I love Secret Santa. It’s a yearly tradition between me and my friends, although not all of us actually celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. It’s simply fun to exchange gifts as a token of friendship and Secret Santa offers that opportunity. At the same time, it’s an excuse to make time for a get-together.
I am not the most sensitive person and I admit that I am an adequate gifter at best. My gifts are typically too generic and not personal enough. Shopping for the perfect gift that ticks all boxes (useful, personal, makes the receiver happy) is stressful for me – I spent 3 hours in Sephora this year looking for the perfect gift for one person. She’s my best friend so it is supposed to be very easy, right? No.
So having a wish list is tremendously helpful for me. It helps me narrow down to items that you really need or want, and perhaps intend to buy anyway. It helps to manage waste. How many times have you received a gift and the first thought was, “I don’t need this” or “What do I do with this?” or *gasp* “How do I discard this?” “Who shall I re-gift this to?”
There is no shame in re-gifting, but re-gifting and wastage (to the landfill or taking up space) could be prevented if your Santa gives you something you actually need in the first place. Something you asked for.
With that in mind, I filled in my wish list with items I really wanted but couldn’t bear to part my money for. I did my research and checked that they are within the budget of the gift exchange. I listed two or three items, going to great lengths to specify the model so that Santa wouldn’t be confused, then more generically, put in something that is broader (“something for the gym”) so that my Santa wouldn’t think that I am too demanding.
Lo and behold. Santa bought me anything but what I requested for. And I am left scratching my head. Why bother with a wish list then?
I love the present that my Santa got me, don’t get me wrong. They are thoughtful and surprising, and are items that I appreciate and can enjoy. I love that my Santa bought them for me because the gifts made them thought of me. Unfortunately, they are not things that I actually need or asked for. I was disappointed, but disappointing is almost a rude emotion, that of a brat, to have when you are receiving gifts. I am thankful, but now I have to find ways to use these presents. The gifts are absolutely beautiful, but (I hate to be a mean skeptic but I am) it almost feels like my Santa bought it to make herself feel good.
More often than not, we do not mean to give a particular gift to somebody; rather, we want to be seen as giving a gift. And how often is that gift something the person really wants?
From an opinion piece on ST I enjoyed: All I really want for Christmas is – absolutely nothing
Call me practical and unromantic, but I wish my Santa stuck to my wish list.