I just celebrated my birthday last week and the only gift I wanted was to go to a non-animated movie in a theater and eats lots of popcorn without sharing. Before I had kids, I could do this every week. Now I can only pull it off on my birthday or anniversary. My how times have changed. I’m not sure if it is getting older, living in a time where many people get themselves whatever they want whenever they want it, or the fact that I spend my days helping people get rid of stuff- but I don’t like gifts anymore. I like experiences. I like things my kids make for me. Gift certificate for a massage or my favorite store or restaurant- thank you! Stationery, candles, picture frames, or gift cards to places I never go to- thank you but no thank you.
My husband tried to get me gifts for awhile but unless it was an electronic gadget- chances are I might not use it/need it/want it. Dresses that would have looked good on me 10 years ago- very sweet, but my post 40- post-children gut just makes me look pregnant in the wrong outfit now. My favorite gifts from my husband are when he does something I have been wanting to get off the list for a long time. One Valentine’s Day, I came home from work to find a huge bag of trash on the front porch with a bow on it. Turns out he had finally gone through some of his boxes in the garage that I had given up asking him about. This year he cleared out two of his “crap buckets”. Perfect gift for me! I don’t want flowers- I want stuff done!
I know a lot of people get gifts that they don’t actually want or need. They end up hanging around, gathering dust and guilt. Don’t give clutter as a gift! Give a loved one a memorable experience, a gift card to a place you know they like, or do some chore they will never get around to doing for themselves. If someone had come over singing Happy Birthday and cleaned my refrigerator coils and dryer vent, I would have been so excited!