I find myself wanting to get up a good grump about holiday wish lists, only I don’t feel quite that strongly about it. But I do feel–in a less strong sort of way–like this sort of thing is slightly tacky. I try to buy thoughtful gifts, that are more about the person I’m buying for than about myself. I enjoy doing this. Sometimes my choices will misfire, as will others’ choices for me, but I’m okay with that. Gift-giving isn’t about getting what you want. It’s about sharing small tokens of the care we feel for one another. Sometimes, one has the added fun of receiving something one didn’t expect but really likes, but that’s secondary. Gifts aren’t obligations; they’re, well, gifts. We accept them graciously, and then what we do with them after if up to us, whether it’s to display them prominently in the front hall or quietly donate them to the local thrift shop.
Our friends and family are not catalogs with whom we place orders, and whether someone gets us the “right” gift or not has no relationship whatsoever to how much they do or don’t care about us.