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The stress of buying perfect holiday presents causes anxiety

With the holiday season in full swing, people everywhere are rushing out to get the best gifts for loved ones, except me. I could care less about the Super Bowl for shoppers which is referred to as Black Friday.

At this point in my life, I've almost discarded gift buying or "holiday shopping" completely. Sure I celebrate Christmas and even Chanukah (why not?) but I am exhausted with gift giving.

It's not about the money, it's about the stress of finding the per­fect present.

Knowing my friends for years and my family for decades, the pressure to buy them something hey don't have already or that is really going to make a difference is bothersome.

Getting the right size, the newest electronics or the right stocking stuffer is overrated. Every year it becomes more overwhelming and more repetitive.

There are the essential people I get gifts for like my dad, my mom and my younger brother. My brother's birthday is four days af­ter Christmas, so usually I get him a standard shirt for Christmas and a really awesome birthday present, but my list ends there.

When it comes to gifts for friends I'd rather throw a holiday party or have a dinner and do secret Santa. This way, I could buy a $20 Tar­get gift card and be done with the whole ordeal.

Going home to California for Christmas is all I really care about. This year I am flying there on Christmas Eve.

My family is annoyed with my decision because they want me there a few days earlier but why pay the additional $200 for me to sleep in those three days? For me, any chance I get to visit my family is enough.

Overall, I've accepted my views on holiday gift buying as the Charlie Brown syndrome, or the belief that Christmas is over com­mercialized. To me, quality time, good food and memorable mo­ments are what the holidays are really about.

I'm tired of ev­eryone asking me what I want for Christmas. The last thing I want to think about it something I don't have and don't need.

When finals are over I just want to sleep, watch movies and spend time with my family.

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I don't want to be tested on my skills in gift selection, present wrapping or survival of the fittest at a shopping mall.

Give me a peace of mind, a Christ­mas tree and a blanket. As for the gifts, leave them on the shelves at Macy's.

Good Grief!

Meagan Cumingham is a junior public relations major from River­side, Calif. She can be reached at


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