My favorite kind of gift to give is something that exists in the overlap of what we love, so that it is not only a gift of understanding and connection but also sacrifice; in other words, I would love to keep it but choose to give it instead. I sometimes tell the story of how much I like it and why in order to show the sacrifice, because it would make me feel more loved if I was on the receiving end. Second best is when I come up with something beautiful to make that is just about the giftee (like jewelry or ornaments), or when it is something that I know will bring them disproportionate amounts of joy (such as finding Kylei a wooden model ship), or when I am really excited about something I want to share (like one of my dearest and best books).
I like receiving gifts in the same way -- and I don't give a shit about how much it cost. Unless that is part of the present -- if someone wants to get me something badly enough to spend more than they spend on themselves for fun, that matters to me. But it's first thought, then effort, then actual item that matters to me. If you buy me a diamond necklace I will not feel loved AT ALL because it shows that you don't know me one damn bit (and also that you might be treating me like a girl, which I find revolting). If you spend hours compiling locations of the closest-to-me champion trees, well that would make me utterly cry with joy and love (partly because I have already tried this project and found it to be outside my realm of patience/cleverness). If you find a rock that has what looks like a tree in the color patterns and you give it to me, that will make me happy, but if you love trees and you give it to me anyway, that will touch me very deeply. And if it comes with a story, even more so.
I like gifts at random times, but gifts given on particular days matter more: my birthday (it says, "I'm so glad you exist and are in my life"), my spiritual birthday (it says, "I support your spiritual growth and value that aspect of your selfhood"), and winter solstice (it says, "we are kin and I invest in our connectedness"). I don't feel unloved if I don't get a gift from any particular person at any particular time. I do feel unloved if I am left out while others get gifts, or if my lover(s) makes no real notice of my birthday (it doesn't have to be a physical gift but I want to feel noticed and paid attention to), or if someone gets me a gift that is something I actively dislike, like aerosol and/or fruity/sweet perfume or uncomfortable clothing or boring dishes. Coming to see me definitely counts as a gift, btw, and it is one of my favorites <3
My birthday is next week and here are my wishlists (feel free to browse to pad your own wishlists. I have excellent taste):
- -> my main list, full of a wide variety of items, some nsfw <- -
etsy favorites (for ideas, not really a wishlist)
prints n art
books -- general fiction / sci-fi
books -- historical fiction
books -- nonfiction biography
books -- nonfiction equality
books -- nonfiction nature
books -- nonfiction psychology
books -- nonfiction spirituality
cds n dvds <- note, this is one area where money does matter. If I like it enough to buy it, I do not want a burned copy because I want to support the artist, if only by increasing their amazon rank.
Also, I love getting people birthday presents, but I have a very hard time keeping up with it and I can never tell if I will have money at the right time, so as of the past few years I haven't really given birthday presents. I promise it isn't due to lack of love but instead due to difficulty planning and general fretting.