Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Gift cards, revisited

I posted recently about being bummed out that my friends want to do a gift card exchange at Christmas. I was the minority dissenter, so I guess it's a go. I already bought presents for them, so I won't be participating in the gift card thing. My closest friend surprised me by telling me she thought I needed to be less sensitive, more understanding, and that the holiday wasn't all about me. Whoa. She even suggested that writing about it here was lame, but my comments are never aimed to hurt. The point of blogging is to be honest, and to work things out on paper (afterall, it's a web log...it's an online journal). I really appreciate the comments and emails I received on this subject that have kept me grounded. Your comments and "cyber friendships" have kept me from questioning myself or agreeing in my friend's assessment of my being overly sensitive. Maybe it's not all just the ease of gift cards that bothers me, but the the fact that we were each supposed to submit a list of three cards we'd like to receive. I guess it would be cool if they would just ponder the options themselves, versus ask for a list. The lack of effort and creativity in that is what makes me flinch. The thing is, I put together these "survey" questions a couple of years ago in an attempt for this group of friends to find out more about one another and to get info for gifts (like "where do you get your hair cut"? Personal choices that I could tap into). Problem was, no one besides myself thought these were fun. The surveys were too lengthy, they said. Took up too much time. Maybe that's why I love blogging--people get into memes, and dream lists, and 100 Things About Me. It is just so rewarding to know that there are so many people out in the world that have similar reactions, feelings, likes and dislikes as I do. Thank God. But back to the dreaded gift card thing. So I agreed to give them a list of three gift cards that I might want. Initially I was boring and said (yawn) Nordies (well, I DO need lingerie, and they have the best bras around), Starbucks (well, Starbucks is crappy coffee, but it's still easy and available and I need the caffeine boost. And Java chip frappuccinos are pretty tasty. So are Mocha Valencias. So a gift card there would be useful), and Amazon (when in doubt, I said, I am all about fabric or books...so any fabric shop, or bookseller--including ones on the net). Or the love of my life: ebay. Then I amended the list to include a subscription to ReadyMade Magazine, because I really would like that. I keep putting off buying subscriptions. I'd also be interested in Bust Magazine. In other words, yeah, I guess there are some gift cards and certificates I might want and use. I will admit that it has been fun to consider other gimmes (not that they'll all read these (heaven forbid my closest friends even want to read my blog. Debs does, and several of my clients do, but too many don't), but just for fun I'm posting this list):
  • Subscription to Somerset Studio, or sooooo many other magazines. Especially the artsy ones from the UK that cost a fortune.

  • gift certificate to Lemongrass in Encinitas, so Brandie can tint and wax my eyebrows. I need to treat myself to this luxury more often.

  • gift certificate to have my hair cut (it has been a year since I trimmed my hair).

  • gift certificate to T-Mobile, so I can get a cell phone again (unless my credit is too shitty for them)

  • Too bad thrift shops don't have gift cards. Boy, that would be something.

  • Any fun vintage or retro store would be a good choice. Even Urban Outfitters.

  • Any fun shop like Embellishments in Leucadia, or any of the shops on Cedros in the design district. Duh.

  • I refuse, under any circumstances (including a family that no longer celebrates) to become jaded on the holiday. I will attend parades by myself if I have to. And to all those people out there whining about the capitalist crap and you don't want to have to waste money, blah...blah...blah...
    You know what? It's all about attitude. Why are you focusing on your checkbook balance and how many cars are at the mall parking lot? What about child-like wonder? What about snowflakes (even here in California), sleds, the smell of fresh pine? What about the big-eyed wow for a thank you (giving it or receiving it), a perfect gift find for someone, a cup of peppermint-flavored coffee? What about jingle bells on horse sleighs, the Sea World tower in twinkly lights (sorry, San Diego reference), and sunshine in wintertime? My God, there are so many other areas to focus on. So much wonder and joy to still hold dear. That's where I want my priorities to remain. My friend pointed out that not everyone thinks like I do and I have to respect that. Do I? I don't really have to welcome people into my circle if their outlooks contrast. Do I? I don't think I was in the wrong here. I think I need to surround myself with more people who have similar views to my own. People who enjoy getting together and sharing and giving for the fun of it. I love giving gifts. I have had several boyfriends in the past get really pissed at me for buying them things on a whim for a "just because". So many guys seem incapable of accepting with grace. I mean, it's not like I went out and bought them "dust collectors". I really try to put time and thought into things, and I truly love doing that. Anyway, I'm rambling...but I guess I just needed to vent.

    PS: I googled Starbucks to make sure I spelled frap correctly. In the process I found this knock-off recipe for mocha coconut frappuccino. Oh the joy. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! Starbucks used to have a Rumba flavor that was insanely good. It had chunks of chocolate in it--like that stuff that frosties are dipped in sometimes. I found this recipe that says cookie pieces are added. Not the same, exactly, but it has to be good too. But I so miss that drink. I hate that when you find something you love (like Trader Joe's Dr. Joe's soda), and they discontinue it.


    Blogger kay susan said...

    I love christmas! I love to send and receive christmas cards, especially the ones with notes in from people I haven't seen for a while, some of them are completely covered inside and over the back with handwriting! The boss has to get up in the loft and pull out the tree and the decs, even if its just for us (well, for me really!). Its so sad when people stop bothering anymore. I love to find some little gift that I know will delight or amuse the recipient and I love even more to get the cards and pictures that my little grandchildren make for me. Its just the best thing in the world to go out choosing presents for children - if you find a really good toy shop you get to try everything out! The boss and I stopped exchanging presents years ago, but we indulge in all sorts of generally forbidden little luxuries and just please ourselves. Sometimes, because we are on the coast, relatives come to stay, and its good to share.

    Barb, I don't reckon much to your friends' gift card idea, buying from a list. You might as well go out and get it yourself. I know just how you feel.

    12:03 AM  
    Blogger The Calico Cat said...

    I'm holding out for SEARS - so I can get that DAMN digital camera!

    You get me one & I'll get you one & We may as well not bother.....

    But I do have an ultra cool woofnanny vintage-like quilt in my mind....

    6:56 AM  

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