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A shopping poll!
cap, captain miss america
teaberryblue
This is just out of curiosity! I have been mulling over my own holiday gifts lately and watching the way some of my friends and relatives shop.

Poll #1306327 Shopping!

I prefer:

Shopping for myself
35(53.8%)
Shopping for other people
30(46.2%)

I find a really cool, unique item in a store. There is only one available. I am more likely to:

Buy it for myself!
31(47.7%)
Buy it for a friend!
34(52.3%)

I prefer getting:

A surprise
44(67.7%)
A present I picked out
8(12.3%)
Cash or a gift card so I can buy my present on my own
13(20.0%)

I am more likely to buy my loved ones:

A surprise
39(60.0%)
Something they specifically asked for
24(36.9%)
Cash or a gift card so they can pick out their own present
2(3.1%)

I frequently:

Shop on the internet
3(4.6%)
Shop in stores
8(12.3%)
Make gifts by hand
3(4.6%)
Wrap and give items that have belonged to me for a while
0(0.0%)
Give cash or gift cards
0(0.0%)

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You know what I love more than all of these things combined? Wrapping presents ♥

Ahaha, I suck at wrapping presents. People usually get them inside the shopping bag.

I said "myself" for the unique item, though it really depends. If it is unique but especially suited to a friend that I know well, I'll do that. But if it is super-cool and all that jazz, I'd be worried that they wouldn't like or give a shit about it.

To be fair, we are not doing holiday gifts anymore. It just turned out to be a chore and ended up with people giving to charity as a present anyway, so we decided to skip the gifts and just enjoy the season. It is much nicer to remember people in other ways than with gifts. I HATE shopping for gifts, even though I'm an extremely generous person, mainly because I know how picky I am. I have the opinion that if something isn't perfect, why buy it? Granted, if I get that perfect thing I adore the hell out of it.

Like your scarf tea. SO cozy.

I wasn't just thinking of holiday gifts, actually! I had this thought a bit before the holidays, just from watching how different friends shop in stores, and the holidays sort of spurred me posting about it.

I LOVE shopping for gifts, it makes me all happy. And I am so happy you like the scarf. It will be hard to live up to it this year.

I like shopping for myself better because I know for sure what I like. I love giving presents, but I always get anxious shopping for them because I'm afraid the person I'm giving them to won't like them as much as I think they will.

I am the opposite! I hate shopping for myself because I always feel guilty about spending money on myself. I have never worried about someone not liking a gift I give them-- it's funny because it has never even occurred to me to worry! I love buying things for other people!

my family has all but installed a $25 limit on spending for one person. it's actually a really nice way of managing spending. although this year - cause I just learned how to knit, I just might be knitting everyone everything!

:)

also, I really don't like obligatory gift-giving. I'd rather just bring someone a bottle of wine that they can enjoy with friends. I am getting to the point where I'm almost entirely stopped celebrating christmas...

Yeah, I tend to make presents wherever possible. Like, you know, hats.

I'm not very good at the whole buying things for people, so I tend to just ask what they want and follow that up. Shopping for myself is so much easier, it results in piles of DVDs being bought :D

Shopping for me ends up with me filling a basket full of things I want, and then guiltily putting them all back on the shelf because I feel shitty about spending money on myself.

I am really, really good at buying presents for other people. To the point that I've actually kind of stopped participating in family gift trades because someone (who inevitably buys a shitty present) gets their feelings hurt. BUT I LOVE SHOPPING. PERIOD. FULL STOP.

The only reason I haven't spent thousands at Bdale's is because I work on a floor where absolutely nothing fits me or anyone I know.

Wait, people get their feelings hurt because you are so good at buying presents? Why, because someone else gets a present that is better than the one they get, or, like...your present is uncannily insightful and reveals their secret love of penguin-gerbil porn?

To the "I am more likely to buy my loved ones:" question - If someone tells me "oh, I want x!" I'll get them x. But I'm like, a jedi gift-giver, and rarely, if ever, ask.

This is the first year in which I have handmade gifts for many, many people. It's emotionally rewarding, but physically exhausting.

Oh, god, yes. I've made upward of twenty this year? Its great but also kinda stressful!

