For many people, food is love. For me, and from my family, gift giving is love. It has created some issues with various friends and romantic relationships over the years.
My last boyfriend just did NOT understand this and his idea of giving a gift was writing a check. Granted it was substantial, but how much thought did THAT take?
Over the years, I learned from my mother and bought gifts throughout the year. Not only did it ease the pain at the "last minute", but I was able to get items on special whenever they were available for the right person at the right time.
One friend, who lives in CA, and whom I've known since we were teenagers, recently decided "no more gifts". Granted we both have everything we need - and if we don't, we go buy it for ourselves. But since most of the gift receiving is seeing what the giver thinks of me... what they think I'd like, what I'd find important or fun... the gifts become more than just things.
I have various gifts in the cupboard to be given away... Now I only have one person to give things to... I guess I have NOTHING to purchace for many years to come... I also have enough wrapping paper for the rest of the century.