Sometimes it is actually good to have (had) an elephant in the room.
Paying for gifts
...does not work.
You don't say to someone, "here's $100, maybe this time get me a gift worth $100 more than you'd regularly spend." It's kind of insulting. It still probably won't get you exactly the thing you wanted. Actually, the other person might just pocket the $100 and run off with it.
Giving presents to yourself is both the easiest and the hardest.
Schenken macht glücklich.