Don’t stress the gift giving process

Brianna Lewis, Op-Ed Writer

As the 2017 holiday season prepares for its final hurrah, one of the last legs of the race requires presents. That means putting in a bit more effort and actually paying attention to the people you care about.

This is when you finally get the shot to prove yourself as the alpha friend or significant other. Apparently, this comes with an undesired feeling of uneasiness while picking out gifts.

The pressure people feel to give an untoppable gift is one they place on themselves that they never had to deal with in the first place.

When it comes to teens, they often feel obligated to get presents for parents, friends and/or significant others with what limited funds they have.

According to Lisa Esposito’s 2014 article, “Holiday Anxiety: the Gift That Keeps on Giving”, the stress and issues that come from being tight on cash, having societal pressures and family problems often take away from the happiness of the holiday season.

That being said, stressing over the perfect gift for that seemingly-perfect someone is just going to drive you bonkers.

In my eyes, the most stressful thing in a typical high schooler’s December life should be finals. Not trying to remember a conversation from 3 months ago so he or she will know the perfect gift to get little Joe Billy from down the road.

I’ve had the same friends for while now, and I’m sure most of the people who’ll read this can relate. We don’t really put a lot of pressure on getting big things if anything all.

While my friends and I started talking about what we’d like for Christmas about a month ago, it was never as serious as “I want these specific jeans from Target or you’re not getting a birthday gift.”

Not many people I know now would be that specific, but there could be a few out there.

I’ve come to understand that teenagers usually don’t have money to throw around. If they’ve managed to get a job, it most likely wasn’t so they’d have money to shower me or you with unnecessary gifts.

Budgeting, aside from the actual gift, is the most important thing when it comes to gift shopping. It may seem a little extra, but I find that writing out a list of the people you plan to purchase gifts for with the title including the dollar amount of your budget is beneficial.

A “Christmas Gift Budget: *amount you’re willing to spend*” type of list, if you will.

Going into the new year with a balance of $3.28 because of excessive gift buying would be pretty trashy, now wouldn’t it?

This in mind, making gifts from friends or significant others a mandatory thing puts a strain on the relationship for obvious reasons. If you get a gift: cute. If you don’t: less cute, but still nice that they’re around anyway.

All nagging aside, if you’re one of the people struggling with gift-giving anxiety, Michele Berret’s article “Easing Gift Giving Anxiety” is an easy read that might help with easing a bit of your stress.

Remember: during this season, some people just can’t afford your wish list, but at least they tried.