Gifts.  Sometimes we get gifts that we don’t want or need.  Are you honest with the person who gave it to you?  Or do your gift givers follow a tried-and-true wish list?  If you’re returning a gift this season, what is it and why?

My mom does most of the shopping for the family presents. By most, I mean 99%.

For the first 20 or so years of my life, she just shopped. All year long, she kept her eyes peeled for stuff we’d like and she picked it up when she saw something. Super thoughtful. Very generous.

She is also extremely good with money. This is a trait that Kate inherited and I…well…did not. When you are that good with money, wasting even $2 on a stocking-stuffer rubs you the wrong way so Ginzo has pretty much always encouraged honesty when receiving gifts you’re not crazy about. “If you don’t like it, it’s silly to keep it.” I assume that has a lot to do with not wanting to waste money.

It also has to do with her almost obsessive (love you, mom) need to make things “even” amongst her daughters.

Side Note: Kate will argue that it is not now, nor ever will be even because I went to basketball camp and on a trip to Europe with my Girl Scout Troop when I was in high school and she went to Canada. For a weekend. Once.

Side Note to the Side Note: My now and forever rebuttle (she could say it along with me as I write it) is this: I paid a third of my trip to Europe. Our troop raised a third and yes, Jeff and Ginzo kicked in the other third. I worked hard for that trip. As for basketball camp, which I attended for three or four years, I also paid for half of that fee every year as well. I don’t actually remember doing that, but after calling the homestead, pops told me I did and I believe him. He thinks the camp was $300. I’m going to guess that was less than 18 years of ballet lessons. #micdrop

Side Note to the Side Note to the Side Note: My parents have always helped me financially. Probably a little more than they should have (aka loaning me first and last months’ rent for my next apartment because I never had enough saved to pay it until I got the previous apartment’s deposit back. On multiple occasions. As recently as 2008 or 2009). In other words,  Kate probably has a pretty good argument, it’s just not about Europe or basketball camp 🙂

Back to the topic at hand…

As we got older and moved into legit “adult” life, my mom started asking for lists. Very specific lists. I can’t blame her. We are hard to shop for because for the most part, if we want something, we have the means to buy it. (Blessed!) Also, we live far away. Exchanges and returns are much more of a hassle.

This year, I think we had a pretty good gift-giving-receiving year. I don’t think I needed or wanted to return anything I received – Well done, Family! We had a few exchanges for size/fit/color – but I think people really did well shopping for each other – with and without a list!




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