Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
Perhaps you’re rushing about, buying some last minute gifts and stretching your brain to figure out what to purchase. Beware! There are gift buying pitfalls that you should avoid. They’re the route to clutter for the recipient and likely a waste of money for you. Read before you buy!
Trap One: Here Comes Another One, Just Like the Other One
Susie enjoys her subscription to Better Homes and Gardens, so she’d surely enjoy a subscription to Good Housekeeping as well. Leslie has a life-figures drawing book that she really enjoys. Surely she’ll enjoy another book and maybe an additional set of pens to go with it. The girls enjoy their set of wooden “paper” dolls, so I’ll get them another set, as well – maybe two because Look! How cute!
We are so easily swayed by this idea that if one is good, two is better, and three is best of all. Really? How about one is enough, two is too many, and three is way too many? I have a piece of garden art made by two local women that I absolutely love. I can see how it would be tempting to get me another piece – it seems like an easy way to a successful gift. But I love my piece. I think another would dilute the pleasure I regularly get from looking at this piece.
This is an especially easy trap to fall into if someone is a “collector.” How easy it is to buy yet another shot glass, Hummel figurine, or character salt and pepper shaker? Does the recipient really love these items, or has everyone gotten so used to giving them as gifts that it’s just become the thing to do?
Think twice before you purchase duplicate items.
Pitfall Two: The Thematic Gift
A theme-related gift can be the biggest mistake of them all. A girlfriend of mine is an avid gardener, and her sister gave her what must have been one the ugliest lamps ever with a garden scene as the base to commemorate her love of the out-of-doors. The sister was so pleased and excited, and my friend was so horrified that she lied and said that, sadly, the cat had knocked it over and broken it rather than confess that she’d returned the lamp as quick as she could.
A love of dogs does not equal the desire for a dog figurine. An enjoyment of travel does not equal an enjoyment of a souvenir t-shirt, especially one commemorating someone else’s travel.
Be careful when you follow the path of a theme; it’s easy to lose your way.
Pitfall Three: She loved it when she saw it at Franny’s house!
I love having fancy coffee drinks made by my friend Steve. But if Steve bought me a snazzy coffee maker like he has, I wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I do the once-a-month coffee he makes for me. In fact, it’s the companionship of him making coffee for me that makes the coffee twice as good. Clearly, I couldn’t duplicate the experience at my house, yet how easy would it be to buy me this gift?
I think parents especially have a hard time avoiding this trap. I know I fell into it many times. Precious so loves playing with the fancy wooden dollhouse at the doctor’s office, that we buy her one for home. She loves the 10,000 Legos her friend has or the mini-trampoline, and we buy, buy, buy. But these toys are not nearly so enjoyed once they get to our house. Anyone else seen this movie?
It took me a long time to learn that it’s okay, even desirable, for there to be something you enjoy and not own it. That’s not part of our US culture, which tells us that if we like something, we should own it. But, really, it’s OK.
So, still have shopping to do? I may have just made your shopping trip more complicated, but I hope I’ve made your decision-making process a more successful one as well.
Today’s Declutter Item
These cards were all handmade samples from a card swap I used to participate in at one of the craft stores I worked in in America. They kept getting passed over in preference for other more suitable cards. I finally decided that they were never going to get used so I packaged them up and sent them off to the thrift store.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
Jamie Oliver’s ~ My Favourite Curry Sauce. C’est très bon.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast