Need vs. Want

“What do you want for Christmas?”

Each year I find this question harder and harder to answer.  It’s not that I don’t want anything, of course there are things I want, but when it comes down to it, I don’t really want many of those things that much.  As in, I might not want them a few months from now.

Think about your Christmas’ as a child.  You wanted something so badly so your parents (or “Santa”) got it for you and you were the happiest child on the planet.  What happened to that toy/thing you wanted?  You probably don’t have it anymore, do you?

In fact, I can even think of things I got as a late teenager that I really wanted at the time, but I no longer own because when it came down to it, I only wanted it for a short time and it was eventually useless to me.

(Except my Legos, but I’m saving those for my future children.)

I also find that when it comes to getting my family and friends something for Christmas or their birthdays, it’s much easier to give them something they need or something they can actually use instead of something they may or may not want. Take my dad for example, he insists that if I intend on buying him something, I get something that he can either use or eat.

Want_vs_Need_by_rogaziano

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten the same way.  I’d rather get something I can use (like photography gear or food gift cards) rather than a video game I might want right now, but I won’t bother playing in three months time.  However there is the exception of books, I always want books, so I will never be disappointed with a Barnes & Noble gift card.

I’m not saying that it’s bad to want things or ask for something you want for Christmas, but in my personal experience, I find that it really helps to think ahead about whether or not what I want is something I’m going to want and use this time next year.  If I don’t see myself using that item in the future, I take it off my list and replace it with something I will use.

This way, I’ll know that the people who want to buy me presents aren’t wasting their money, and that is something that money can’t buy (literally).

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