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frugalone
12-28-11, 6:05pm
I realize it's after the fact, but a friend sent this to me:
http://www.theawl.com/2011/12/this-christmas-no-gifts

I posted it on my wall on Facebook, and nobody agrees with me or my friend.
It just says to me that we SLers are in the minority--or people are afraid to speak up and be a Grinch!

What do you think?

Simplemind
12-28-11, 7:30pm
I love this. I would feel this way even if I wasn't into simple living. I have pulled out of the office gifting for the past two years and some still have their noses out of joint. I stopped buying for them but they still buy for me. I'm sure they think I'm a grinch and don't want to shop. I'll admit that is part of it but the bigger part is that I don't want incoming stuff. I also agree that with older kids when it is just an exchange of gift cards it is time to stop.
I love doing things for people and when I find something that I think somebody will like I am the first to hop on a treat "just because" but Christmas is out of control. Every year people seem to be more miserable about the gifting aspect of it and don't know how to stop.

Mrs-M
12-28-11, 8:00pm
Yes, to both IMV (in my view). (I like the article, too). There's a lot to be said about frugality and simplicity, and seldom am I stonewalled in my ability to extract a sense of jealousy (even if there's only a mild hint of) when I read articles based on exuberance, or retraction and restraint. It's as though our ways produce a conceptual strain on those doing the writing, those, who are either not accepting of, or not willing to, conform to our more humble ways. Not saying that is, or was, such the case in relation to this article, just saying...

The article possesses a strong tone of steadfast assertiveness in respect to the lack of ability so many people exhibit in relation to being able to say no, and/or, abstain from conforming to the general populous. But what I like best about the article, is how it captures the many shades of consumerism and the deficiencies that attach themselves to such attributes, and how such limp virtues branch out and diffuse to the outer rim of the Petri dish as if manifesting in the form of distinct DNA Markers, clearly pointing to the foolishness and inabilities of those too weak and feeble to crossover to the other side, our side, and follow through with a defined stance, an alternate stance, a stance traditionally reserved for but a small select few, the few, who aren't affected by subsequent finger-pointing or the suggestive connotation of failure or lesser-than group identification.

snowbirdpat
12-28-11, 8:33pm
I hate the gift part of Christmas! My husband asked me what I wanted (which annoys me - pay attention during the year), so I gave him three ideas - he didn't buy one of them. I know it sounds Grinch-y, but I was disappointed this year and am not afraid to say it.

JaneV2.0
12-28-11, 11:55pm
Loved the paragraph about teenagers--hilariously true!

I like adult Christmases, and only exchange a couple of gifts at this point, and the older I get the more I see the wisdom of my father's Christmas proposition: "You give me ten dollars and I'll give you ten dollars and we'll call it good!"

frugalone
12-29-11, 2:00am
I think one of the things that really got me this year was how the "ante" has gone up so much. Like an iPad is a "normal" Christmas gift.

ApatheticNoMore
12-29-11, 3:48am
Yea I think gifts should be for kids (except spontaneous non-occasion gifts as mentioned). Where the cut off should be, I don't know make it 16 instead of 12 or something fine, but it shouldn't be *adults*.

I like this line:

"Generally, I think adults get the things they need or want when they need or want them. Thatís one of the joys of being an adult."

Indeed it is! They're aren't that many joys to adulthood but that is surely one.

crunchycon
12-29-11, 6:35am
OK, i'll be the contrarian. I actually like giving gifts -- I put a lot of thought into what might actually be treasured or needed or consumed by the other person. It's the obligation of giving gifts to people I'm not related to by blood or friendship that bugs me; e.g., I bow out of the office Chinese Auction gift exchange every year. I'd probably feel differently if I had a large family.

razz
12-29-11, 10:15am
Interesting blog to read. Thanks, LIB.
Why is it that the wording in such a blog sounds so harsh? Is it the struggle of going against the commercial stream? Would a simple assertion that this is what we are doing not be enough? Not to derail the point of the OP but I am curious.

"My gift to you is relieving you of the obligation of getting a gift for me. The gift of relaxation. The money you would have spent on me? Go buy yourself something you want with it. There. We’re even and happier" is what we said to our kids and while they may have been surprised at first, they are very relieved now. The pressure is gone and simple enjoyment of each other and a lovely meal is enough.
Not sure that I would cut off at age 12 though. Haven't got there yet so will have to give it some thought and talk to family.

RosieTR
12-29-11, 11:23am
That was hilarious, LadyInBlack! Thanks for posting! I especially liked the paragraph about teenagers. I remember never getting anything good at all on Christmas as a teen (always something about 3 years too young or too old for me) when I'd really have rather just been given some money and a ride to the mall.
As for adult gift giving/getting, amen! My mom called just yesterday to tell me she took back the mittens I got her that I *thought* were the right size >8) Of course, everything would have been simpler if I'd have just been able to say "you know what, just go buy yourself some mittens at REI and say I got them for you". And I could have just bought a National Park pass for me and DH, and said it was "from" my parents. Instead they sent Amazon gift certificates and the one thing you apparently can't buy on Amazon is a National Park pass.

