Presence > Presents
Welcome to Holiday Season, when buying gifts for people you love is encouraged if not mandatory. While gifts can be a wonderful gesture (receiving gifts is my Love Language; I wear a US 7 shoe…), last year I had a personal epiphany:
I’m over the obligatory gift-giving madness of Christmas.
Chalk it up to aging, but I’m completely uninterested in the holiday shopping rat-race. It’s increasingly difficult to think of what gifts to ask for, because if I want something, I buy it myself (adulthood, amirite?). I don’t want presents, I want presence. I just want your extra TIME.
I’d much rather spend a wintry afternoon with people I care about instead of racing around a crowded mall by myself, feverishly hunting down stuff that will likely end up in a landfill at some point. Even online shopping has lost some of its allure—yeah, it’s easy, but it’s so impersonal.
While I love seeing the look on people’s faces when they open the perfect present, those moments are fleeting. I keep asking myself: do I really want to spend hours running the gauntlet of capitalist consumerism just for a 30-second reaction?
So my compromise is this: I’ll buy you a gift, but we have to shop for it together. If you don’t want a gift, I’ll treat you to coffee/lunch/dinner. We get to hang out, you get what you want, I get some quality time. Sure, we lose the element of surprise, but we gain the memories we’ll make together.
Last time I checked, you can’t buy that on Amazon.