Author Topic: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...  (Read 3689 times)

10dollarsatatime

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Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« on: December 11, 2015, 11:13:35 AM »
http://qz.com/569143/christmas-gift-giving-between-adults-is-a-needless-consumerist-chore/

So they're not tying it back to the waste of money, exactly.  But it's a start.

AZDude

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 12:06:37 PM »
The author and myself think alike. I like the holidays, minus buying/receiving gifts.


lizzzi

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 01:00:27 PM »
For heaven's sake, such grinchiness all the time on this forum about presents. You can have a few beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree, or just to hand to them at the door if you go to their house...or for your parents or other adult friends and/or relatives that you may run into. Just buy small, useful things that anyone could use...personalize as much as possible without going to extra trouble...and make liberal use of good teas, coffees, bottle of booze, six-pack of Christmas ale, assortment of gourmet jams...it's not like your going to buy anybody a flat-screen TV or a ticket up to the ISS. If you hate wrapping, just buy an assortment of Christmas gift bags somewhere along the line, and a couple packs of tissue paper...and throw your inexpensive but thoughtful and useful...and that can perhaps be consumed...gift into the bag and either stick it under the tree for looks, or tote it over to the recipients house or whatever.  You don't have to go crazy, but you don't have to be a sourpuss Scrooge, either.

JZinCO

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 12:34:15 PM »
or a ticket up to the ISS.
I read ticket to ISIS.
haha, someone's been a naughty boy or girl.

RosieTR

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 01:26:30 PM »
http://qz.com/569143/christmas-gift-giving-between-adults-is-a-needless-consumerist-chore/

So they're not tying it back to the waste of money, exactly.  But it's a start.

So. Much. This.

Every single year since I was a Real Adult with a Real Job, I've had this fight with my mom. She is one of those who (if you subscribe to the Love Languages theory) expresses love via gifts. I hate getting gifts, with a small exception of an occasional "I saw this and it reminded me of you/I thought you might like it but possibly would never come across it" type of gift, that has nothing to do with a Obligatory Holiday Present but rather really makes a connection between me and the gift-giver. Similarly, I prefer to give gifts like that too. The whole theory that Lizzzi expounds, "gifts that anyone could use", make things totally not personal and IMO negate the point of gift-giving in the first place. I usually feel like everyone involved is wasting money trying to say "thank you" or "I love you" or "I feel guilty not giving a gift so here's something to assuage my own hangup". For the first two of those, everyone would be better served by the potential giver instead saying "I really appreciate X about you/I really appreciate X that you did" or "I love you, especially X trait about you" or "I'm so glad you're my friend, and you always make me feel X/I hope I can learn to be as good at X as you are" or whatever. Not because it's free, but because it's so much more memorable to say what you feel than a vague expression of your feelings routed through a corporation's profits as a somewhat guilt-inducing, obligatory ritual (that may create clutter, debt and environmental degradation).

AZDude

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2015, 03:31:26 PM »
For heaven's sake, such grinchiness all the time on this forum about presents. You can have a few beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree, or just to hand to them at the door if you go to their house...or for your parents or other adult friends and/or relatives that you may run into. Just buy small, useful things that anyone could use...personalize as much as possible without going to extra trouble...and make liberal use of good teas, coffees, bottle of booze, six-pack of Christmas ale, assortment of gourmet jams...it's not like your going to buy anybody a flat-screen TV or a ticket up to the ISS. If you hate wrapping, just buy an assortment of Christmas gift bags somewhere along the line, and a couple packs of tissue paper...and throw your inexpensive but thoughtful and useful...and that can perhaps be consumed...gift into the bag and either stick it under the tree for looks, or tote it over to the recipients house or whatever.  You don't have to go crazy, but you don't have to be a sourpuss Scrooge, either.

I don't mind buying gifts for other people. However, when I buy something, it is thoughtful, appropriate, and not just a gift card in a Christmas envelope. I'm the exception. Most people buy shit without thinking. I won't go into too much detail, but I have found myself being "gifted" with stuff that takes up a huge amount of space without any real use or value, or was bought on credit by someone else who needs the money, etc, etc, etc...

I tell people that what I want for Christmas is good food and good company. But they don't believe me and I end up with stacks of shit that eventually just goes into a Goodwill bin. Or I get gift cards. I hate gift cards. Gift cards are basically telling you "I dont know you very well, dont care about getting you something I think you might actually want, or felt compelled to hand you something but did not feel compelled into putting any thought into the gift. Merry Christmas.".

