Do You Hold Back on Buying Items You Want So People Can Give Them as Gifts?


For a lot of us, growing up, new stuff came into our lives at rare, specific intervals throughout the year: on a birthday, during back-to-school shopping, during Christmas or Chanukah.

So when it came time to receive something, it was pretty obvious what we needed—and wanted. Clothes, books, and toys. Or, when we were teenagers, clothes, books, and CDs.

Now that we’re adults, many of us don’t wait until our birthday to buy new clothes, and we certainly don’t wait until Christmas to download that album we’ve been wanting. (We buy it on iTunes, stream it on Spotify, or type the album name into YouTube.)

So what do we put on our holiday wishlists?

I try, every year, to hold at least one book back. This year it would have been smart to skip reading Mallory Ortberg’s Texts From Jane Eyre or Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, but I had put them on my library hold list months ago, and wasn’t about to tell the library I didn’t want them anymore. Last year I avoided reading Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half and Ryan North’s To Be or Not To Be: That Is the Adventure so I could put them on my holiday list, and this year I’m steering clear of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist.

And beyond that, it’s harder. I can’t ask for CDs or DVDs anymore, since I have no way to play either of them on my Macbook. I often ask for socks, because socks are a great gift. Especially fuzzy socks, or socks with toes, or socks that have funny designs on them. (My “Don’t Be Trashy: Recycle!” socks are some of the best socks I own.)

But what about you? Do you start planning ahead and holding back on things you want or need so that people can give them to you at Christmas or on your birthday? Or do you use holidays as a chance to go in with family together on a big item, like “this is the year we’re all going to help get you a new laptop?”

I am very curious, since every family and friend group seems to do holidays just a bit differently. So let us know: what’s on your holiday wishlist this year?



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