I hate gift exchanges. I hate everything about them. I hate going to parties where I have to exchange a gift that’s not meant for someone specific. I hate giving gift cards, bath products, candles, picture frames. I can’t stand it. My reason? Simple, gift giving to me, is special. You pay attention to the gift receiver, you find out their likes and dislikes, what they want but just can’t buy themselves or things they need that are useful. Gift exchanges on the other hand, are gifts for someone in a group. That’s it, that’s all the info you get. I guess there are themed gift exchanges. Wines, white elephant (which I don’t mind, those gifts are suppose to be stupid) and things like that. I could handle that, I once threw a “favorite things party” like Oprah’s and that was fun. Of course we haven’t done it again since, so maybe only I thought it was fun. The first year I started working at the daycare, they had a Christmas party with a gift exchange. I barely knew anyone and obviously wanted to impress them so I searched, and searched and searched for about 2 ½ weeks for the perfect gift. It cost me 20 dollars over the amount we’re suppose to spend and most people liked it, but it stressed me out, far more than it should have. Over the years I have gotten better about gift exchanges, I’ve bought a few bath gift baskets that even I would have thrown away. One year I got 10 dollars worth of crap from the Dollar store that I couldn’t even regift, but just threw it all away, and I was pretty upset because the gift I brought to the party was pretty nice, at least I would have taken it back. This might make me sound stuck up or petty, but I was taught, if you love someone, you want to get them things. My mom always gets us what we want, and a lot of the times we don’t even have to tell her what that is. She listens through out the year and buys items accordingly. Now this also is a bit of a curse because I really love my husband and I pay attention, and get him things he talks about, but he’s not into presents like I am. I have to tell him what I want, (sometimes he surprises me, he was better at it when we were dating) and he usually gets it for me. But on Christmas morning when I’ve spent the last 3 months finding the perfect gift for him, he looks at and says, “oh thanks babe”. WHAT?! Oh thanks babe?! But then I remember, he loves it, he’s just not that into expressing it. So as we enter December with all it’s parties and stupid gift exchanges, I will try my hardest to just not care and give gift cards (who doesn’t like gift cards right?) and enjoy the company.