There are some times when it’s good to be subtle. For example, if someone’s fly is down. You don’t just want to be like, “Hey, jackass! Your fly is down!” But there are some instances when subtlety is very, very overrated. I think the holiday season is one of those times when you should avoid being subtle at all costs. I know we’re only in November, but I like to do my shopping early so this is on my mind.
I love to get my loved ones perfect presents. I also love to receive great gifts. But it’s hard to do either of these things when the receiver is too subtle. Sure, it’s nice to be surprised sometimes. But if there’s a present that you are just drooling over, speak up! No shame! My parents and boyfriend and I used to do this little Subtlety Dance. I would kind of hint at what I wanted my boyfriend to get me. Since I began making real money and can actually buy my parents gifts, they would sort of hint at what they wanted. I think they felt bad about making me spend cash on them. Then eventually, a week before Christmas, the real truth about the desired gift would come out. I would end up rushing to the store and buying my mom’s desired present. My boyfriend would probably end up overnighting something for me. Enough of that. It’s much better to just say, “Hey. I’d really love an ‘insert present here’ sooo…yeah…make that happen.” Or you can even say, “I love the look of this blah blah blah and I might like something similar.”
No need to be greedy. No need to make a ridiculous request. But if the present is reasonably priced and easy to purchase, why not just ask for it? You’ll be happy you received it, and the buyer will be happy he/she was able to get it for you. And vice versa. There’s nothing I love more than knowing that my hard-earned buck is spent on something my parents or boyfriend will really love and use.
I’ll admit, it does ruin a little bit of the element of surprise when you know exactly what you’re getting. For example I just asked for a robe from Victoria’s Secret (or “The Secret” as I call it). There is no doubt in my mind that this robe is already on its way to me.
My mom is efficient. But I would gladly sacrifice the “Oh my god!” feeling when you open a present if it means I’m 110% positive I’m getting something I really am excited about. My mom also just told me she wants a specific digital camera. I will have her e-mail me the direct link to that camera and I will purchase it for her. She will not be surprised on Christmas. But she will be happy instead of running the risk of being like “Oh…wow…cool…how, um…interesting. Thanks, Lauren.” So it all evens out.
Do I pick out cool gifts on my own? Yes. I like to get creative for the people I love. We usually do small, surprise gifts for each other. But the bigger, more costly items are pre-picked out. It’s a good combination. That way you’re surprised by the smaller stuff, but you also know you’re getting exactly what you’ve been drooling over for two months. Also, you don’t have to spend a ton of money. Even if your dad really wants a book or a new sweater, have him tell you so you can buy it. That way everyone wins.
How do you feel about holiday shopping? Would you rather specify exactly what you want or do you like surprises? Maybe a combo? When do you get your shopping done?