Gifting Presence

Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors. — Francois de La Rochefoucauld

If you’re like me, buying presents for other people sucks, while receiving presents, eh, isn’t that bad. Now, some people will try to pretend to be righteous and claim they like giving presents, but I have two things to say to that:

One) You’re lying.

Two) I don’t need a point two because point one refutes anything else you might try to say.

For who really enjoys the talons and bloody feathers of cock fighting that is finding a parking space at the mall? Who enjoys the frontal lobe lobotomy you receive without anesthetic as you wander between store after store? And who likes spending money on something you will never get to play with?

Sure, for the one second when that person opens your present, eyes glistened with thanks and appreciation, arms wrapped around you like a glimpse of July in winter, buying that present seemed worth it.

But for the other 31 million seconds in the year, it’s not.

Two minutes after opening your present, that person will completely forget that you were the one who gave it. Even if you bought your friend a giant plasma screen television that he watches all the time, if you ask him how he likes it, he’ll say, “Eh. I should have gotten one with 3D.”

However, as much as a chore as purchasing presents can be, there are a few upsides. For one, it forces that other person to buy you a present in return. And two, it gets you to the store where you can buy presents for yourself that you don’t think anyone else will get you.

But even after you read all of this and think, “Dagnabit it’s like that Jake fellow is peering right into my soul when it comes to gift buying,” (we’re both wondering why you think in a Texas accent), you will still end up having to buy someone a present.

Fortunately, as multi-talented as I am, I have the one, go-to present that works for anyone. And it isn’t just cash or a gift card (which is really just cash except for the fact that you can only spend at one place. Thanks).

A massage. If you’re willing to flip for this usually sixty buck item, you can pretty much give it to anyone and have them in your debt. And if you tack on some reason like, “I noticed you’ve been stressed lately…” or “You must be sore after spending all that time to buy me a present…” then you will have personalized this gift making it even more special.

So good luck gift shoppers, and next post, I promise I won’t be so cynical.


Author: jdt

Jake writes weekly posts every Wednesday on the intersection of psychology and philosophy. To learn more about him, or to propose a topic you'd like him to cover, go to

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