Second close-up of pictureI have a suggestion for shopping this year. It might help shave time off of the decision-making that can be confounding at times, and frustrating at others. That murky, “Will he/she like this?”

Years ago, several people told me that you should always buy the gift that you yourself would like to receive. I suppose the meaning of this was that, given you had perfect taste in gifts, you’d never give a “dud.” And you’d never see your gift being re-gifted…Well…

I actually think the more logical thing to do would be to take the person for whom you’re shopping along with you. Not physically (that would defeat the purpose of giving a ‘surprise’ gift). But in your mind and heart. Look at all the selections before you and imagine the friend, parent, sibling, or co-worker actually wearing, using, or eating what you’re about to purchase. If you just can’t see it, don’t buy it. Unless you want it, which is a different blog post altogether!

When I write fiction, one of the exercises I’ll do is take my characters shopping with me – trying to see the world through their eyes. I think it works for “real life,” too; and I find I spend less time wondering what to get and more time understanding and appreciating each individual on my list.



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