The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Avoid gift-giving panic with these creative ideas for any anniversary

Dear Distress Signal-
My anniversary is coming up. My partner is wildly creative, but I just tend to fall flat on my face when I try to pull something special together. How can I do something original when I am just drawing a blank all the time?
-Clumsy in Love 

Dear Clumsy,
Dare I say Pinterest? Seriously though, the short term solution to this problem lies in gaining access to his or her Amazon.com wish list, grilling friends and family for answers and stalking the past four years of their Facebook updates until something makes sense.
Long-term cures for spectacular present ideas hover in that horrible category of paying attention and writing things down.
I’m terrible at giving gifts. Between extended bouts of crippling self-doubt, low funds and an anti-consumerism bent, gift giving will usually find me in a puddle on the floor.
Fortunately for our dear readers (not so fortunately for my previous partners), I’ve discovered the best way to avoid the pre-gift-occasion panic attack is to buy the presents before they are expected.
Buy thoughtful items throughout the year. Or if funds are low at that moment, write the ideas down.
I would recommend a digital medium for such lists — but I also routinely wash important information via my jeans.
While the internet is no substitute for personal wisdom, it can help ease the impending freak out.
Firebox is a fun website for gift-y type purchases.
They also have an in-site tool called the “randomizer,” which will produce a new tchotchke every time the button is clicked.
Woot.com has only one item for sale each day, which is helpful for the indecisive.
But to really utilize the internet in the creepiest way possible, Giftivo is an app that scours the Facebook information of anyone you have added and scrambles it up with an algorithm to suggest custom gift ideas.
Anthropologically speaking, a gift is really just a forwarded debt. Sociologist Marcel Mauss wrote an essay titled, “The Gift,” in 1925 that explains why presents lock the receiver into an obligation to return the favor.
Of course, the proffering of this explanation might not go over well when your lover is expecting jewelry.
Alternatively, experiences are often better than things. At least they don’t gather dust.
Romantic dinners, skydiving adventures and long bike rides are all great experiences. Or sex. Sex is good too.  Just make sure the package stays wrapped.
Best wishes,
The Distress Signal

Got a burning question? Submit your relationship issues anonymously at: http://goo.gl/HGAKSL or email the Distress Signal directly at: [email protected].

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Avoid gift-giving panic with these creative ideas for any anniversary