The worries of present giving

So the holiday season begins and everyone’s excited for Christmas. Houses are adorned with lights, some more excessively bright than others. Decorations hanging in stores covering far and wide. I like Christmas because it brings the family together and I don’t have to go to work. However, I don’t like everything about Christmas. One thing makes me anxious. Presents! A prepackaged, unseeable surprise.

I’m not a great fan of surprises and though as a child I did enjoy getting gifts, I mean of course I did, but I didn’t like not knowing what the gift was going to be. The reason that I wanted to know what is was, was not because I was too excited but because when I receive a gift it is obvious by my face whether I like it or not. I don’t have a good poker face at all! So I open a gift and instantly everyone around me would know my thoughts on it. It left me vulnerable like an open book. It also made people upset if I didn’t like the gift, my parents soon realised that I couldn’t help it and decided to laugh it off. However, for the rest of my family it was quite difficult. People get offended really easily and that’s something I didn’t really get when I was younger due to a lack of awareness of others emotions. Also I always thought honest was the best policy and the concept of being dishonest was really tongue-bitingly difficult going against my nature.

As I’ve gotten older I want less, which I’m sure is quite common and also people feel less pressure to create a surprise effect when you’re an adult so you can just ask for what you want. So I’m not as worried about receiving a present as I was as a child. Now, however, the anxiety is different. Instead of being anxious about receiving gifts I’m anxious about giving them. The process of thinking of what to buy, going out and buying it then giving it to someone I get worried about. As an adult you are responsible for buying gifts as a child and adolescent my mum would always get the gifts and I would put my name to it. It involves a lot of uncertainty and I feel anxious about trying to make it a good gift; something they will like, something that’s not too expensive but expensive enough, something that is funny maybe, something that is functional yet interesting, etc. So many different criteria that I feel I have to hit and the overwhelming feeling of pressure that comes with it. The many thoughts racing making you doubt that your gift is good and that even if they say they like it they might be lying. The only gift I really buy are for my parents and maybe my brother but everyone else in the family my mum does.

So after all this it might surprise you to know that I am participating in Secret Santa at work with a few of my work colleagues. The thing is I do a lot of things that make me anxious because I know that it is important in terms of friendship building and I like to be included. Also if I didn’t do things that made me anxious then I’d live in dark room watching tv forever. Secret Santa actually worries me more than regular gift giving because you can ask people what they want for Christmas but in Secret Santa you have to take a chance and hope they like something. Also I feel more pressure to be funny but still be a proper gift. I have gotten the gift for my Secret Santa receiver and wrapped it. Though I will still look at it constantly thinking I could have got something better or that it is rubbish and they’ll hate it.

All I have to do now is wait for Monday when we exchange our gifts. I haven’t even really thought about what I’m going to get. I’m not really fussed not in an ungrateful way. I’m more curious than anything because gift giving also shows how people think of you. I have yet to get my other gifts for my parents but once this is out of the way I can move my focus to that. I hope that they like my gift. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading. Hope you liked it. Peace out!

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