I collect hand-made items, specifically hand-made coffee cups, but also just about anything one-of-a-kind or made by an artisan. If I can get a handmade desk, or chair, or shoes, or whatever, if it’s within my budget, I will always choose that option.
You would think, then, that I should be pretty easy to shop for, when the holidays roll around. When people ask me what they can get me, I tell them to choose a hand-made coffee mug. They’re easy enough to find, if you’re willing to put in a small amount of time, and they’re not usually all that expensive. For me, the interesting thing is to see what different people choose to buy; it’s a little insight into the person giving the gift, and as a result, every time I use that mug, it’s a reminder of the person who gave me the gift. Nevertheless, despite saying this time and time again, I think I’ve probably received three mugs in the last five years. Come Christmas morning, I’m told that I didn’t really want a mug, that’s not a real gift, I’ve got plenty of those already.
I don’t need anything at all, really. I’m comfortable, and not seriously wanting for anything essential. So it really is the sentiment that counts. It puzzles me, then, that asking for a gift that is almost entirely sentiment — and happens to also hold my coffee — never goes well.
What gift have you long asked for, and never received?