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Christmas and All Holidays: Why Gift Choice Doesn’t Matter

Updated on November 24, 2012


Dan's Christmas ornaments on the tree.
Dan's Christmas ornaments on the tree. | Source

America runs on consumerism. I do not pretend to understand our economic structure, but we are a retail nation. Advertising ramps up in the last quarter of the year. Often, manufacturers introduce their newest glitziest models of their product then, as if to coerce the regular folk that they have set the bar for acceptable gifts.

Deciding on a Gift

As American citizens endure the advertising assault, they realize that the number of choices for possible gift purchase is close to infinite – even without considering a budget. The USA is SO consuming-spending oriented that I believe even people with limited gift budgets face many choices. The Meyers-Briggs “judger” personalities plow through the data and efficiently make decisions. However, the population contains great people who are Meyers-Briggs “perceivers,” those who take longer to make decisions because they feel important gift products will come out tomorrow or is hiding just around the next corner. These people struggle.

Caring about a Gift Decision

When one cares about another person enough to want to give a present, it usually means one wants to make a good gift-to-person match. This is natural. To give someone an item which will repulse or upset him is just mean. Unfortunately, in one’s quest to give a “good” gift, some can become overwhelmed with worry that a “bad, mean” choice will result. Then, paralysis ensues.

Why the gift choice does not matter

When my siblings and I were just starting out on our own after college, each of us was delighted to have a job and the ability to rent an apartment. Furnishings were utilitarian, not fancy. Most came from second-hand shops or the Goodwill Store. The important factor was that the sofa was clean and held people and that the table was sturdy and useful. (This was eons before Target invented its “Shabby Chic” line.)

However, each of us also suffered a twinge of trepidation approaching embarrassment as we invited friends over. What would they think? Is my place good enough for guests? Of course, our friends came, loved us, and had fun. I am sure that they looked over the abode, quickly evaluated the joint, and then progressed to the true order of business: hanging out together! We had nothing to worry about.

It is the same with holiday gift giving (or wedding or birthday, and so on.) The gift one gives to a friend could be wrong size, wrong color, not in the interest group, really small and inexpensive – but if it is given by you with a caring heart, the warm fuzziness of your love is what outshines the tangible present. No big deal if it is Elvis painted on velvet or a self-painted rock paperweight.

The Warm Fuzziness of Your Love

Yes – that’s the big gift. The item wrapped in a gift bag is merely the messenger, the reminder that there is a really good connection between your “giftee” and you. If the recipient needs to subsequently sell it on eBay, re-gift it, or donate it somewhere, the love stays behind. The connection wraps around the person like a giant hug. Please remember that. You aren’t really giving perfume, clothing, tools, games, and whatever: you are really giving a great big loving hug.

Photo and text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.


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    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      @Daisy Mariposa and RandomCreative- thanks so much. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

      @BT - yes, hugs are the best.

    • profile image

      B.T. 6 years ago

      AMEN to that, Maren! Hugs are good!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is such an important message to remember this time of year. The gift of spending time with family and friends in any setting is much more valuable than a tangible gift.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 6 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


      What profound words! Thanks for publishing this very timely and beautifully written Hub.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to your family and you.