Give me a book that has changed your life. Write your name on it. I will treasure it. If you haven’t got a book that has changed your life then go to the library and find one. I would like to grow old with a shelf of books with names in them.
I dislike receiving gifts. I have lots of good reasons for this, but they might come from some deep brain flaw rather than good thinking. I know that my dislike of gifts makes life harder for people I care about, so I’m trying to be more open to gifts.
If you get me a gift then I will enjoy the act of gift giving and accept it with a happy smile. I will feel touched. I will remember the act long after the event. I may immediately give the gift to a charity shop if it turns out I didn’t have any use for it, but I can do that while still feeling really quite touched.
If you would like to get me a gift that I will enjoy in its own right, then I’ve tried to work at some ideas that will help:
- Give me a book that has changed your life. Write your name on it. I will love it.
- If you have already given me a book that has changed your life, or you don’t feel you know me well enough, then I have an Amazon Wish list that you can find here.
- I check it pretty often and try to make sure there are ideas that are less than £5, £10, and £20. Second-hand gifts are even better than the new ones.
- Feel free to give to charity in my name. I like Special Effect, but go wild.
- Vegan-friendly chocolate (80-90%) is always a good safe idea.
Some other notes:
- Turning up to our house doesn’t need gifts. If you are late because you stopped to buy gifts then you have catastrophically misunderstood my value system.
- If you are in any way stressed about getting a gift for me, then stop. I don’t want you to be stressed. Give me the gift of you being unstressed. Get yourself a gift. (If you are in any way stressed about getting a gift for anyone, then you aren’t getting a gift – you are trying to swap something physical for some form of acceptance or approval).
Edited to add: I wrote this post partly as a (rather privileged) rant, but in the first year of writing it, this post has brought me far more happiness and deeper connections than I thought possible, and I’ve been particularly gratified to see friends writing their own.