The Ritual of Buying and Giving Gifts

My husband and I ritualistically play fight over the topic of gift giving. His birthday is just around the corner, and in typical fashion, when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, I got the same response I’ve gotten for years.

He earnestly looked at me and said, “I just want to have a nice quiet meal alone with you.”  With a heavy sigh from me, “Really?!”, I replied. “Surely there’s got to be something you’d like to have?”  Before I even asked the question, I knew the answer. “Not really.”

And therein lies the crux of the problem. He is no help, whatsoever, with regard to the gift giving ritual!  I’m sure there are many out there that feel my pain. Yes, I’m being a little melodramatic, but at very least, it’s an annoyance that I’m sure others share.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a birthday, our anniversary, or any other…what he terms…Hallmark holiday.  His idea of gift giving is to open up his wallet, hand over some cash, and say, “Here. Buy yourself something you’d like.”  Ugh!  “But that’s not personal!”, I’ll quip back.  “I worked hard for that money and to me it’s very personal!”, he robustly laughs and quickly fires back.

I think that is one of the many reasons why a personalized gift store appealed to me. Surely there are others out there that have the same or similar difficulties buying a gift for someone they love.  I know that statistically speaking, women tend to be more sentimental than men. But I'm sure there a lot of men out there that also struggle with gift-giving anxiety.

As the saying goes, it is better to give than to receive.  Psychologically and spiritually speaking, I know that to be true. I don’t know about you, but when I'm shopping for a gift for someone, the process, focus, and energy on that person heightens feelings of love and connectivity. Strangely, it's also self-affirming.

In fact, when I’m angry with my husband and I want to put the kibosh to the negativity, I’ll either shop a gift for him or perform some other act of love (like a foot massage).  It literally short-circuits ill-will from escalating. You should try it sometime!

As for my current dilemma of finding a gift for his birthday, I’ll do as I've always done, and get (or make) him a gift that I’m sure he’ll like!  Because, regardless of how much he protests beforehand, I’ve seen the gleam in his eye when I hand him a gift that shows him that I deeply understand him and I know exactly what he likes. And that, readers, is what I enjoy the most…the satisfaction in knowing he was pleased!


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