mrs. Jones said...

Pinterest wish lists boards are the best thing ever. I hope the husband gets my hint when I email him the link this year! :-)

Emma Alison said...

This is really cool and impressive for shopping online and I found some good clothing online stuffs also on


Jen said...

I love this! John always buys me stuff he actually wants. Like for my bday he got me a North Face vest. It's really nice but not me. It's something he wants.