Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

'Tis best to neither give nor receive

A few years ago I told everyone in my family that I wasn’t going to get them any Christmas gifts and I didn’t expect them to get me any and every time the season rolls on in I’m so glad that I did. I’m not talking about fewer gifts or just small gifts I mean NO gifts whatsoever. What a relief. No more going to the mall. No more trying to figure out what to get someone and in the end settling for something that I knew was lame, but at least it was something. Everyone in my family has pretty much everything they need or want, maybe even much more than they need or want. Of course, there are those “gifted” gifters out there, people who excel at choosing great gifts and get satisfaction from it, but I am definitely not one of them. I don’t think I’m a selfish person; my talents and inclinations simply lie elsewhere.

My family had a mixed reaction. Some of them liked the idea and some did not. No one has followed my example and they continue to give both to each other and to me. I don’t mind them giving to each other. It was never my intention to convert anyone to my point of view. However the fact that they continue to give to me at first made me feel a little odd. But now I just appreciate the gifts I get and the fact that everyone seems to tolerate my rather unusual decision.

Now before you call me a grinch let me make it clear that I’m not against Christmas. I like getting together with friends and family, eating, celebrating, etc… I like Christmas music and Christmas trees. I don’t care that it’s a Christian holiday and I’m not a Christian. Any excuse to celebrate is fine with me. I’m not even against exchanging gifts if it makes people happy. It’s just that it doesn’t make me happy. It’s more of a personal preference than a political statement. Happy Holidays!


At 12/09/2006, Blogger BOR-ee-us said...

Incidentally, I think it was Ramblinmatt himself who gave me the idea of skipping christmas gifts.

At 12/09/2006, Blogger Time Eagle said...

For some reason I always end up at a mall on "Black Friday"(day after thanksgiving) for non-christmas related shopping reasons. And my god is it a madhouse. It's enough to make one want to cancel the whole thing.

Incidentally, I did have christmas breakdown in 1999 during which I didn't buy any presents for anyone and became very depressed about the whole thing. The wasteful consumerism and christian-centric themes jammed down your throat for a full month out of every year starts to feel hellishly repetitive and oppressive.

Um. Merry christmas.

At 12/10/2006, Blogger Matt said...

I don't remember that at all, but I heartily concur. I'm not weaned entirely, we still get gifts for our folks and my neice and nephew. We're going to be in Bakersfield for Christmas for the first time in forever, and there my family does one of those "Dirty Santa" gift swapping things where you aren't buying for a specific person and everybody steals gifts from everybody else. That I can take, since it's fun and there's no pressure to get the right thing for the right person. I actually had a great idea for my parents last year, I got them this digital photo frame that connects to the Internet so we can send pictures to their living room in Bakersfield from our computere here in North Carolina, which they love. Plus, it means every year from now on we can just get them another year's subscription to the service! Great gift for people far away from family:


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