I too notice things that people I love might like I want to buy them to hold on to for birthdays and holidays, but I know I may impulsively give them at any time because I have NO PATIENCE, none at all.
The things I desire for myself, though, have changed so much over the past year! Last year, before bbwoof made me move out, most of what I wanted was for our house. I would have asked for gardening and hot tub accessories, for deck stain, for curtain rods. I would have fainted with joy over an enormous IKEA gift certificate. I hung out on the IKEA website drooling over the daybed and bookcase units that would fit perfectly as pseudo built-ins along one wall of the dining room. (The Hemnes day bed and good old Billy bookcases -- I'd measured and sketched and dreamed and measured again, it would have been perfect.) If pressed to name something just for myself, I'd probably have asked for pretty yarn and a bottle of nice single-malt scotch. Or, of course, cash. As long as you have bills to pay, cash is always good.
My life has changed so much.
Now what I most want is the return of what I had last September but have since lost -- a fulfilling job, a loving husband, a sense of what my life was all about and what the future would be. I also want my ankle to bend without pain. I want to be the sort of person who springs into action instead of freezing when stressed. I want to not care so much, to not cry so much. I want intangibles. I want miracles.
Failing that, cash is still good. The universal constant of gifts, it turns out, is not fruitcake after all.