I went to a conference in Palm Springs a few years ago, and each attendee was gifted a surprise package from a woman they hired who called herself The Wantist.
This woman, unbeknownst to each of us, had scoured our social media platforms, and photo albums, and purchased us each a personal gift.
I walked to a table in the back of the conference room, and found a small package wrapped in ribbon on the back table.
As I walked back to my seat, women around me squealed in delight.
One had gotten tickets to a concert.
Another some tea towels like her mother always kept hanging near the sink.
I opened the box and found vintage Beatles postcards with the lyrics of Hey Jude printed across them.
It was unexpected and beautiful, and something I never would have bought myself. I loved them.
And buying them was someone’s real job.
This is my dream job.
It took an exceptionally long time to figure out how I show love.
I always just assumed I overbearingly shoved my love at people to either accept or runaway from, but honestly, that is something I do more out of habit, as opposed to genuine, thought out, action.
I simply idle at smothering, isn’t that fun?
I figured out the way that I purposefully and thoughtfully showed love was giving people gifts I know they will love. I get high on it.
Gift cards? Pfft.
I spend weeks finding things they’ve either drooled over a thousand times, or maybe mentioned once in passing.
Things I’ve seen in their home, or know that they value.
I’m chasing a high, the more surprised the better.
My latest hobby? DIY curated gift boxes.
I love subscription boxes, I subscribe to a few of them at any given time, mostly because I have a short memory, so when one arrives, I’ve completely forgotten, and it’s the best surprise ever.
Like 50 First Dates, but with boxes of full size make-up and Korean face masks.
Currently I am a FabFitFun addict, and I save the super colorful boxes. I didn’t even know why at first, I just felt bad tossing something so pretty. Which is what the voice over opening my episode of Hoarders will be.
Unable to find the perfect subscription box for my 10 year old daughter, I was like… why don’t I just make one myself?
So I did.
For Gigi’s 10th birthday, I pulled out a brightly colored box and went to work.
With some plastic and fabric flowers from the dollar store, a glue gun, and some die cut letters, I made her a perfectly Gigi themed box to store her gifts.
And listen, you can do this with any box you have around the house.
Clearly, the first time around I may have grossly overestimated the size of the box.
Most of the goodies came from TJ Maxx, the Target $1 area, and various other check out area goodies you can never quite say no to.
Um it was a really big hit.
Then my friend Meredith turned 40, and lord, grab my glitter and glue gun.
Is it cheaper than therapy? Yes, but my therapy co-pays are insane.
There is not, however, a Taco Bell next to my house like there is near my therapist’s office… so frankly, it’s a wash.
All these decorations were from the craft store, the colorful paper decorations are simply pieces from a $3 banner that I cut up to add some pizzazz.
Making out in a car…
Finding popcorn in your bra…
Having your friend cancel on that thing you were supposed to do together so you get to stay home in your sweatpants and watch Christmas movies…
There are few things as magical as opening a box of gifts that are handpicked for you.