My spirits are high, too, but the thought of buying gifts for people makes me squeamish. Seriously. My palms start to sweat and that little constant coil in my gut starts winding a little tighter and I'm just not quite feeling well.
It's not that I don't like giving gifts, because I do. I love showing people that I love them. I'm just not the world's best gift-giver. There are two kinds of gift-givers in the world: those who are naturals and those of us who have to work at it. I'm clearly the latter. Once in a while I feel like I've hit the jackpot and found the perfect item, but most of the time, I feel like I'm playing it safe, selling out for a gift card, which is unoriginal but a sure win, instead of finding something unique and thoughtful. Unique gifts can sometimes backfire, so I just don't take the chance.
And I feel like it takes me forever to think of the perfect gift, which is hard for this productivity-addict; to me, those hours spent thinking and searching for the perfect gift could be better spent doing a million other things--again, not because I don't care about other people, but because gift-giving is so dang hard for me.
I also come from a brood of highly practical people. In fact, Phil says I'm the third practical person he knows, behind my mom and dad. So, I grew up in a family where we made lists for each other for Christmas. And we'd give and get what was on our list because that's what we said we wanted and that made us happy. No wasted gifts. No wasted time returning gifts we really didn't want. No re-gifting gifts we hated but couldn't return. But there were rarely any surprises. And there's a part of me that loves surprises--both giving and getting. It just takes so. much. work. So I'm working on it.
So, there you have it. I'm a terrible gift-giver. Not in the I'm-going-to-knit-you-an-ugly-sweater-for-Christmas way, but in the I'm-going-to-play-it-safe-and-buy-you-a-gift-card way. If you're on the receiving end of my gifts this year, know that I'm trying, but that I'd also appreciate a list of things you really, really want. Because at the end of the day, I just want you to be happy and to know that you're loved.