It’s that time of year, friends. The time when your family says they’ve seen Big Bang Theory so they understand you now. The time when your family keeps asking you what you want for Christmas, but you don’t know how to translate it into human speak. So you just say “whatever” or “gift cards.”
Gift-giving times are one of the hardest to bridge the gap between geek and non-geek. If you’re lucky enough to be in a family that’s nerdy by nature, you can give and receive with ease. But when there’s a gap, it gets a bit more awkward. How can you make the season bright if you’re the only fan in a less fannish family? We may know.
You’re Not Alone!
Families that care about each other want each other to be happy. So even though your relatives may think every single anime is Naruto or can’t tell games apart, that doesn’t mean they’re not trying. Frankly? We as fans have a great big repository of anime and game knowledge in our brains. And the things we know and like really are hard to parse for non-fans.
That doesn’t mean they don’t want to! Think of a show another friend likes that you never got into. Sometimes you can figure out enough to recognize their favorite character at a glance. But without deep knowledge, you probably have to ask a lot of questions just to watch an episode. You wanted to understand it because your friend liked it. But… it takes time, right?
So the biggest plus you have is that the people who care about you aren’t pursuing this information judgmentally. They know you like it, and they just want to grasp enough to nail it.
It’s Okay To Be Open
Do you feel awkward specifically saying what you’d like? We all do. It’s why it feels weird linking someone to an online wish list — even though that’s what it’s for. It feels kind of like a list of demands.
But many gift givers are more interested in finding you what they know you want. And so if you really want that hardcover manga collection they’ve never heard of? It’s okay to say so when they ask you.
Everyone — not just the nerd contingent — has gotten a bit shy of being straight with what they’d like on gift-giving occasions. Even when asked, it feels demanding. But just remember, you’re helping your friend or family member. And if they ask specifically, that means they really do want to find what you most like, and have acknowledged that they need a little help with that.
What’s the holiday season like with YOUR fam?