I'm not talking about holiday gift-giving. I'm talking about people who give (usually little) gifts to just about everyone, all the time, 'just because.' Sometimes it's a pleasant surprise and appreciated (by me as recipient). Sometimes it feels like a manipulation and a bribe/bludgeon. If YOU, dear DLers, give lots of gifts to people, how do you find the time to pick stuff out? How do you afford it? Why do you feel the need to do it? Do you expect stuff in return?
I personally hate it.
And I hate the people who do it. Usually I try to behave as obnoxiously as possible so that they don't do it again.
In think these people have self-esteem issues and do it to be liked by everyone.
If I give you a gift, I expect you to fuck me long time. Hard and deep!
One of my friends (ex, now) kept giving me stuff she no longer wanted. Every time I turned around, it was a luxurious bed spread (not my taste) and a luxurious shower curtain (meh....). Sometimes it was her old (still in good shape) pyjamas (gross ... not wearing your stink-ball pyjamas). I finally had to tell her I was actively trying to get rid of stuff, so. But why would someone give you her cast-off, used crap as 'gifts'? I'm better off financially than she is, by the way. I'm Jewish and one year she gave me a holly-festooned red and green Christmas Elf. It went to Goodwill the next morning. What putz.
If, on the other hand, you don't generally give gifts unless you feel pressured by a situation (a party where it's almost expected to bring a gift), do you feel like a sting-y shit?
To answer some of your questions, I can afford it but could not before. I have plenty of time to shop on the internets.
"Why do you feel the need to do it? Do you expect stuff in return?"
I have a couple of friends who have specific interests (like dragons or cats, or certain movies), and now and then I'll send a little gift in that theme, around $10-15 dollars, sometimes less. They're usually small gifts. I have good taste, and they always like what I send, because I know them well. I don't expect stuff in return, and I'm fairly sure that's clear to them, though now and then I get something unexpected in one of my favorite likes.
I wished I could do this before, and now I can. Why do I do it? I like to think of them getting a nice little surprise thing in the mail, and I like finding things and sending them more than getting things in return.
I generally hate receiving gifts from people so I don't give them. I don't need more things or knick knacks. I don't want things cluttering up my home. If there's something you think I'll enjoy, just let me know about it and I'll decide whether I want it and if I do I'll go buy it. It's the thinking of me that counts. Not the gift.
Gift giving always feels more about what the giver thinks you should have or thinks you should want than being anything wanted or needed by the recipient.
The only time gift giving works is when someone has said this exact thing is the exact thing I want and the giver gives that exact thing.
I'm very suspicious of anyone who tries to be nice to me.
Don't be such a misanthrope. Random acts of kindness, people. Good for your karma.
I really like the random acts of kindness approach, but I don't like feeling manipulated (or condescended (sp) to) by someone's giving habit.
Something that has happened that leaves me speechless is when someone gives me something -- usually a piece of art or jewelry (small) that is seriously-seriously BUTT UGLY and they say something, in all sincerity, like, 'I saw this and immediately thought of YOU!' HA!
R4, my sister (younger of 2 years) does this! She repeatedly gives me stuff she doesn't want anymore. And, when she comes to my house, she spots stuff that she likes (CDs, usually) and asks if she can have them. She also invites herself to my place (then again I would probably never ask her to come, so).
I've started to give her unwanted stuff, too. Last time she refused. My guess is I won't be seeing her too soon.
It depends on the relationship, obviously.
If it's someone of very limited acquaintance who does it repeatedly, it's an awkward thing. If it's someone you're fucking, it's a different story.
I think anyone who makes a habit of giving gifts simply for the pleasure of giving things to others should stick to what are clearly small gestures of kindness: "I stopped at the farmer's market for some things and thought I'd bring you these peaches", or "I saw these flowers and thought you might like them." The gift should seem casual, given freely, and of no more meaning or obligation than a simple compliment. Stick to consumable things, or something the recipient is expected to enjoy fleetingly and then discard -- not something cherish forever or that the giver will hunt down when he or she next visits your house.
If the thing is too expensive, or the giver too invested (financially, emotionally, time-wise, etc.), it's pushing weird.
And getting rid of old shit you no longer need nor want to house (as R11 and others describe) isn't gift giving, it's receiving a favor.
Gift giving folks are manipulative and untrustworthy. They will stab you in the back.
When I find a book that I think will be of particular interest to someone I know, I tend to buy it -- perhaps that happens three times a year. If it's a readily available book, and I'm unlikely to see that person for a while, I'm equally likely to call the friend and mention the title (a book is coming out next week that is likely to mention a friend's late husband, who is not at all famous. I just got off the phone with her, and mentioned it, f'rinstance -- a true example). It's really the thought, not the gift. Recently, I came across a hundred year old badge with a (contemporary) friend's name on it. It wasn't expensive, so I bought it, more or less as a joke. I certainly don't expect anything in return.
