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Sunday March 7th, 2021 4:06PM

Perfect gifting still a possibility despite pandemic

By Alyson Shields Reporter

There’s nothing like the look on someone’s face when they open a gift, from you, and it’s just what they wanted!

Maybe it was jewelry, an expensive video game, a new camera, a designer dress, a framed photo, or a finger painting. Whatever it was, gift givers of all kinds want to find, wrap and give the perfect something for someone they love.

The challenge isn’t always just finding the gift. Sometimes, it’s the attitude that remains after the gift is given.

A survey by De Beers and OnePoll of 2,000 people showed the competitive nature of giving the perfect gift can add to the stress of the holidays, with 30% of those surveyed reporting that finding that perfect present caused them the most stress. And, 55% of people were stressed out about picking the perfect gift.

Other stressors included worrying about stock supply for gifts of choice or the gift not being appreciated by the recipient.

And due to the pandemic, 67% of those surveyed said it was more important to find the perfect gift this holiday season than ever before. 64% said their loved ones had gone above and beyond for them during the pandemic and they wanted to shop appreciation on the holiday.

We asked AccessWDUN readers what their gift giving situations were really like this year.

Taylor Riley, a teacher in Hall County, said her son will turn two years old a week before Christmas, so her family makes an extra effort to plan so he gets both a birthday and Christmas.

"I start, probably around mid-October to get an idea of some gifts that we want to give, especially for our little boy," Riley said. "We try to space it out around paychecks and stuff like that. It's what we have to do around this time of year."

Neither the pandemic nor the holiday shopping stress can put much of a damper on Riley's holiday, since her son was born after she and her husband thought they could not have children. So while the Rileys are keeping it socially distant this year, they've continued to make the most of the Christmas season at home.

"We've done a few things out and about, but doing it safely,” she said. “But we have done a lot more things at home, either with immediate family of grandparents, people like that."

Nothing puts Christmas gift planning into place like a tight budget. But the spirit of the holiday took a hit this year too, with COVID-19 and the grueling election and subsequent runoff making spirits, well, dull.

Kris Gaston said after multiple phone calls, television commercials, and a door knock one day, she was unhappy with how in-your-face the election cycle was during the holiday season.

"Just the frustration over how people can be so terrible with each other or towards each other, right now especially with it being Christmas and having to deal with life being difficult."

However, Gaston said her family was still trying to have fun with the holiday despite any negativity. She said she's changed her perspective on gift giving for the year, though.

"The gift giving is pretty standard... I'm doing a lot online, which I don't usually do," said Kris Gaston. "I'm trying to be more practical with gift giving this year than extravagant."

Gaston said all of her shopping habits had taken a hit because of the pandemic. "Even the basics, you don't want to do it. I've used the Walmart pick-up for the first time and I initially said, 'I'll never do that!' but I find it's the best thing right now."

Without revealing her Santa secrets, Gaston said her practical gifts were items she thought her loved ones may not have while hunkering down at home and things to make life a little easier.

As the pandemic rages on, many families are worried on how their presence can be a present for each other. Families can use technology to connect with members in other households or take the old fashion route and mail a care package. And for those who are completely stumped, consider giving a contactless gift: donate to a cause or charity the recipient cares about in their honor.

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Perfect gifting still a possibility despite pandemic
The challenge isn’t always just finding the gift. Sometimes, it’s the attitude that remains after the gift is given.
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