I Don’t Want A Gift, But Thank You.

Today is my 37th birthday, and I hope I don’t get anything. Well, cash is alright, as are gift cards to stores I normally go to, but other than that? I don’t need nor want for anything else. No plastic doodads, no new mugs, no wall hangings. I am all set with that stuff, thanks. I have lived on my own for 15 years since college, and my house is pretty well stocked with all the things I need. If there was anything I was missing, such as a dish with a funny picture on it, I would buy it myself. Now that we have that out of the way, let me extrapolate a little on why I am writing this post.

See, when people buy gifts like that for you, they are just wasting their money. And I hate seeing people waste their money! They don’t know what to get you and they sometimes think that quantity is more important than quality. “If 2 gifts means I like them, 5 means I love them!” That is not effective gift-buying! Just buying whatever you can find because you are “supposed” to is not a good way to go about it, and not only does it waste money but it is kind of insulting to the gift receiver. Ever gotten something where you were like “Um, thanks?”. Well, consider that feeling when buying gifts for people. It’s better to buy nothing at all than to give a useless or unthoughtful gift!

Choking the Chicken
Creative Commons License photo credit: jasonksu

I realize some of you might think that this post sounds ungrateful, and that is not my intent. I am grateful for all that I have in my life, and I am grateful for the fact that I can usually buy most anything I should need or want. The point, really, is that too often people waste money on these types of things when their money could go further with a little more thought. I want to help you use your money wisely! A gift card to a favorite store, while impersonal in many ways, goes a lot further than a trivet with a picture of a cat on it. 100% of the money you bought the card with will be put towards something the recipient really wants!

Because I would rather not buy something for someone than just buy them some random gift, I guess I expect the same. I would rather get nothing at all than get something that A. you can tell no thought was put into and B. I don’t need. Be thoughtful, spend your money wisely, and if you just cannot find an actual product to get them that you yourself would want to receive, just get them a gift card, a bottle of wine, or even better – some of your time. Please don’t waste your money! Think about what you would like to receive and then try to duplicate that in your gift-giving. The recipient and your wallet will thank you.

Like this article? Please consider subscribing to my full feed RSS. Or, if you would prefer, you can subscribe by Email and have new posts sent directly to your inbox by entering your email address in the box below. Your email will only be used to deliver a daily email and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rajeev Singh says:

    I completely agree with you on this one… I do think that we all need to be little more rational and practical while choosing the gift. Most of the times in our emotional exuberance we tend to go overboard in spending which might not be of equal value to the recepient. As such a little thought and practical approach will help. i personall prefer giving gift cheques to people. And guess they love it too…:0

  2. Miranda says:

    I am SO with you. I’m all about the gift cards. I get gift cards to book stores for my brother, Amazon.com gift cards for my husband’s siblings, restaurant gift cards for my sister (who loves to eat out), etc. It’s practical, and it’s something that the recipient can really use and enjoy.

  3. Andy Hough says:

    This is what I tell people at my birthday and Christmas but they refuse to believe that I don’t want anything.

  4. Well said. I very much agree with you. More than once I have held a knick-knack gift in my hand, looked around the house and wondered, “Where on earth am I going to put this?”

  5. Enrique S says:

    Happy Birthday! We come from the same school of thought. My in-laws always used to buy me something that I didn’t want or need. Their rationale: “You have to have SOMETHING to open!” Now my wife buys a gift for them to give me.

  6. I’m right there with you too. I think people view gift cards as unimaginative gifts that show little thought. That’s why so many people are reluctant to give them. But I’m much more likely to have some use for a Home Depot gift card than a random gift.

    I don’t really want any gifts for birthdays or holidays either. My husband asked me what I want for my birthday coming up in a little while. I asked if we could pay off the mortgage. (It was really just an excuse to lobby for this without sounding like I was whining.) Barring that, I’m going to ask him to commit a weekend to helping me get some of my pet projects done around the house. That’s something I’ll really appreciate.

  7. Amanda says:

    I couldn’t agree more – I’m only 22, but I already feel as though whatever presents people get me are pointless. I love little thoughtful gifts for no reason (e.g. my boyfriend will occasionally surprise me with a mini-pack of Ferrero Rocher cause he knows how much I love them), but bigger gag gifts for a birthday or something seem pointless. I already have everything I need!

  8. El cheapo says:

    Great argument and I couldn’t agree more. I’m also a bargain hunter, so I hate it when people spend more than they should. Why spent $100 on something that I could find for $50. Time together and a good meal are all I ever ask for.

  9. Patrick says:

    Happy birthday! 🙂

    And I don’t even care for gift cards – because that means I HAVE to go spend it for the gift to be used. I prefer a card or even better, a phone call. If you’re local, let’s go out to eat or have a get together. Bring me a 6 pack of some local microbrew. I know how to take care of that. 😉

    But I have enough stuff…

  10. Slinky says:

    Agreed! If I don’t know of something they’ll actually like or use, I tend to go with consumables. Mother’s Day? – raspberries. Housewarming? – Penzey’s spices. Birthday? – favorite liqueur. Christmas? – assorted teas. Or you know, whatever that particular person likes.

    For myself, I often request shopping trips. My mother asked what I wanted for my birthday (….uh….I dunno.) and we’re going to spend a day at the mall together bumming around, catching up and finding a top or two for me, which I need anyway.