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Thread: Gifts...

  1. #11
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    OK, here's my take on it.

    People try to intuit what others would like and very often miss the mark because they project at least a part of themselves into it. So, your dad clearly knows you well enough to know you love fishing, so he started there. Kudos to him. At least he didn't give you a Tiffany lamp.

    He probably thought "fishing.. he has enough poles and lures. Gee, here's this awesome gadget that tracks lunar cycles. Lunar = nature, natural. [subconsious says: I love cool gadgets] This is a really neat, useful natural gadget! He'll love it! I hope he does!"

    As for being sad that people try to connect with material objects, didn't the Indians give material things--food, fur, etc.? I think this is not a American Consumer issue. This is just how people are. They want to connect, they give what they can. Yes, it's a way to connect. What's the problem?

    As for the mental energy and angst that comes with now owning the gift, how often do you see your dad? Is he going to make you accountable for keeping it on your person at all times? If you don't want to just hold onto it, just give it away, and if he's on a fishing trip with you and you don't have it, tell him you forgot it, or you left it on some other guy's boat.

    I know you're a hard-core minimalist and these issues upset your value system, but try to look beyond it. If simple living is about valuing relationships, take the gift and accept it as a token of love from your father and say thank you.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    OK, here's my take on it.

    People try to intuit what others would like and very often miss the mark because they project at least a part of themselves into it. So, your dad clearly knows you well enough to know you love fishing, so he started there. Kudos to him. At least he didn't give you a Tiffany lamp.

    He probably thought "fishing.. he has enough poles and lures. Gee, here's this awesome gadget that tracks lunar cycles. Lunar = nature, natural. [subconsious says: I love cool gadgets] This is a really neat, useful natural gadget! He'll love it! I hope he does!"

    As for being sad that people try to connect with material objects, didn't the Indians give material things--food, fur, etc.? I think this is not a American Consumer issue. This is just how people are. They want to connect, they give what they can. Yes, it's a way to connect. What's the problem?

    As for the mental energy and angst that comes with now owning the gift, how often do you see your dad? Is he going to make you accountable for keeping it on your person at all times? If you don't want to just hold onto it, just give it away, and if he's on a fishing trip with you and you don't have it, tell him you forgot it, or you left it on some other guy's boat.

    I know you're a hard-core minimalist and these issues upset your value system, but try to look beyond it. If simple living is about valuing relationships, take the gift and accept it as a token of love from your father and say thank you.
    I appreciate much of what is in your above statements.

    I am probably going with the "white lie option." I'll tell him "its around here somewhere" or "I let my BIL borrow it" or some such.

    But he will for sure ask: "You using that gadget I gave you?" He still does this for other gifts he gave me years ago that I have since sold, gave away, etc.

    And if I accept it as a token of love from my dad then where does this stop? It will go back to the boxes and boxes of stuff he'd USPS to me every dang month.

    I can't have that.

  3. #13
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltraliteAngler View Post
    I appreciate much of what is in your above statements.

    I am probably going with the "white lie option." I'll tell him "its around here somewhere" or "I let my BIL borrow it" or some such.

    But he will for sure ask: "You using that gadget I gave you?" He still does this for other gifts he gave me years ago that I have since sold, gave away, etc.

    And if I accept it as a token of love from my dad then where does this stop? It will go back to the boxes and boxes of stuff he'd USPS to me every dang month.

    I can't have that.
    Well, you're making me feel better about just dumping all the stuff I have in the garage that my kids have left behind rather than asking them if they want it sent to them

    I guess you know your dad, and you know what's tried and failed, but I just have to ask, have you clearly told your dad something to the effect of, "The best gift you can give me is to go fishing with me," or "I have a small apartment and I have told all my friends that I don't want any Christmas presents, and now I'm telling you, too."

    Or even, "Dad, if you send me anything in the future, because of my space constraints, you have to know that I'll have to give it or throw it away. This is advance warning." On second thought, didn't you say once that he wanted to give you a gun, but he got upset when you mentioned selling it or giving it away? So, maybe my last suggestion won't work.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Haha! I think you should send them their stuff.

  5. #15
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Just tell your Dad that he doesn't fit into your minimalist life anymore, and dump him.

    Or, you could try talking to him honestly. That could work too.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    Just tell your Dad that he doesn't fit into your minimalist life anymore, and dump him.

    Or, you could try talking to him honestly. That could work too.

    Both valid options.

  7. #17
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    For me, bad feelings are worse than any amount of clutter. My MIL gave me quite a bit of Avon kitsch over the years which I will never use, but it is stored in boxes in the attic until she passes. Not sure how I would handle it if I didn't have a place to store for a while.

  8. #18
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    I get your side more than you can know, I have had times I sent my mom back to her car with some of the stuff she brought (hand me downs mostly), other times I have told her directly that I couldn't take things. However now she has reduced her giving and I am meeting her halfway. I can appreciate it more since she did say this year that she understands I get stressed over large amounts of stuff. It used to be 2 large garbage bags 3 times a year, and this holiday it was a lot but things she had thought about or we had asked for like a new towel set.

    If your dad has gone from sending regular boxes to one gift maybe this is the middle point. He is likely to keep buying some gifts but one gift is not trash bags full either.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    For me, bad feelings are worse than any amount of clutter. My MIL gave me quite a bit of Avon kitsch over the years which I will never use, but it is stored in boxes in the attic until she passes. Not sure how I would handle it if I didn't have a place to store for a while.
    If this system works for you, then good on you.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Girl View Post
    I get your side more than you can know, I have had times I sent my mom back to her car with some of the stuff she brought (hand me downs mostly), other times I have told her directly that I couldn't take things. However now she has reduced her giving and I am meeting her halfway. I can appreciate it more since she did say this year that she understands I get stressed over large amounts of stuff. It used to be 2 large garbage bags 3 times a year, and this holiday it was a lot but things she had thought about or we had asked for like a new towel set.

    If your dad has gone from sending regular boxes to one gift maybe this is the middle point. He is likely to keep buying some gifts but one gift is not trash bags full either.
    He is clever about it. He gives me little things (the gadget is the size of an old fashioned stopwatch). He has also given me little buttons that are shaped like fish for my fishing hat. He is always trying to sneak some item into my life. haha

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