The Perfect Gift

Birthdays are a special day in everyone’s lives. It is the day where your friends and family come together and celebrate the fact that you were born. Sometimes it’s a big party, other times it’s just a small get together. But a staple of birthday celebrations is gift giving. We buy, or sometimes, make presents for the one we are celebrating. Some consider the act of gift giving to be rewarding and fulfilling when the receiver likes what they are given, while others (including myself) find it to be a very difficult task to purchase something that will be enjoyed.

Finding the perfect gift for any individual seems to be the hardest thing you have to do. Clothes? No, that’s weird. Jewelry? I’m a broke college student. Gift card? Even though I don’t really care, I don’t want them to know that. There is no winning. Last month, I learned a very important lesson: overthinking is my worst enemy. When the amount of time spent evaluating whether or not they will like the gift outweighs the amount of time actually shopping, there’s a problem. While the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts” may sound cliché, it really is true.

I realized this while shopping for a gift for my boyfriend’s birthday. With us being in a long-distance relationship and me not seeing him for months, I wanted to get him something that he’d really love -- the perfect gift. I did hours of brainstorming. Do I get him a tie? What is he, 40? A watch? Already did that. Cologne? He always smells good anyway. Then, I had a revelation. Marvel. He loves Marvel. And yes, socks are the worst gift to give anybody. Even if you don’t care about them that much, you don’t buy people socks. But, alas, before me in a Bronx Target, stood a 12 pack of Marvel character socks that I knew he'd love to have. So I bought them, and he said that they were the best gift he’s ever received. And he wasn’t lying (believe me, after four years, I know when he’s lying).

In reality, most people are happy to receive anything at all; they honestly couldn’t care less about what it is. I, personally, am happy to receive anything from anyone, so why should I assume that others are different? We are all in the same boat. Buying gifts is hard, so why make it harder? The perfect gift is not about what it is, but who it’s from.