On the Fourth Day of December…

Gift exchanges called to me…

I love gift exchanges.  On the one hand, they don’t make any sense.  You both spend about the same amount of money on a gift for someone… so why not just buy yourself something you’ve wanted for that money and save shipping, hassle, and wondering if you got the right thing?

But there is something exciting about shopping or someone that you normally wouldn’t.  Taking someone you don’t know well enough to have on your gift list and then taking their likes and dislikes to the store and trying to find a way to bless them on a limited budget.

Am I the only one who does a LOUSY job at sticking to the limit?  I do it whenever it is a rigid amount butI never feel like I do a good job then.   Some years, I blatantly ignore the amount and buy what’ll bless, but I usually try to at least get close.  The funny ones are the years that I was sure what I got was all wrong… and it turned out all right.

One year on the eBay boards, I got a gal who said she decorated in “Mediterranean.”  Okkkk how am I supposed to find “Mediterranean”?  So I went to our local gift shops, showed the gal my list, and she said, “This pillow is perfect for a Mediterranean house.”   I prayed she was right.  I mean, it might be the right style or something, but what if the colors were all wrong?  Who knew?    I felt cheap sending my very expensive silk pillow and nothing else but I did it and prayed she wouldn’t feel cheated.  She loved it.  I kind of doubted her at first, I confess, but when her mother said a few years later that she still loved it, I realized that my ‘weak gift’ was really a good one after all!

I LOVED the “Secret Santa” exchange at the LibraryThing last year.  I was hoping they’d do that again this year but they didn’t.  I am so sad.  I was looking forward to it.  It was fun to choose books for people you’v never met, never will meet, and in genres you are completely unfamiliar with.

This year, I hope my recipient knows how hard I worked to not only find something she’d like and enjoy, but something to encourage her.  Things are difficult at home right now and I hope that a little extra pampering will give her a boost to get over the hump of difficult days.

I love gift exchanges.  They’re one more chance to bless someone and a great way to justify it when otherwise you might not get to shop for that person.

Oh, and exchange recipient?  I’m really sorry that I didn’t get to wrap yours traditionally but I thought you’d prefer my way over the traditional way… this time.

Now, if only I could find an excuse to enter a BUNCH of them… but then where would I put the “stuff”?   Maybe next year I can enter for people who can’t afford to do it.  I shop, their name is entered… we all win!  I am so pathetic.