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Early Holiday Shopping

​I broke my toe a few weeks ago. Instructions to keep it elevated kept me in bed with my laptop most of the time. I thought I might as well get a jump on holiday shopping. A few days before surgery I was sitting on the floor at a client’s home going through files when we started talking about gift giving. As a writer this client has a huge box of well intentioned gifted journals sitting empty.

Does a gift of a journal or sketchbook imply that the receiver should fill it? When we give gifts, what expectations do we have of the recipient?

I think candles have a similar quality. According to, a candle with a 4” diameter will burn 16 hours per inch of height. Thus, Pottery Barn’s 4” x 12” candle will last 192 hours. As I am not a regular candle user that one candle would last the rest of the my life and my son would be stuck with it upon my death.

What types of gifts are most often kept out of feeling of obligation?

Another item that ends up in many people’s donation pile is lotion. The idea behind the gift is very nice – fancy lotion is indulgent and a nice gift, however, unless you are sure the receiver likes that specific lotion, they often go unused.

As I start my injured-toe induced early holiday shopping, I am trying to avoid these things that I often see in the boxes and bags of things to be donated.

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