The psychology of Christmas presents.

Every year it’s the same for me. I get anxious. I get sweaty. I forget to shave my legs for weeks due to the sheer anticipation of watching someone pick up a gift- my gift- and slowly unwrap it. Or, tear off the paper in the greedy way that occurs when one is handed something wrapped up in cheap Walmart wrapping paper. Either or.

I love giving gifts. For me, it’s a challenge. I have to first decide what the person would like to receive. This task alone requires months of preparation- I have to listen for subconsciously dropped hints, I have to mention various items to my parents: “So, mom. Did you see Plants Vs. Zombies came out with a sequel? Looks fun, huh?” I have to keep my eyes opened for things which are seasonal, and may be discontinued by the time Christmas shopping trips roll around.

And boy, those shopping trips. They fill me with the sort of adrenaline that nothing else can. It’s like waiting in a restaurant for your food to arrive, and then seeing the waitress round the corner.

While you may be thinking “WOW is she crazy, who cares so much about giving gifts? Everyone likes whatever you get them blahblahblah”, just stop. Stop right there. Because while your mom will tell you that from age six when you hand her a paperbag puppet to age thirty when you give her a new set of pans, she’s lying. She is. She wants certain things, just like you do. She wants fun things, or pretty things. Things that actually interest her and make her smile. She would much rather prefer to have you catch her hints or actually consider her instead of picking up any stereotypical “mom-gift” that you see lined up in the entrance of Target.

And that’s my goal with Christmas shopping. Every year I tweak my tactics and alter my approach in order to better perfect my gifts. There’s never a better feeling than watching someone open a gift you bought for them, and having them jump up and down in excitement while raining  thank you‘s onto you. There isn’t. Likewise, there’s no worse feeling than watching someone open a gift and mumble a thanks while they try to figure out why you were ever inspired to pick that up for them. “Do I look like I’m a size 8?”

Hopefully, some of you feel the same spirit of Christmas as I do when giving gifts, whether or not you make your gifts or purchase them or can only afford a smile and a hug. Christmas certainly has a way of making you feel charitable, and giving presents can be a really fun and guiltless experience. Happy December, everyone!



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