If you have to “find a gift”, you shouldn’t be buying one.

Earlier this year, an “Amazing. Absolutely amazing.” gift idea came to mind that I wanted to have made for a friend. Because I wanted to and not because I had to. There was no reason or occasion. This was the type of gift you couldn’t wait to give, the type of gift you are absolutely certain will be met with elation.

This wasn’t an ‘Add to Cart’ gift. It took time — time to source a designer, time for it to be designed, then more time for the design to be outsourced and produced, and even more time to ship it. It also took money.

It was worth the “U up?” text.

It was this year that I decided I will no longer buy gifts for the sake of it — gifts because I have to. It’s only the third day of December and I’ve already overheard countless times how many others “have to find” a gift for so and so. How sad is that? How sad are you? You don’t have to do anything.

I no longer get gifts for others unless I have that same joy I had when giving the aforementioned gift.

My mother has been using an offensive coffee maker that utilizes a reusable filter for ages, and every aspiring barista knows that you won’t have a good time if you’re brewing coffee with a reusable filter and not with a proper paper filter setup.

Why? Reusable filters make a terrible tasting cup of coffee. They are also not so good for you.

It was her birthday last week and I just so happened to have an idea of a gift that would add value to her life: a quality coffee maker with no-frills [she wouldn’t know what to do with a machine that were a sip more intricate]. She drinks a cup every morning, so I thought she would be delighted by a much better tasting cup of coffee. I was looking forward to getting her one.

I happened to be visiting her when I received the notification on my phone that her coffee maker was delivered. I went downstairs to the doorman, scooped the box, and placed it on the kitchen counter as I looked at her with a smile. She was confused. When I told her it was for her birthday, she didn’t seem interested — not even a little. She actually wanted me to return it. [That’s embarrassing.]

At first, I was saddened that she didn’t appreciate it. After heavy convincing and then teaching her how to use it, she agreed to keep the fresh coffee maker and that she would get rid of her old one.

Just last night, I was chatting with her on the phone and when she randomly mentioned that she drank coffee earlier that day, it reminded me that I never asked her how she had been enjoying her new coffee maker. When I asked her with such zeal how much of a difference the new coffee maker had made, I was taken back by her response: “I’ve been using my old machine. I like mine.”

She didn’t even try the new machine. [That’s embarrassing.]

I was so irritated by this — offended, even. Why wouldn’t you want better tasting coffee? How do you not appreciate my gift?

The next morning, I was reflecting on this peculiar situation, and it was then I realized just how how often gifts — even good gifts — are unwanted and a waste.

We don’t know what people actually want.

Many times, others don’t even want anything for themselves.

So why do we keep wasting our money and our time & effort only to burden others with stuff they don’t want? These gifts are either re-gifted, unused, or used solely because the person feels inclined to — not because it adds value or brings joy. Many times, these gifts actually cause a loss. Everybody loses.

The best gifts are the gifts at random, for no reason or occasion.