I hate receiving gifts. I realize this pretty much puts me in the weirdo category (but you already knew I was there, didn’t you?) and makes me sound pretty ungrateful but since Christmas is coming, I might as well share.
It’s not that I don’t like the gifts themselves. I (almost always) do. It’s just that the act of someone handing me something, something they selected just for me, and expecting me to open it in front of them, while they gauge my reaction moment by moment, it’s just too much. My anxiety level hits an all time high (you know, except for this, probably one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written).
My face gets instantly red, something I like to call pre-embarrassment – when you feel embarrassed about something that hasn’t happened yet (like not liking the gift you received) and may not happen at all, but your whole face just predicts the embarrassment that will happen any moment. That the person eagerly awaiting your reaction will see right through you and know that the gift they thought was perfect just wasn’t. Which is funny because I think my friends and family are pretty awesome gift givers. So this isn’t even something that really happens to me, but the possibility is always there.
But this also strangely even extends to gifts I’ve bought myself. I’ll frequently order something online only to leave it sitting in the package, unopened. N will get home from work later and see a package sitting on the counter. The child in him immediately wonders “Ohh what is it? Open it! Open it! Open it!”. For some reason, just leaving it doesn’t bother me at all because I still feel the anticipation of the joy of whatever it is. And I’m putting off the disappointment if I find that it isn’t exactly what I expected (sob…the blouse I ordered from Loft in whisper white is see thru? DEVASTATING).
The whole gift-giving thing makes me uncomfortable in general because I feel like it’s too much. Yes, I know I’m loved. I’m very lucky that way. So receiving a gift feels like such a truly kind gesture. There’s love behind even the most practical gifts (Like the AAA membership my Dad gets me. He wants me safe. Such a simple thing becomes so meaningful). Maybe it’s just that gift giving involves all the feelings. It’s a barometer for how well the people in your life know you. How much they get who you are as a person.
All this is to say, Christmas really brings out the weirdo in me and I’m thankful that most holiday gatherings involve wine.