I’ve never liked opening presents. Well, maybe as a child before I’d developed awareness of other people watching for my reaction and the sight of a wrapped present with my name on it gave me the equivalent of a sugar high. But now I can’t stand it.
Trying to find presents for other people stresses me out.
Giving the gift stresses me out.
Getting gifts stresses me out.
I worry about every step of the process, which totally contradicts the point of it all.
But I worry the person won’t like what I got them, that they’ll pretend they love it but already own it, that it won’t fit, that it’ll reflect how little I actually know them. I worry that when I open a present that my reaction won’t seem genuine, that I’ll seem ungrateful. that it won’t fit right, that I won’t actually like it etc etc.
If you’re a naturally anxious person and are struggling with gift-giving this holiday season, just remember this: it’s the thought that counts. It’s such a friggin’ cliche to say that, but it’s true. Don’t kill yourself with anxiety over finding the “perfect” gift for someone. Just do your best, wrap it, and let it go. If you have second thoughts, just remind yourself you’ll have another gift-giving occasion down the road to do better.
If your anxiety is really out of control just be frank with the person. Tell them you’d really appreciate it if they helped you out and told you what they wanted. Or you can go the route I did when I once told (aka yelled at) my mother “You’re impossible to buy gifts for!” I promise it was yelled in the most loving of tones.