I know they says Myers-Briggs isn’t scientific, but…

…when I take the tests, I always get INFJ — Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging — and in the article “How Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Prepares For The Holidays,” via Lori’s cousin-in-law Sarah, there’s only one type that’s spot on.

INFJ – Drives themselves crazy trying to narrow down the MOST PERFECT gift for everyone, that is in equal parts meaningful and practical.”

The problem is, of course, that such a gift does not yet exist. As with gift-giving as with everything else in life, perfect is the enemy of good. If you find yourself in the same boat, though (and if you do, tell me because we INFJs have to stick together), here are a few coping techniques:

  1. Recognize the reality of imperfection. You will find a gift every so often that is somewhat closer to perfect. When you do, buy it, even if you’re not anywhere near Christmas, a birthday or whatever the right celebration is. But accept that most of the time you will not. So, start with lower sights.
  2. When you lower your sights, lower them to theme. You know what people like. Even if you can’t name your perfect ideas, you can likely name themes that lead toward them. Recognize these themes are a very good starting point. You’re letting the recipient’s life lead you ahead. That’s enough.
  3. Start early. There’s no reason you need to wait until Black Friday to start. I used to wait until Christmas week, and the stress would be in terrific position to kick my butt. Now it’s the beginning of November or even October for me. You can spread your stress over time, without deadline pressures.
  4. When your list is complete, stop to smell the Christmas trees. You tried your best, but now there’s a season to celebrate and for which to slow down — or at least for which to try to slow down. This morning, I’m listening to Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas after reading an essay about it.

“There’s loneliness and companionship, joy and despair, truth-seeking and blithe celebration, all during what’s marketed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Your interpretation of the season begets your holiday spirit, whatever version it may be – bah humbug and good tidings. It’s little surprise then that Charlie Brown’s soundtrack, as well as our own, is something just as introspective and shifting. Something like jazz.”

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