I think I got this from my dad. When I was a kid, he would buy me a little present for a good report card. Or when I was brave through something yucky like a dentist appointment.
He did it a lot, but I have an especially clear memory of my sister and I getting Snoopy and Woodstock stuffed animals. I guess there was a period when they made dress-up versions of these guys. After we got the beasts themselves, we expended many presents on the sold-separately tiny shirts, pants, swimsuits, tracksuits, and on and on. We were delighted.
When I grew up, I started buying my own presents. It’s nice to acknowledge and positively reinforce yourself.
Along the way, something changed. It’s different now. I find that things don’t give me that delighted feeling I got from zipping Woodstock into his adorable red hoodie with matching sweatpants. I have too much.
So, often, I don’t get a present. I don’t get anything because I don’t know what it should be.
[This is one of those posts where I’m working through my issue as I’m typing it.]
I want less stuff in general. Stop accumulating. My grandmother, in her late 70s, would ask for gifts that get consumed. Things that get used up and go away.
I think that’s the ticket! Presents don’t have to be physical objects. They can be meals, parties, ebooks, activities and adventures, software and apps. Things that exist virtually or temporarily and are still a fantastic treat!
It’s nice to reward yourself, to mark an occasion, a completion, a success. And it doesn’t mean you have to fill up your house with stuff.
I completed my first freelance graphic design project today. Good job! I think I’ll get an app for that. (ok that’s pretty cheesy but it made me giggle so shut up)