ETA: If people are insistent on gifts for adults, it would be great to only do White Elephant. And I mean, a true White Elephant where you pick something out of your house that you no longer have use for (or maybe never did in the first place) and bring it to the exchange. I've been to some where it was supposed to be White Elephant but really it was more like everyone went to the store and got something new, just not specifically for someone. That misses the point. Unless you are a decluttering goddess/god, you probably have something you can feel fine giving away: a book you've already read or couldn't get into, a bottle of red wine when you prefer white, a mouse that works with a PC when you went with Mac, whatever. Every time I've done these, someone has been delighted to get whatever I brought, and I was glad to get rid of it. And there's always the gift that nobody wants, and it's just funny.

JaneV2.0
12-29-11, 12:42pm
"Generally, I think adults get the things they need or want when they need or want them. That’s one of the joys of being an adult."

True. Having my own money has been a joy since the very first day.

HappyHiker
12-29-11, 12:44pm
Great blog posting--and I sure do agree. I view the holidays as a time to gather with friends and share laughter and warmth. It's taken me some time, but I'm no longer a robot heading to the mall to automatically buy goods just because there's a certain date on the calendar.

I just don't understand why this spiritual solstice or religious Jewish and Christian holiday season has devolved into the mass buying of consumer goods. Guess it's the American Way to dream up and tie holidays to gifts and consumerism like Valentine's Day, Mother's and Father's Days...

Gift giving is fun--I like to find and give great little gifts like a special book to friends and family all through the year--just not on the days we're supposed to do it. The Road Not Taken, maybe? I don't like feeling like a mindless lemming marching off to the mall to buy some mass-produced junk...

puglogic
12-29-11, 5:44pm
Well, while I agree with the article in principle, I like getting a thoughtful gift from my close family members at appropriate holidays, because I seldom buy myself anything. Not to sound like a martyr -- it just doesn't occur to me that a really swell, thick, colorful pair of socks might delight me. Or that I might just have worked hard enough to warrant buying a truly amazing hand tool for myself. Or this year's gift, a really swell cedar basket for carrying produce from the garden to the house (far more capacity than the kitchen colander!).

I intensely dislike malls, and recreational shopping, and TV ads that raise the ante (NO you're not getting a Lexus) and here-I'll-just-shut-you-up-with-this-gift obligations. But I still enjoy receiving a gift that indicates someone has cared enough to observe me, observe what delights me but am too cheap to buy myself, and then goes to the trouble to get it and put it in my lap.

Or a Home Depot gift card. Yahooooo! :D

Do they have to do it at Christmas? No, of course not. And if I received nothing but hugs and cookies, I'd still be happy. But I'm not about to advocate No Gifts At Holidays For Anyone Ever. Not much of an extremist, me.

I get his point, though.

ljevtich
12-30-11, 2:18am
I thought the article was great, and put it up on Facebook too. Although I only had one person "like" it, I wish I had seen the article before the holidays so that I could have posted it then. I do believe that adults should not be giving other adults gifts and after a certain age, all gifts that you give kids are "stupid" unless it is money, and then it is "never enough".

One of the reasons we stopped being with our families at the holiday times was because of the gift giving portion. It had gotten to the point of each other giving gift cards!!! What is the point?

The amount of c**p people get and then go further into debt to do "Christmas" is just so very sad. And then there will be complaints and "woe is me" in January.

Quite honestly, the whole gift giving thing sickens me. I sent my sis money to buy what I thought was a great gift for the kids - donating money to save the wildlife (you know donate to save a whale or a panda) and she decides instead to get them something else. Normally I got the nephew a savings bond and the niece a pearl for her pearl necklace, but these items are not "cool" anymore or they want those gifts PLUS something to play with. UGGH Not cool in my book. While we have 11 nieces and nephews, we have stopped giving gifts to the older kids (their parents can get them what they need) yet I am trying to stay close to these kids, my sister's kids. But turning around and buying them useless stuff...man, that just bites.

crunchycon
12-30-11, 7:59am
IQuite honestly, the whole gift giving thing sickens me. I sent my sis money to buy what I thought was a great gift for the kids - donating money to save the wildlife (you know donate to save a whale or a panda) and she decides instead to get them something else. Normally I got the nephew a savings bond and the niece a pearl for her pearl necklace, but these items are not "cool" anymore or they want those gifts PLUS something to play with. UGGH Not cool in my book. While we have 11 nieces and nephews, we have stopped giving gifts to the older kids (their parents can get them what they need) yet I am trying to stay close to these kids, my sister's kids. But turning around and buying them useless stuff...man, that just bites.

Now those are, in my book, thoughtful gifts. A few years back, I gave my horse-crazy niece an adoption of a horse on Chincoteague Island (she could pick the horse), and it was the biggest hit of the holiday. I'm sorry your sister's family didn't see the value of your gifts.

JaneV2.0
12-30-11, 12:23pm
"Adults should not be giving other adults gifts?" I'll be the judge of that! http://www.kolobok.us/smiles/personal/santa.gif

artist
12-31-11, 10:58am
I totally agree that gift giving should stop at a certain age. Or better yet. Never start with the little ones and they won't come to expect it. We stopped giving gifts for birthday and Christmas during my son's early teen years. He found it so much more enjoyable. My husband and I enjoy giving and recieving gifts "just because we thought he/she'd like it" so much more than when it was an expected gift. It means a lot more when it's not expected and comes from the heart, not out of an obligation to fill a Christmas list of people to buy for.