I answered shopping for myself because I agonise over buying people cards, let alone actual presents, so it all ends up being a bit stressful. I love surprising people, though.

You do the best surprises!

I didn't answer the majority of the poll because it really depends on the person. Whilst I may prefer shopping for my husband or son over myself, I'll probably preference myself over most people I know. I prefer shopping for other people when I'm not specifically looking for gifts for them, and I find something I think they would just love to have during one of my random outings, and then pick it up for them.

I can't think of a time when I've only seen an item there's only one of that I'd have to make that decision, so I haven't got any way to know how I'd react. Again I guess it'd depend on who of my friends/family/me might like the item best.

Receiving gifts, I don't have a specific preference apart from I'd rather not ask for anything any more. After a year or two of doing that with my husband's family, and one time only getting DVDs and nothing else, I made an agreement with my husband that we would write each others' lists so we can get surprises. But there can be lame/bad surprises, too (ie gifts I don't really appreciate because it shows the person does not know me all that well), and in those cases I'd prefer a generic gift voucher for (preferably) a department store.

In terms of giving gifts, I almost always refuse to give gift vouchers. Why? Because I don't like the person knowing how much I spent on them. Sometimes you can get a more expensive item on sale and it seems like you spent more, you know? This was particularly an issue when we had very little to no income. I prefer to give surprises, and put thought into them, but in the case of Jeremy's family, they've generally made it pretty clear that they prefer we follow their lists for ideas. I'm just lucky my family doesn't do the list thing.

I am so totally in agreement about the gift cards AND lists. I just much prefer making or shopping for that perfect thing that reminds ME of the person I'm shopping for. If I don't know someone so well, I usually buy them a book or something food-related. I just feel uncomfortable putting a price tag on a friendship.

Exactly. That's pretty much the gist of why I prefer to only buy gifts for people I already know really well, too, 'cause then I know they'll appreciate what I've chosen without asking or resorting to a list.

I'm not really sure what I give people I don't know that well. I think I always try to think about something I know they like before getting something. Like, one person I had difficulty with once, I remembered was part of a book club, and it was the sort where you find out what kinds of books they like to read. I ended up accidentally buying one of her favourite authors :D Another person I don't know that well and I had to buy a gift for, I remembered likes to drink and mix cocktails, so I bought her alcohol.

I never really thought about books being something to give someone for that reason. But maybe that's why I've had on a couple of occasions received books I didn't really want to read. I'm not a big reader, so unless someone put a lot of thought into the book they were buying me, I don't think I'd appreciate it so much. Still, probably better than soap, candles, photo frames, or suchlike. Food, on the other hand! That'd be my perfect go-to gift if someone didn't know me well and wanted to get me something. Especially since it's consumable, so it's not like they could accidentally give me something I already have and wouldn't use :D Although I did just throw out truffle oil and lobster oil I got at my kitchen tea/hen's night that was since out of date because I hadn't been fancy enough to use it yet.

Yeah, I would have to at least know something cursory about a person to buy a book, but, for example, if I don't know what someone's house looks like, and know they like, say, barbecuing, it's much safer to buy them a new grilling book than grill supplies they might already have. Or if I know they like old movies, it's easy to buy a book about Audrey Hepburn or Cary Grant.

And yeah, the food thing usually works for that reason. No one is going to be like, oh, I already have a half-pound of Belgian chocolate in the fridge!

That's a good point. I hadn't really thought about non-novels as book gifts to people I don't know well (though I have given them to family). There's still a chance it might not go down well, though. Jeremy was given a "lawyer jokes" book as a gift once, just because he is/was a lawyer, and he didn't really like it. I was given a women's joke book once because it was widely known that I was into (and performing) stand up comedy, but I didn't appreciate it (actually I was given a comedy CD box set similarly). I appreciated the fact they tried to get me something I would like based on what they knew about me, but I'm more about specifics than generalisations. I didn't appreciate them because I'm not into ALL comedy, I'm into specific comedians etc.

hehe, the only way that would be a mistake is if you were giving it to someone allergic to (or don't eat/like) chocolate/[insert allergen in whatever food you gave them].

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