Monday, January 28, 2008

Gifting the New Ones

I’ll admit. I am horrible when it comes to gifts. I think about things. I go on-line to look at things. I come up with ornate, exciting gifts, but then I never manage to buy them. I have good intentions. I get birth announcements and I put them on my fridge thinking, “Next time I’m at the Gap, I’ll find a little something for Ella (or Logan or Luca or Conner or Cole or Chloe or … well, you get the point).” But the truth is, I almost never make it to the Gap, and if I do, I’m way too busy checking out t-shirts and sundresses for ME to remember the birth announcements on my fridge. And in the unlikely case I do, I have to do the math to figure out how old they will be when it is time to wear a sundress or snowsuit. (Side note: I prefer local stores or internet sites like Etsy, but then it's hard to return if they don't like the gift. Frugal people think like this. I don't want my gift given away.)

Weddings are far easier. People are almost always registered at Crate and Barrel or Macy’s, and if not, The Wedding will tell me where to go if their website doesn’t. I simply scan the list of what the lovely couple wants, and a few clicks and a hundred dollars later I can check the task off my list.

Getting married changed my gift giving habits considerably. I was shocked at how many people who weren’t invited to our wedding sent us gifts. I know most people try to get married only once, and the hopes of a new marriage and all that stuff makes people happy, but we got gifts from co-workers who we don’t even hang out with socially. After I dashed off their thank you notes, gushing with how thoughtful they were, I felt ashamed of how many babies births passed me by with little more than an email saying, “Congrats! S/he is beautiful! I hope you can pee without pain soon!”

Really. Gracious. Elegant. Classy? I think not. Maybe Klassy, but that’s not something I strive for. So, I’m making a huge effort to be Classy and Considerate. I don’t want to fall into the sinkhole of superfluous gift giving, but marking major milestones like pushing a baby out (or having it cut out – how about just carrying a baby?) and getting married should be marked with gifts.

So, Ella and Chloe got new brothers in the past six months (I’m trying, people!) and I have two boxes under my desk each containing a little outfit. They’ve been there a week. I have part of the problem under control (gifts are purchased!), but now I’m wondering if the outfits will fit by the time I get around to mailing them out.

This baby gift giving is hard. No wonder I usually stick with blankets.

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