Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by King Daniel Beyond, Oct 26, 2010.
I think about Christmas the week of Christmas. I usually don't do any shopping until Christmas Eve.
I do my shopping the week before.
I've discovered the Gift Organizer on Amazon and I've already started looking around at the recommendations for family and friends. There have actually been some great ideas. For example one of my sisters is rather eccentric and has everything she needs already, so it suggested a pan flute or didgeridoo. Great ideas as she used to be a trumpet player!
I like the reasoning behind this strategy but there's always some place open, and does it really matter if everybody gets the same thing? -I say no! and buy them all a set of matching wind-shield wipers or a nice bottle of key-hole defroster.
I usually look forward to Christmas. We always have a real tree and it's my mission to decorate it. To me, that's the highlight of Christmas time.
Of course, there are gifts, but I've always had this feeling that the objects under the tree aren't really that important in themselves. It's more about being together as a family, leaving aside work and other problems, and just spend that time at home celebrating.
If there's also snow and a few Andersen stories on hand, then there's not much more I could wish for.
I'm quite certain that's how my brothers shop for Christmas. It's gotten much better now they're all married! I like to think my husband's family is relieved he's no longer in charge of gift buying for the family!
I actually enjoy putting it off until after Thanksgiving - it gives me time to scheme and think and by late Nov I'm ready!
I restrict who I buy presents for, and those I do buy for tend to get the same thing. Well not exactly, but some variation on the theme of a bottle of nice wine or a box of good chocs.
If they're an alcoholic/non-drinker they get the chocs; if not (or if I know they're trying to lose weight), they get the wine.
It's all I would want on Christmas Day, so it should be good enough for everyone else too.
Wine's bad if you're trying to lose weight, too.
What if they are a non-drinker trying to lose weight?
They get a bouquet of celery.
Not as bad as chocs.
Think of the wine as the training wheels equivalent of learning food moderation. There's even the inbuilt safety mechanism of passing out instead of getting fat, should you fail to control your intake.
I refer you to the additional information I gave earlier:
Not many kids or teenagers I know would say thank you like they meant it if they got either of those things.
Us adults have agreed not to give gifts (in the family as well as amongst friends) so the only ones I have to give gifts are kids and teenagers (luckily only three of them though!).
For a few years I had an after-school job at a catalogue store called Consumers Distributing (any Canadians remember that nightmare?), which is a lot like British Argos shops. Most customers were so bloody rude for the whole month of December that I used to volunteer to work all of December 24th just so that I could look panicky last-minute buyers in the eye and sneer, "I'm sorry, that's out of stock". My all-time favourite was a woman who ran in 5 minutes before closing time trying to buy a jewellery box. We hadn't had any in for weeks and I told her so, to which she replied, "So what am I supposed to buy my mother for Christmas!?". The memory makes me laugh over 20 years later, but there is a lesson to be learned.
They actualyl started getting Christmas stuff in a few days into October, at a few places. It's not even Christmas yet. It's not even December yet. It's not even Thanksgiving yet. It's not even November, man. Hell, it's not even been Halloween. SOB.
This one store has been parading around Christmas trees and lights in their window since early October. Another place got in Christmas candy.
I don't know any kids or teenagers, and by god, I don't intend to, let alone start buying presents for any of them...!
In any event, I wasn't aware that happiness of the recipient is a key determinant of whether the social ritual of present-giving has been successfully completed.
Actually, on a somewhat more serious note, most people will be as happy with wine/chocs as with anything else I could give them.
Think about this: most people I know don't actually need anything, so one present is as good as another really. The idea of spending hours shopping for a "perfect gift" is a waste of my time, as if it was something they really wanted, they'd go out and buy it themselves.
Anything they want but wouldn't buy themselves is highly likely to cost more money than is reasonable to spend on a Christmas present.
Ergo, it will be the act of giving, rather than the gift itself, that people will remember. In that sense, present exchanges at Christmas are valued almost entirely for their social ritual effect rather than the presents themselves. So they may as well get wine and chocs.
I view that as quite a pleasing truth despite the commercialism around Christmas.
I really dislike buying gifts just for the sake of buying gifts, especially when there is an obligation to do so. My friends and I do not buy gifts for each other, unless you count buying shots when we go out to the bars. My family, now that all the kids are grown up, does Secret Santa, and we set a very low monetary limit. So at most I end up spending about $30, and I only have to buy stuff for one person.
I have been looking for something to buy for my youngest son. He likes rhinos so I thought that he might like this
or I could get him one with the same picture but with the word "What Did You Say?". Which do you think is the best wording?
I have bought my mother a big Christmas word search book. I have bought one friend a DVD of Eyeborgs starring Adrian Paul. It is probably a crappy movie but she asked for it as she is keen on Adrian Paul. For my middle son I have bought this
It 200 pages of war comics.
As well as a novel about WW2. The novel is aimed at young teenagers but it looks the right level of reading for my son who is intellectually disabled. He is crazy over anything to do with WW2 but it is difficult to find books that are at his reading novel but not to childish for him.
I still have to buy something for one other friend, for my brother and my two sisters and a couple of other things for my sons.
Separate names with a comma.