Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas: presents

Bottled plums for Christmas gifts?
This was a long, long post about what I think of the expectation of Christmas presents. It was also a bit boring and lecturing so instead I'm going to share a quote from a great book I used to have by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli. It's called 'Unplug the Christmas machine' and within this they give a set of tongue in cheek Christmas present rules.

The ten hidden gift-giving rules:
  • Give a gift to everyone you expect to get one from
  • If someone gives you a gift unexpectedly, reciprocate that year.
  • When you add a name to your gift list, give that person a gift every year thereafter.
  • The amount of money you spend on a gift determines how much you care about the recipient.
  • Gifts exchanged between adults should be roughly equal in value.
  • The presents you give someone should be fairly consistent in value over the years.
  • If you give a gift to a person in one category (eg a co-worker or neighbour), give a gift to everyone in that category and the gifts should be similar in value.
  • Women should give gifts to their close women friends.
  • Men should not give gifts to their male friends – unless those gifts are alcoholic beverages.
  • Whenever the above rules cause you any difficulty, remedy the situation by buying more gifts. 
Seeing these rules in black and white clearly shows how nonsensical they are but when you are in the middle of the situation it can be hard to know what to do. I only buy for immediate family now but I would still love to give more if the budget allowed, I do enjoy giving presents! In the past I have satisfied this desire by making tree decorations and sharing these with whoever is unfortunate enough to be around and I find that this helps to balance the enjoyment of gifting gifts without loading people with stuff that they don't want or making them feel guilty if they haven't reciprocated.

Have you ever been caught up in the Christmas gift giving rules?

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