Gift-giving for the Socially Anxious

In the next couple of weeks, we are exchanging gifts at work.  It is probably one of the most stress-filled days of a holiday season for me.chinese-gift-exchange

At home, I’m not in charge of gift shopping.  I’m strictly on wrapping duty.  My wrapping skills are such that the box is getting covered, but there’s definitely some judicial usage of tape going on.  That being the case, you have to question my ability to select gifts for people.  Yes, it is hubby to the rescue on the gift exchange front.  He is in charge of family gift purchases for pretty much everyone.

But when it comes to work gifts, well, those are new for this group of co-workers.  In former companies, it wasn’t really something we did.  We were more of a dinner and drinks crowd.  This group does small gift exchanges.  So, I’m sweating out if they will like what I got them or not.  What do you think?

Co-worker #1 is the recipient of a pour-over coffee set-up.  He doesn’t like the brew at work, but is a coffee fan.  I figure this will let him indulge in a cup without having to worry about quality.

Co-worker #2 is the recipient of a handmade scarf with some really thick cuddly yarn.  Actually, if I’m not careful, my kids want to steal that package.  She is a coworker who is envious of my crafting abilities, so I know she’ll appreciate the thought behind the gift.

Co-worker #3 is the newest and as such is the most challenging.  He too likes coffee, so I went with the easy option of a gift card to a place that I’m reasonably certain he will like.

But until the gifts are actually opened and exchanged, I keep second guessing myself.  What if the scarf is the wrong colors?  Or too long?  (It’s really long on me and that’s how I like them but I’ve never seen her wearing a scarf.   Maybe she hates them?!)  What if pour-over coffee doesn’t work that well?  (I’ve never tried it!?)  And what if the gift card is to some place that he hates?! (I’ve had this happen to me.  Awful to get rid of.)

I’m fretting and I know it.  This is the real reason I don’t buy the gifts.  If I don’t have to agonize over the purchases, I’m more likely to enjoy it when the recipient opens the gift.

What happens at your office?  What do you wish that they would do instead?

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