That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

it’s not that tough.

on October 16, 2013

Ya’ know, if you stumble on something at Goodwill, like, a $10 American Girl doll in like-new condition, or a similar hidden treasure, and you know that I’ll love it, I don’t see any fault with wrapping it up and giving it to me as a gift. Actually, Haley and I were with my cousins when we found American Girls’ Felicity and Kaya. We couldn’t leave them.

It makes sense. I love my AG Samantha. (Actually, she dates back to Pleasant Company.) I’m a collector. A psychology student that I had to go see at AIW (As part of my psychology class, we had to go. I’m crazy, but that’s not why I went, I went for the grade.) gave me a Mickey Mouse beer stein and it’s prominently displayed on a shelf in my living room. I forget where she found it. Maybe she just had it forever, she might have said yard sale. I forget, but I love it. I love that she thought of me. It’s such a rare, unique, and special thing. I’ve never seen another one like it.

But I don’t know, you guys. Don’t just go to Goodwill to find something for the sake of finding anything. If you are there and see Bruce-sized pajamas for, like, $2. That’s cool. You were thinking of me, and I appreciate that. Give it to me the next time we see each other. But don’t wrap it up and present it as a gift for him. You have created work for me. “Happy Birthday, wash these clothes.”

It’s slightly alarming that the need exists for this post.

Maybe there is no need for a post. Do people do this, or is one person just doing it to me? Maybe the need is for a note to the individual… but, okay, you tell me how to broach that subject.

I take a lot of stuff to Goodwill and consignment shops. Do you know why? They have no value to me. They’re not special. They’re the throwaways. It’s not about money, I don’t care what you spend, it’s about value. Like I said, we didn’t bat an eye at buying AG dolls for $10 because they are valuable to us, if nothing else. (But they actually are valuable to everyone else as well.)

Rather than continue harping on why it’s in relatively poor taste to gift someone used articles of clothing, I will instead point out several options for super-cheap or easily made gifts. I get it if you’re broke. I get it. Your life’s not about making money, you’re a do-gooder. You want to make a difference. I get it.

Check ebay. For example, I searched “Disney.” Then arranged the results according to price + shipping, lowest first. I immediately found a Walt Disney 6 cent stamp for $ .99 shipped. Buy a mini-frame. You know, they often use them for place settings at weddings? (I think I actually have TWO of those laying around my house, if you don’t, they’re like $1.) Cut a piece of acid-free paper to fit the frame and mount the stamp to it. Boom. Nice, sweet, thoughful… $2. (Unless you’ve been to a wedding in the past 5 years, then it’s only $ .99!) The same price as a shirt at Goodwill that was somebody’s throwaway. I love it. I’ll sit it on my mantle or desk. Super cute. Crafty. Thoughtful. I appreciate you.

Check Amazon. I have a Kindle. Did you know that? Maybe we should talk. Maybe if you had a conversation with me you’d know that I hate folding clothes but love playing “TripleTown” and “Candy Crush” and “Where’s My Water” and “Monsters, Run.” Are there any other Kindle apps that I might enjoy? You can save 80% on, like, 350 different Kindle books. Buy me a book! Again, I looked for about 30 seconds and found something that I’d enjoy. You can choose the delivery date and everything. (FYI, fiction isn’t my thing, but I love art, history, humor, and religious works.)

Your recipient doesn’t have a Kindle? Do they have a Smartphone? Do they have a computer? It’s 2013. You can’t dance around this technology issue.

I sent my sister a $10 Starbucks gift card on her birthday that I got for free by signing up for a Starbucks account or some crap. $10! That’s at least two tall white-chocolate mochas. I know she’ll like that. It cost me nothing.

Still evasive about the recipient having or not having technology, huh? That’s okay. If you’re reading this, you can find things.

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 5.07.39 PM

Make me a cake. Just the fact that you mixed, and baked, and decorated, I mean — that takes me all day. Make me a mix CD. There’s thought in that. Did you know if you draw on a plain ceramic mug with a Sharpe and then bake it you will heat-set it? Yeah. Custom mugs anyone? Cut out a little heart on cardboard, trace that heart onto a map, cut out that map and Modpodge it to the cardboard, put a ribbon on it, boom: sentimental ornament that will recall that trip we took that one time. (“I’ll put that flea in a box…”) Do the same thing with a bunch of Disney characters from a book that you found at, oh, I don’t know, Goodwill? You could make a whole set: Snow White and all seven dwarfs.

Me. Me. Me. “That’s fine,” you say, “for you. Bruce has no desire for a $ .65 octopus necklace!” Learn something. Google “blanket stitch,” and design a t-shirt using a fabric remnant.

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It’s painstakingly custom-made by hand! That’s valuable! I’ll keep that forever!

It is ridiculous how cheaply inexpensively you can put together a present. Go look at Pinterest. People on Pinterest are so much smarter and more thoughtful than I will ever be. Google “Free DIY Printable.”

You don’t have to do this big thing. Just a little token, a little gesture, is sufficient. And let’s face it, a shirt that’s been caressing someone else’s stinky pits or a sleeper that some other baby pooped in is no big thing anyway. I’d like to research the History of a Gift in modern times. Specifically, I want to know how we got to this point. When we were kids, anything was okay. “Look, I drew this for you.” That’s pretty neat, you did that by hand. You put yourself into it. I guess we got older and started making our own disposable income and wanted to do more, which evolved into making money, albeit never enough, and having bills, feeling obligated to buy presents. We can go back to the drawings. What did I do to make you think, “okay, I have to get her a shirt,” or, worse yet, a skirt and a pair of pants. Not a SHIRT and pants, a skirt, a bottom, and pants, another bottom.

What woman buys another woman a pair of pants?!

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Pajamas are the exception. But one doesn’t just gift a pair of pajama bottoms.

It’s so… ugh… I just have run out of words to describe how I feel smiling as I open something that perhaps someone else opened once upon a time. You know how re-gifting is tacky? You’ve heard that, right? This is like re-gifting, except worse. We can assume a re-gift is something new that you don’t like so you don’t use it and instead you gift it to someone else, in the same new gift condition in which it was received. This is kind of like that, except someone else didn’t like/want/need this so much that they gave it away. It was a little bit nicer than trash, so they didn’t want to throw it away completely, but they really can’t have it in their house anymore.

And now it’s in mine.

 

(OMG… side note, I just did this and it took me 20 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh88cn_rtLo Bruce pulled up the < key. Holy crap.)

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