It’s The Non-Optional, Social Convention

I’m not fond of the obligation to give gifts. Every time someone has a baby, gets married, survived the birth canal, buys a house… It never ends! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to give gifts but my drive behind it has changed radically.

For example, I like to give gifts because I saw something a person might like. It may not be the day this person survived the birth canal, but maybe because I happened upon this item and thought, “Oh my, that is PERFECT for So-and-So!”

I usually hate surprises, but I’d rather get a small something out of the blue, a Thinking of You Gift, rather than It’s Expected Because It’s Christmas. These are the kinds of gifts bought out of obligation and I for one think we ought to take a stand. I used to love it. I used to start in June, plan and work on homemade, thoughtful gifts. I made pillows and t-shirts, spending hours and hours on something very personal.

Then it became more like, “Well, I have 30 gifts to buy now. Just grab something, wrap it, and toss it at the person. This feels more like a chore!” And it is because it’s expected. So I would give girls make-up, even if they didn’t wear make-up, and DVDs for people who probably already had that movie. Why? Because I needed something to wrap and give.

This year I am taking a stand and I’m not buying gifts for every single person in my family. I got a few things for a very select number of people and each of these items were picked because I know it will be useful and appreciated. A gift that’s useful? What a concept!

One of those items happens to be food. You can’t go wrong with food. This is an excellent gift for that I-Don’t-Know-What-To-Buy person. If the person loves jam, get them a big assortment of jams, build a basket, or make homemade jam. It doesn’t say I’m Cheap. It says, I know you love jam so I made some and destroyed my kitchen in the process. There’s jam in my ceiling fan, for Heaven’s sake, and probably a hair in the jam but I know you’ll love it because this is the kind of gift that says I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH! I was willing to destroy my kitchen in order to provide a tangible proof of it!

Then you can toss some crackers at them and go about the rest of your day.

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