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Overthinking Gift Giving Syndrome. It’s a thing.

Overthinking Gift Giving Syndrome. It’s a thing.

At least I’m thoughtful

If you ever receive any kind of gift from me, whether it be $1 or $100, just know that a lot of thought and sweat and hell, maybe even tears went into it. There may have been a sprinkle of some anxiety and a dash of what the fuck am I doing here?! Yup, that’s me.

I don’t know why I am this way, but I have ALWAYS been like this. Even back in the day when I was buying a cheap tie-dyed looking candle and a bath and body works scented antibacterial hand gel, a lot of flipping thought went into it. I mean some of my thoughts went something like, did you ever wear a scent similar to the hand bac that I am about to gift you?, do I want you to think that I think that you are a hippy? (I mean, because that is what is implied when you buy someone anything that is tie-dyed, right?)

And it begins…


hippy, overthinking, gift giving, tree hugger, tie dyed

Seriously, I was at the store today and mind you…I always wait until last minute and if I just so happen to remember ahead of time, you can bet your hiney that I will still give the gift to you in the nick of time or late. It’s just my way. I don’t know how to change it and really, would I still be me if I did?

A Simple Task, Right? Wrong.

So, I’m at the store and I am looking for a gift for Aubrey’s in-home daycare provider. Nope, she is not just a babysitter in my book, she is a person that has dedicated her home and therefore most of her things to taking care of other people’s kids and therefore allowing their germs and whatever else all over her stuff. Having a preschool in my house was one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. It is truly never-ending, because even when they leave you are sure to find Tommy’s boogers on the wall left over from earlier or Judith’s handprint on the glass that you just cleaned before mom dropped her off. Yes, it is never ending.

So anyways…I am at TJ Maxx and I am looking for something thoughtful. I don’t know her very well but I know that she likes things with sayings on them and I know she is super sweet and means a lot to my baby girl, so that’s something.

OK, now it begins….

Here is how the process goes. I walk in and at first I tell myself that I have a time limit. I need to be quick because there are a lot of things I have to get done and not a lot of time left in my day. I see a sign that I think she will like. I pick it up and examine the quality and look for imperfections. All seems well. However, then my brain starts to overthink.

The sign reads, ‘Blessed.’ I remember seeing a sign that mentioned Jesus and germs in her bathroom, so God is good in her house. OK, check.

She seems like she appreciates her life and her kiddos. Check.

Here is where my brain starts its swirl of anxious overthinking. Well, is she going to think that I think she needs to think that she is blessed? What if she thinks I am telling her she is blessed? You know, like the times I tried to complain about my ailments or my kids and people tell me to remember how blessed I am and blah blah blah? Next thought, you know what I think this sign may look kind of chinchy. Does she even like the clean white look and silver metal? OK, set it down.

Back to square one.

Alright, what is another saying that works.

‘Happy Fall Y’all.’ I hate Y’all. Even if she likes it, I hate it.

gift giving, anxiety, gifts

Photo by Nynne Schrøder on Unsplash


‘Pumpkin Spice and everything nice.’ Does she even like Pumpkin Spice? I kind of do, but I try not to be too much of a basic bitch. Nope.

‘Work Hard. Play Hard.’ Well, I like that one and she really does work hard. Remember? One of the hardest jobs. OK. I will pick this one up. It’s cute and simple but fun. I hold onto it for a bit and walk around.

Alright, let’s go back over to the candy and shit. Pick something simple. Caramels. You may not like vanilla and you may not like chocolate, but everyone likes caramel. Alright that was an easy one. Well…except for the fact that I have browsed over here a few times but whatever, that time was quick.

OK, back to the sign. Well, I think she may think it’s boring. Not enough décor and maybe too simple. I mean, ‘Work Hard Play Hard,’ is that me implying that she spends just as much time hanging out and playing as she does working? She’s a mom, that’s usually not true. Am I saying she drinks a lot? I mean, I know she likes wine, but how often? Ok, set it down and try again.

‘Blessed.’ Man, that one does stand out. Should I? Nah. Go back to ‘Work Hard Play Hard.’ Alright Amanda, stop yourself and just head to the line. Your quick trip has now turned into 30 plus minutes of browsing.

I am now in line and I see ‘Happy Harvest’ with a cute little leaf and it is festive and perfect. Well shit, this is it. Why the hell did I just do this to myself? Ugh.

Am I the Only One?

See…this is me every time I go to look for any type of present for anyone. I’m not kidding, even presents for other people’s kids’ birthdays. Is there some type of psychological name for what happens when I go to buy presents for others? I don’t get it.

toddler, gift giving, gifts, anxiety, over thinking

Said temper throwing toddler about to lose her shit.


I think from now on I need to take my rowdy little temper tantrum throwing toddler with me for gift shopping. That will make my gift giving mind much more decisive, dammit!

If you too suffer from overthinking gift giving syndrome, feel free to reach out to me for support. We can get through this. We are so effing strong.

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