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With the holiday season approaching and everyone gearing up for the mad dash to buy last-minute Christmas gifts, I’ve been thinking about how important it really is to get a gift during the holidays. Growing up, I was a smidge spoiled….okay spoiled, and I got pretty much everything I wanted for Christmas (and some things I didn’t want but was glad I had gotten them). Even as an adult I get gifts from my parents, maybe not as pricey as the ones I received in my younger years, but I have no complaints. Now when it comes to gifts from friends or people I’m involved with….it’s another story. Very rarely do I get gifts from friends during the holidays or on birthdays, and as for the men in my life, well, let’s just say I dated losers in the past so, gifts didn’t really exist. However, none of this ever really bothers me because I’m very much a giver. I love to see the look on someone’s face when they get a present from me. I put a lot of thought into my gifts and giving to others just makes me feel good personally regardless of whether they give to me or not.

Until today.

I was speaking to a guy I’ve been seeing and we talked about all the shopping we need to do for our families this year when half way through he says, “And the gift I’m getting for you isn’t working out so…” Before he could finish, I cut him off and told him to just surprise me. He proceeded to tell me that he’s not getting me anything because his gift isn’t working out. I know he’s most likely lying and worst case scenario, he’ll get me a gift late, but hearing those words still stung a little. I mean, I plan to have the most amazing gift sitting wrapped in my house just waiting for him and he’s not getting me anything?? What?!

Of course I didn’t express any of this to him and it actually shocked me that I even cared. But I do. I know we’re in a recession and everyone and their momma is cutting back on purchases in general this year, so is it wrong of me to expect something? Oh and did I mention that I didn’t ask for anything….even when he asked me what I wanted. Sigh. I was always raised that it was better to give than to receive, and up until today, I was okay with being the giver and not receiving anything because I didn’t give so that I could receive, but ummm, I want a gift.

What if he really didn’t get me anything, do I have the right to be mad? I didn’t ask for anything and how important is it to get a gift anyway? Is it going to be a deal breaker? Hell no. Will I hate him forever and throw some kind of fit? Nope, not at all. But for some reason the idea isn’t sitting right with me. I don’t know, maybe I’m making too much of it, but for once I’m feeling like I’d like to be on the receiving end for once.

How important is it for you to receive gifts from family/friends/significant others on holidays and special occasions? If you didn’t ask for anything, do you have the right to be mad? Is not getting a gift a deal breaker? Do you prefer to be the giver, receiver or both?

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  • Trini

    Sounds to me like whats really bothering you about this is that you getting him a gift and not receiving one in return might indicate you feel a bit more for him than he does for you. Anything that made me feel that way wouldnt set right with me either. But of course I dont know you, so I could very well be completely wrong. Feel free to correct me if I am.

    But I do believe that you not only asked but answered your own question by saying: “I didn’t ask for anything and how important is it to get a gift anyway?”

    Personally, I dont care either way. If I wanna give someone a gift, I dont even wait for a holiday. Nor do I desire anything in return…by its truest definition thats exactly what a gift is. Besides I’d much rather someone actually do something small, sweet and personal for me instead of a gift anyday. Much more memorable.

  • sunshyne84

    I would be more concerned about this “not working out situation”. What does that really mean? Is he running low on funds or what? If he is a good dude otherwise then I wouldn’t worry too much about it….I guess. It would depend on how much I spent on his gift, just being honest. lol

  • African Mami

    A significant other, VERY IMPORTANT…like I ain’t even gonna front! Yes, I have the right to be mad. Do I have to ask?! Yes it is a deal breaker….I’ll be in a funk for at least a good one month. Receiver. Being his significant is already enough.

  • Alexandra

    I used to be bothered by this a lot, now I’m just less bothered. Same goes for birthdays. It’s a nice gesture to have something in return after giving a gift, but it shouldn’t be expected. On the other end, sometimes it is truly hard to think of what to get someone, maybe this is his issue. It happens. I have this very problem right now and time is running out.

    However, I don’t desire anything in return if I plan to get someone a gift, especially not from my parents.

  • isolde

    Great article. I can so relate. I guess I would want to know how long you’ve been seeing this guy?

    I don’t know. To me, women are conditioned to want to please others and be nice and agreeable and all that. So, maybe that’s part of the reason why you said you didn’t want anything, because maybe you didn’t want to rock the boat (so to speak), rather than be aggressive and state your wants. So, you kind of forfeited your right to be mad, if he doesn’t get you anything. More often than not, we women put the needs of others before our own and are even made to feel guilty for not doing so, but the way I see it, you’re in a relationship. So, reciprocity is a reasonable expectation, and there’s no need to feel guilty about that.

    Now, I’m not talking about expense, but if you’ve put a lot of thought and consideration into a gift for your significant other, then it isn’t unreasonable for you to expect the same. If your man is pulling his weight in other areas and is just a crappy Christmas gift giver, that’s one thing, cuz nobody’s perfect, but if your man is a total slouch and his sh*tty Christmas gifts are indicative of his slouch-i-ness, then maybe, he needs to go.

    And not for nothing, but depending upon how long you’ve been with your man, he should have some kind of idea of what you want, what you need, or what you should have, without having to outright ask you “What do you want for Christmas?”