My parents aren’t well off, but my mum always brought my sister and me gifts they thought I would like. Even toys for young children tend to be gendered, so I get how I was gifted ‘girly’ stuff. First of all, I never told them about that car I wanted, and I can imagine how they, as in my family, if she brought cars instead of dolls and barbies. I can tell you that they would have thought that she had lost her mind.
About five or six, I remember playing with cars; most likely, they were my cousin’s, who is a few years younger. Close to a year after I came out as a male, my mum opened under the bed, and it was full of dolls and babies that people gave me, but I never even opened, let alone played with. What I used to do was say thank you because, in my household, good manners were a must and fake a smile.
As soon as I got home, I would give it to mum to store it if I hadn’t given it to her in the car. The only presents I enjoyed were books, no surprise there! When I became a teen, mum bought me loads of makeup, most of which went unused or given to my sister since she loved makeup from a young age. I remember the Christmas; when I was 17, I requested hugs for gifts.
I had this need to connect because of the loneliness and the secrets within me. So, if you think that loneliness happens to older people and those without a family, I encourage you to think again. At times the best gift can be as simple as reaching out to someone who you think might need you to reach out.