Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Spirit of Giving

'Tis the season for GIVING!

Christmas is such a wonderful holiday. Aside from celebrating Jesus' birth and spending time with family, one of my favorite things to do at Christmas is watch my friends and loved ones open their gifts. I spend so much time trying to find the perfect present for someone, and it is so gratifying to see them open something that was chosen specifically for them.

Kids are super-fun to watch too. They love everything they get! Hardly ever a complaint.

I try my best to give the perfect gift, but a few years ago I failed miserably. Failed and I knew it. Why? Because my sister told me so, that's why.

Here's the scenario.

Back in 2009 or 2010 (in the heart of the most recent recession), many of my family members, including myself, were under some level of financial strain. We collectively decided to make that Christmas a "light" holiday and not spend more than $15 on one person. Tough to do, but doable. Everyone was on the same page knowing that each gift was purchased on a tight budget. No one thought they'd be getting diamond earrings or anything.

Now normally, even if you royally screw up a gift, the recipient is gracious and thanks you anyway, right? Well,not when you're giving a gift to my sister.

I was buying a few things on the LTD Commodities website (and if you've ever visited the site, you know the items can be priced pretty cheaply). I ended up finding these glass beaded necklaces to give my sisters and purchased one for each of them.

I wish I could find an exact picture of the necklace, but this one will have to do. The one I purchased was very similar to this one, except I think the pendant had a flower on it.

I was filled with nervous anticipation watching her open the box. I fully expected to hear a "Oh, thank you!", or at least a "that's nice". What I got instead was a "Er...what is this?"

Admittedly, I was crushed. I think I even almost cried. I felt so bad that she didn't like the gift. Could she have been more gracious about it? Sure. But in the end the outcome was the same. She just didn't like the gift. It was, by far, the worst gift I had ever given.

With Christmas coming up in about two weeks, I am reminded of this crappy gift, and vow to do my best to prevent a repeat of that year. I still look forward to purchasing gifts for my loved ones, and now pay even closer attention to things I think they will like or will use. And I will stay away from glass beaded necklaces!


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