The complete opposite of these situations has driven me up the wall: I broke up with someone because of his decision to give me an Easter gift of an enormous, aluminum foil tray full of hyacinths blooming around a plastic statue of Christ on the cross (I'm an atheist -- and he wasn't making a joke), which I was expected to carry home on an airplane. He needn't have given me anything, but this particular gift seemed to be a complete rebuke of everything I was, to say nothing of ignoring the exigencies of getting the thing home. He's dead now, by the way. Fell off a roof. So maybe there IS a god.
The verb "gifting" makes me want to scream.
I used to give gifts to friends just because, as I'd scan through catalogs, I'd see an item and thought it would be something they'd like. Then I heard one person claim I was trying to "buy friendship". Funny, cuz I thought we were already friends. Now I save my money and only give a gift on holidays - if one is given to me first.
Then I heard one person claim I was trying to "buy friendship".
What a nasty, ill-bred thing to say. I'm sorry that happened to you, 16.
[quote]The verb "gifting" makes me want to scream.
What would Candy Spelling say/do?
[quote]What would Candy Spelling say/do?
No doubt whatever it is she'd wrap it up and tie a pretty bow on it.
Imagine all the times she's made Tory drive across town in peak traffic with the promise of having something very special that she wants to give her -- only for Tory to find out it's a fucking Chinese plastic Christmas nutcracker from Costco.
I have made a living buying and selling things for the last 15 years. I have a good eye, pay very little for anything and like to give things away. Never any strings attached.
I am looking for a home for several cookie jars and numerous sets of dishes. I have Haviland, Limoges, Blue Ridge, Royal Copenhagen faience, Hutchenreuther, Rosenthal, Picard, Ridgeway flow blue and then there are the various sets of glassware, Fostoria, Heisey, Cambridge.
I just bought a huge set of Swedish Kosta Boda.
What are you interested in ?
R21 = hoarder
I am a fan of funky cookie jars - ;o)
Damn I was trying to unload some Swedish Kosta Borda a few months back and nobody would buy!
R24, maybe it's because they were thrown off by your spelling.
r12 has it right. I often exchange REALLY small gifts with a close friend for no reason other than "I thought you might like this."
One of my gifts to her was a ridiculously cheap (99 cents on clearance) set of plastic fish wine charms because she has a pool and thick stemmed plastic wine glasses for poolside parties. She loved them and asked if I'd mind going back and getting a few more boxes. No problem.
One of her gifts to me was a silly little gnocchi rolling board (hauled home from Italy in less) because she knew I'd been trying to make gnocchi at home.
Total impulse purchases with no obligation or thought beyond I know someone who'd love this.
We don't exchange traditional gifts like Xmas or birthday gifts by the way because that stuff generally turns into an obligation and chore.
The little stuff is great fun though and a nice clue to how well we've come to know each other without ever even trying.
Maybe so, but I have supported myself doing what I do. I haven't had to go to work and toady for anyone like yourself.
I give little gifts to people I truly care about, or at least have a great fondness for, all the time. It makes me feel extraordinary inside to give someone a little something to brighten their day...I've always enjoyed making other people happy, ever since I was a little kid. It's just something I do. I don't really ever expect anything in return, it just feels nice to make other people feel nice.
Sorry some of you are dark and dead on the inside :-(
I baked my 1st grade teacher a cake once. It made her day. No. Her whole week, she decided.
When I had money I would give little gifts. If I saw something I thought a good friend would like or get a kick out of, I'd buy it for them- usually didn't spend more than $10. Then I realized how awkward it must make the other person feel- I hate getting gifts!
I have a friend who gives me a gift approximately 1 week before HER birthday. Wtf? Clear manipulation.
r16 I experienced a version of that-- I enjoy doing little stuff for certain family members, such as cooking a little extra then sending it to them, or doing stuff for them that they need but didn't ask for when I've free time... until someone told me I was being such a sycophant. It really dented my good view of that person. Irritating.
Depends on the relationship. You can always tell if it's a genuine "thought of you" moment or a bid at manipulation.
A friend dropped by unexpectedly bearing a gift box of mixed spices (I like to cook). I had had a terrible day at the end of a terrible week and was feeling very down and enjoying a real pity party. The unexpected visit and gift were perfect at that moment.
You people are wonderful, I don't know any gift givers. I worked with a lady who would try various cookie recipes and I would sample and critique, good times.
Homemade jam is the perfect gift for any occasion.
Screw that r34. Try Cherry Bounce. Many versions of the recipe online but ours is a fifth of bourbon, a quart of sour cherries and sugar--two cups I think. Make when sour cherries are in season, store in a cool, dark place for about 3 months and decant about...now.
Always a hit as a small gift assuming we feel like sharing.
I want to be friends with, r35!
Little gifts? Sure, whenever I see something appropriate, but only for certain people. I'd never give a colleague a random gift, for example, unless it refetenced a mutual joke or something similar.
If I cook or can I will often bring a small portion to a couple people at work. In fact today I made a huge dish of German potato salad and fixed three small containers for the gals at work tomorrow. They do the same for me.