Gift buying: A nightmare before Christmas

Katie Smith

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By Katie Smith

The Christmas season is filled with laughter and joy until we remember the stress that comes with buying gifts for people. It seems like a simple process. All you have to do is ask someone what they want, you go to the store to buy it, and then you wrap it and put it under the tree.

As simple as this seems there are many other factors that go into buying someone the perfect Christmas present. The whole process starts when determining who you need to buy gifts for. When compiling a list of people you want to buy a gift for during the holiday season, the number begins to add up quickly. From close friends you have known all your life, to your second cousin twice removed, who you haven’t seen in 10 years, you have to include everyone.

After you have figured out everyone that you need to purchase a gift for you then have to figure out what to get everyone. We all have found difficulty in finding the perfect present for someone because in today’s world, no one is willing to just say what they want. You ask them what they would like for Christmas and they say “nothing” or “I don’t need anything.”

We all know they want something, they’re just choosing to be stubborn and refusing to say what it is, making the already difficult process of buying a gift even more of a struggle. They don’t give you any ideas and you’re left guessing whether they want a diamond ring or a pair of fuzzy socks. Once you face the problem of realizing you have no idea what you’re going to buy, you have to figure out how you’re going to pay for everything.

Once you budget your money to buy gifts for family, friends, and the seven different secret Santas you signed up to participate in you’re left with approximately $2.73 for each person. Following the struggle of trying to budget enough money so everyone can get something, you then have to wrap it. Many people in the world are gifted with the ability to wrap a present and it looks incredible. However, there are many people, who like me, can’t wrap anything so it appears the present was wrapped by a five-year-old. At least once you wrap your gift and put it under the tree you’re done, right? Wrong. You still have to deal with people taking six hours to open their present because they slowly and carefully extract each piece of tape from the paper making sure the paper is not wrinkled or torn in any way when in reality the paper didn’t look that nice to begin with because it was wrapped so terribly.

Additionally, you have to go through the pain of listening to people complain about how they didn’t get exactly what they wanted. This requires incredible strength as you have to fight every brain cell you have that is telling you to respond to them with the simple idea that maybe if they had told you what they wanted in the first place instead of saying nothing they would have gotten it. Despite the obstacles we face while buying gifts, it’s all worth it in the end when we run down the stairs to find our own presents underneath the tree on Christmas morning.