Every year I give a couple of gifts to organisations that pass out presents to needy families at Christmas. We are having a $20 “Secret Santa” at work anf I have been wasting time trying to get the perfect little something for the person I drew and suddenly I was stuck by the absurdity of it all - I, a well paid middle class man, am buying a well paid middle class woman something she may not even want.
I’ll get 4 gifts from family members - I can’t recall what any of them got me last year, and if they asked me what I want I would say, nothing thanks.
Now I don’t object to gift giving, I am by nature generous and usually don’t have to Chrismas shop because I pick up things that I know people will like whenever I come across them and just put them aside. A few days ago I bought a bag of imported hickory chips that I saw because I knew that a guy at work does his own smoking but uses Australian woods. He was very grateful.
Anyhow I understand all the, “but people want to buy you something to show how much they like/love you” arguments but when it gets to the tokenism of a gift voucher, I’d rather than someone else got it. Someone who needs it. I’ll still appreciate the sentiment but I just can’t see the point of a money-go-round amongst the privileged.
So from next year on give my gift to someone else and make 3 people happy.
I hate, hate, HATE it when someone says to me, “Do you have a list of what you want?” If I needed to make a list, it means that the giver has absolutely no idea what I would like, what I need or what my tastes are, and if that person cannot think of what to get me that he/she thinks I would like, appreciate or enjoy, then they should NOT BUY IT FOR ME!!! :mad:
I like to buy things for other people, however, I hate to be made to feel as if I have to buy something just because the time of the year. If I’m out and I see something I think Hallgirl would like, then I buy it for her. Chances are good that I’ll give it to her right away, instead of hanging on to it to produce at a seasonally demanded time of the year.
Neither my family nor my fiancee’s are exchanging gifts this year. My mom doesn’t want “more stuff” enither do I, and my sister is intent on getting rid off stuff and doens’t want anythin gnew coming into her apartment. We’re just spending leisurely holiday time together.
My fiancee’s family has said “Well, we all have everything already!” they are signed up to buy all the presents for a needy family. They got a wish list from some charity organization along with the profile of the family they are buying for. So they are buying presents for that family instead of each other.
You can give gifts without giving "stuff’ - my Dad is on his own and gets bored cooking for himself (he’s 81), so Mrs. Piper and I have told him that his Christmas present this year would be a cooked roast beef, some cooked vegetables, and a pie. He thought that would be a great gift.
We are not doing gifts for the extended family this year. Ivylad is making a woodworking gift for each family (a mantle clock) and that’s it. For us and the kids, we agreed to get a second dog and that’s it.
We are trying to get debt free, and I can’t see going out and spending money on store-bought crap anymore. In the future I will make gifts, probably knitting or trying some body scrubs, and maybe Ivylad can do some more woodworking gifts, but I’m done with commercialized Christmas.
Mine too. And of course, particularly in view of the O.P’s user name, one hardly wanted to ask for clarification.
So I’m glad it’s not bad news, and welcome to the tribe of given=up-on-commercial christmas. I reckon most of us do enjoy giving gifts if we happen to see something just right for mother or whatever, but not because it’s compulsory at the time of year. Yep, charity, or ignore it all together, say I.
Plus, somebody is bound to have a sudden tsunami or earthquake or Bad Thing and need any meagre amount of spare Celyn money more than my siblings might need yet more books, for example.
For people far away and not needing anything, we have started buying charity gifts (a goat, some trees, a toilet, but we drew the line at 200 condoms for my parents-in-law).
The receiver gets a card, and the knowledge that we are thinking of them, and someone in Africa gets something that they really need, and we feel much better about Christmas expenditure (oh, and it is Gift Aided and tax deductible - win-win-win).
And we have let family know that we would prefer gifts like this, too. We don’t need anything, and would prefer that christmas spending has some real value.
Among my sibs, we quit exchanging gifts years ago, which suits me fine. We still give to the next generation, but they’re becoming adults, so that gravy train is about to stop. And my husband and I will be taking my mom to her very favoritest restaurant on a mutually agreed-upon date, because Mom doesn’t need any more crap.
On my husband’s side, we’ve started a silly new tradition - everyone shows up with a wrapped gift worth $10-$12. MIL writes a silly story that requires packages to be passed to the left, or the right, or whatever, and in the end, we open whatever is in front of us. Last year, I got a vaporizer. :eek: My FIL got E. Coli, and other goofiness ensued. It was fun, and no one went broke (since most of that side of the family is broke anyway.) I like that tradition.
Of course, all bets will be off when I become a grandmother, should that ever happen…
I make a Christmas gift list every year because what I’d like to receive changes. Several years ago it was tools for my woodworking shop. Now it’s books, especially the classics. So I list the titles I’d most like to have and circulate the list. My daughters-in-law diligently e-mail each other and my personal library is growing nicely.
I’ll be getting Christmas gifts for many, many years – I hope.
I hate, hate, HATE it when I have to guess what someone wants and if I’m wrong I’ve thrown away my money for something that will sit on a shelf or make the regifting rounds for years to come. :mad: Take a gift card to Worst Buy and get yourself some DVDs. I may know what movies you like, but I don’t know which you consider worth owning, and which you already own.
We managed to stop with my siblings in a mutually agreed-upon decision. I’m still working on my parents, but I keep telling them not to buy us something and they told me to do the same. I listened; they didn’t. We also convinced my husband’s sister to eliminate the gift-giving, and I think this year we were able to cut out his father (He’s divorcing, so he doesn’t have a wife to do all the Christmas shopping for him.) Only my MIL is left. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to convince her of it, even though it’s a pointless and painful exercise. We don’t know each other enough to buy gifts without a list, and even with the list, she ignores it and gets stuff I’m completely uninterested in, showing a complete disregard for my tastes and desires.