Basically, if you are walking through a store, and you stop and say "Wow, AzDude would love this..." and you buy it. Great! But if you are in the mall on December 23rd, going "I have to get AzDude something... Shit, its 8PM already. I'll just get a gift card.", then please... just walk away without buying it.


JrDoctor

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2015, 12:43:37 AM »
I blew 400, over 1% of my wage building a family member a computer.  I haven't bought him a proper present in maybe 3-4 years of christmas's, I got him a Pi last year.  For once given how pivotal a role as one of the only decent male role models outside of school and the fact he doesnt have a computer which works at home (he had an old pentium IV) I feel its a good spend.  The 200 on jewellery for my girlfriend, I feel less happy. 

chouchouu

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2015, 04:00:33 AM »
I quite like gift giving in our family. We tend to buy each other nicer versions of things we use. So some fancy boxers for DH, mil will buy me a cashmere sweater she found on sale somewhere, I'll buy her a nice wallet when I notice the stitching is coming loose on hers. Once a year is about the rate we seem to go through the main items so even if I have enough sweaters I'll need a new one in the next few months anyway. If her wallet is doing fine then perhaps it's her address book she lost this year.  From friends we've received a bunch of home made festive foods, which makes you feel all warm inside tucking into homemade Christmas cake that a childhood friend put together. But if gift giving has turned into an anxiety inducing chore there's nothing wrong with giving it up. I just think people put too much pressure on themselves sometimes. Nothing wrong with buying someone socks.

Trudie

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2015, 07:48:11 AM »
For heaven's sake, such grinchiness all the time on this forum about presents. You can have a few beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree, or just to hand to them at the door if you go to their house...or for your parents or other adult friends and/or relatives that you may run into. Just buy small, useful things that anyone could use...personalize as much as possible without going to extra trouble...and make liberal use of good teas, coffees, bottle of booze, six-pack of Christmas ale, assortment of gourmet jams...it's not like your going to buy anybody a flat-screen TV or a ticket up to the ISS. If you hate wrapping, just buy an assortment of Christmas gift bags somewhere along the line, and a couple packs of tissue paper...and throw your inexpensive but thoughtful and useful...and that can perhaps be consumed...gift into the bag and either stick it under the tree for looks, or tote it over to the recipients house or whatever.  You don't have to go crazy, but you don't have to be a sourpuss Scrooge, either.

I like your approach.  Each year it gets harder for us to figure out what to get for elderly parents, but this year I'm sticking to "consumables."  My MIL does not drive and lives in assisted living.  They shop for her as needed but I thought we'd get her a few things that she likes on a regular basis -- mainly food items -- and put them in a nice gift bag and call it good.  There's nothing sexy about "consumables", but it's one of the few things we know she actually uses.  So that's what we'll do.

I don't mind buying gifts for other people. However, when I buy something, it is thoughtful, appropriate, and not just a gift card in a Christmas envelope. I'm the exception. Most people buy shit without thinking. I won't go into too much detail, but I have found myself being "gifted" with stuff that takes up a huge amount of space without any real use or value, or was bought on credit by someone else who needs the money, etc, etc, etc...

I tell people that what I want for Christmas is good food and good company. But they don't believe me and I end up with stacks of shit that eventually just goes into a Goodwill bin. Or I get gift cards. I hate gift cards. Gift cards are basically telling you "I dont know you very well, dont care about getting you something I think you might actually want, or felt compelled to hand you something but did not feel compelled into putting any thought into the gift. Merry Christmas.".

Basically, if you are walking through a store, and you stop and say "Wow, AzDude would love this..." and you buy it. Great! But if you are in the mall on December 23rd, going "I have to get AzDude something... Shit, its 8PM already. I'll just get a gift card.", then please... just walk away without buying it.

horsepoor

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2015, 08:01:45 AM »
http://qz.com/569143/christmas-gift-giving-between-adults-is-a-needless-consumerist-chore/

So they're not tying it back to the waste of money, exactly.  But it's a start.

So. Much. This.

Every single year since I was a Real Adult with a Real Job, I've had this fight with my mom. She is one of those who (if you subscribe to the Love Languages theory) expresses love via gifts. I hate getting gifts, with a small exception of an occasional "I saw this and it reminded me of you/I thought you might like it but possibly would never come across it" type of gift, that has nothing to do with a Obligatory Holiday Present but rather really makes a connection between me and the gift-giver. Similarly, I prefer to give gifts like that too. The whole theory that Lizzzi expounds, "gifts that anyone could use", make things totally not personal and IMO negate the point of gift-giving in the first place. I usually feel like everyone involved is wasting money trying to say "thank you" or "I love you" or "I feel guilty not giving a gift so here's something to assuage my own hangup". For the first two of those, everyone would be better served by the potential giver instead saying "I really appreciate X about you/I really appreciate X that you did" or "I love you, especially X trait about you" or "I'm so glad you're my friend, and you always make me feel X/I hope I can learn to be as good at X as you are" or whatever. Not because it's free, but because it's so much more memorable to say what you feel than a vague expression of your feelings routed through a corporation's profits as a somewhat guilt-inducing, obligatory ritual (that may create clutter, debt and environmental degradation).

