I love giving presents to people. I love the thrill of finding the thing or thinking of the thing or making the thing that you know is so perfect and lovely for a person that it’s going to make them smile. I love knowing that you’re giving someone a thing that’ll show them that you thought of them. I’m historically a bit rubbish at receiving gifts and for ages – years – would feel uncomfortable and guilty when accepting presents – despite loving surprises and stuff. Last year when I first visited my big gang of nutjobs + crackwhores (my therapy group) one thing on the list of Stuff To Read Out was “I lavish gifts and favours on those I care about.” – YEAH SO WHAT? I DO. Then, further down the page… “I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.” YEAH SO WHAT? Anyway. TIS THE SEASON, n’all that. So we thought we might have a think all about gifts, presents, christmassy things n’all that.
My university-time boyfriend once bought me a fancy silver necklace for christmas. He presented it to me with an explanation that it was so I would “stop wearing all that art student crap” around my neck. Hmm. How thoughtful. I had given him a limited edition sealed unplayed numbered 12″ vinyl of The Only One I Know by The Charlatans, plus tickets for us to go see them at Wembley. This was greeted with “so we have to go to LONDON then? Oh… well cheers. Also, we don’t have a record player”.
The Australian and I were awfully good at presents. Pointless ones, thoughtful ones, big expensive antique ones (including The Grammar Of Ornament – one of the worlds BEST biggest most delicious and expensively rare books and ITS ALL MINE mmmmmm love it) – but always thoughtful. When we were apart the first christmas after meeting, my gift was an atlas. When I had started working as a milliner, he’d found antique hat blocks and french ribbons. This is all pretty gay actually. ALSO A TWAT. We found it easy to get nice things that made us feel special and touched because we knew each other. Because we listened, and understood, and because we knew the stuff that mattered to each other.
I have a massive problem with Christmas. Just like everybody else I find it MegaCommercialised, with shops and brands bullying and guilting us in to thinking that we have to spend lots on each other otherwise we wont know we like each other. If you don’t spend hundreds of pounds on STUFF then you don’t love your friends and family and you will RUIN CHRISTMAS. I have never wanted to be spoilt by anyone. People spending money on me makes me feel as uncomfortable and inadequate as eating in front of boys (despite MASSIVELY conquering that food thing a LOT since our last post YAY!). My point is – Christmas makes me feel sick and sad and when I look at everyone rushing around spending their money on basically just this never-ending capitalistic idea of MUST GIVE EACH OTHER SHINY NICE THINGS OR ELSE – it all just seems completely utterly pointless and soulless to me. THESE ARE JUST MY FEELINGS by the way. I’m not expecting you to agree with me or anything but I AM entitled to them.
My Christmas plans have been changed over and over this year and have now been canceled. I’m buying small but useful things for my family that I know they’ll use and enjoy, have handmade some silly little things for a few select lovely friends, and that’s all.
I was watching someone wrap mountains of gifts for their beloved. PILES of stuff. All sweet, thoughtful lovely things that the recipient will no doubt cherish and enjoy but it was the epitome of Meaningless Stuff. It’s just STUFF. STUFF!! Presents. For no reason. No one has achieved or done or won anything – it’s not their birthday – it’s just a day where EVERYONE gets stuff. STUFF. Hundreds of pounds worth of S T U F F. It seemed completely confusing to me. Not in a judgemental way at ALL – those presents will be loved and thanked for and so on but it made me feel quite blah. And then somebody gave me the smallest, littlest gift. A gesture. A tiny inexpensive little thing. A silly thing. But it was something so individually perfect and sweet – something that only someone who knows me would have given me and KNOWS I will use. I loved it. That one silly little brilliant present meant more to me and touched me more than anything in The Big Pile Of Stuff would have.
I hope you get what you want for Christmas. x
I share a lot of the same views as Crumpet when it comes to present buying, especially at Christmas. Its all money money money and look how much i love you, I’ve bought you shit loads of crap. I also struggle with the giving and receiving of gifts. I worry when giving someone something that they wont like it and i worry when opening something that i wont actually be able to express how much i love what I’ve been given. ‘Quality not quantity’ and ‘Its the thought that counts’ are very very true to me. The thought behind a present shouldn’t be how much you’ve spent, it should be how much you’ve thought about that person and how well you know them to get them something or make them something that you know will put a smile on their moosh.
One of my best Christmas memories was when i was 14, i worked in a Petshop and fell madly in love with this little Hamster, he looked like a little bear. I wanted that hamster so badly but my Mum was adamant that i wasn’t getting it. Even when i told her that they send the unsold hamsters off to the farm to get their little heads bashed in with a hammer she still didn’t give in. I WAS NOT GETTING IT. So Christmas day when i came downstairs to see my little bear running around his wheel like a spaz i did a little cry of joy. Or the time my Sister gave me a box to open and inside was another box then another then a card with a picture of me which she had drawn an afro on and blacked me out, and a lovely poem which ended up with the line ‘Put your Soul Glo on, we’re going to See Luther Vandross’ (Awesome bloody gig by the way love a bit of Luther Gawd rest his soul.)
In regards to boys and presents, as you’ll know my past relationship history has been a bit meh and so have the presents that have gone with it. Tweetie Pie cat toy, being a stand out worse one ever……I mean did he actually go to a Pet Shop and buy it? Bloody ridiculous.
Then there’s the time when i was with someone who thought it was ok to give me the cash and me go buy myself some stuff. I dont think I’ve ever had a gift from a boy where there’s been any real thought or love behind it. Its been they’ll go ask my Mum what i want or yeah try and get me to buy it myself.
BUT IT AINT BLOODY ABOUT THAT IS IT!!!!!
Christmas its about cosy Love not materialism, one of the little Pandas opened a present from his Nanny last weekend. It was a Dr Who figure, he ran straight over to me and said ‘Look Mummy you can share this with me’ My five year old loves me and knows me so well that knew i would love his present too. Kids are generally right selfish little buggers so his willingness to share his brand new toy with me was all the Christmas Cosy love i need.
And that for me is what its about, yes of course our Christmas day will be filled with presents. PRESENTS ARE AMAZING AND I LOVE THEM but for me and what i think the small Pandas will remember about this Christmas is the being together and loving each other and laughing and snuggling and most importantly playing a powerful bloody game of Dr Who and i get to be bloody Amy Pond WOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!
Happy christmas one and all xx