Totally.  It has been ages since my immediate family and I have exchanged gifts.  DH and I have even stopped with it.  I would generally need to tell him exactly what I want because it would probably be some very specific/obscure horse item, and then he would have to tell me what he wanted, because it would probably be some very specific ski equipment or something.  Kind of takes away from the element of surprise and feels like a business transaction.  The last thing I got for my dad was a nice Petzl headlamp for his birthday, because I knew he didn't have one, but would use it constantly.  Since then, I haven't been inspired to get him that "just right" gift, so I haven't. 

But he buys gifts for his side of the family, and then they send us stuff.  There are a few things sitting on the kitchen counter from them right now.  I'm certain one will be a Starbuck's gift card for me.  I'll use it when I'm traveling for work, but I always feel weird about it since I personally earn probably what the two of them earn combined.  Then there is a bigger box addressed to both of us that will probably have something cheap and not very useful in it.  But then maybe I'll be wrong.  We'll see.  DH just got them all Amazon gift cards this year, and they probably sent him an REI gift card or something.  It's a stupid $$ exchange that is just making Starbuck's Amazon and REI even richer.

BPA

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2015, 08:27:19 AM »
For heaven's sake, such grinchiness all the time on this forum about presents. You can have a few beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree, or just to hand to them at the door if you go to their house...or for your parents or other adult friends and/or relatives that you may run into. Just buy small, useful things that anyone could use...personalize as much as possible without going to extra trouble...and make liberal use of good teas, coffees, bottle of booze, six-pack of Christmas ale, assortment of gourmet jams...it's not like your going to buy anybody a flat-screen TV or a ticket up to the ISS. If you hate wrapping, just buy an assortment of Christmas gift bags somewhere along the line, and a couple packs of tissue paper...and throw your inexpensive but thoughtful and useful...and that can perhaps be consumed...gift into the bag and either stick it under the tree for looks, or tote it over to the recipients house or whatever.  You don't have to go crazy, but you don't have to be a sourpuss Scrooge, either.

To each their own, but lecturing the anti-consumers of us on a forum attached to a blog about anti-consumerism is a bit like telling vegans that they have character defects because they won't eat a little bit of meat.  Do what you want, but please, spare the rest of us who are here your pedantic lecturing. 

Signed, the "sourpuss Scrooge" who frequents this forum because she found some people who also believe that buying presents isn't the only way to show people you care about them and other anti-consumer ideas

gReed Smith

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2015, 08:31:17 AM »
I tried to tell my parents, who are FIRE but not exactly rich, that I don't want presents anymore.  My wife and I make tens of thousands more than my parents ever made, and we fritter it away on pointless shit all year long.  And yet, each year they buy me crap or give me cash that I have to pretend I used to buy something I wouldn't have otherwise bought.  Same with the wife.  I buy her something she obviously didn't really want, and I know it because she isn't afraid to buy whatever she wants all year long.  It adds a lot of unnecessary stress and expense.  That is why Thanksgiving is the best holiday: good food, family and a day to reflect on your blessings without much stress (unless you're nervous to cook a turkey).


mamagoose

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Re: Superfluous Christmas gift giving...
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2015, 09:35:46 AM »
I also have relatives with the gift-giving-love-language, and it kinda hurts my feelings to get their thoughtless gifts. One year my MIL got me a random portable car vacuum thing that was clearly within her reasonable budget but probably purchased at CVS (as-seen-on-TV). I know it meant something to her to be the one giving a gift, but in my mind I thought 1) should I be offended that she thinks I need to clean my car more? 2) she obviously doesn't know me well enough to know that I never clean my car anyway. 3) she doesn't know me well enough to know it hurts my feelings to see this cheap plastic crap that's gonna end up in the landfill. Like if you don't know me well enough to get me a gift that I would really appreciate (i.e. you know my interests & hobbies and can pick something that relates to them), then don't waste your money and don't make some poor sap manufacture a piece of crap and some other poor sap work in a big box store selling you the crap and some other poor sap drive the garbage truck to take the crap away, all so YOU could feel good putting a box under the tree with my name on it.