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(Banal) thoughts on exchanging gifts

Submitted by Sage at 2010-12-28 14:56:37 EST
Rating: 0.01 on 31 ratings (35 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

When it dawned on me to write this post, I was listening to a Bone Thugs song, “Look into My Eyes”, from “The Art of War: World War I”. I got this CD from my sister for Christmas in 2000. I think I got her a CD that year too, although I can’t remember what. Then I was thinking of how my brother didn’t come to my Dad’s house this Christmas, which pissed everyone off, because he didn’t have the money to give anyone gifts. Then I thought of how I told my Dad I was going to give my brother some cash for Christmas and he told me not to, because my brother would feel guilty that he didn’t have anything to give to me.

There are all sorts of rules about gift-giving. For example, the rule of thumb for wedding gifts is to spend whatever is estimated that is being spent on you, as a guest. For example, if one is having 300 guests at a $30,000 wedding, a $100 present is reasonable and expected. If you’re showing up with a guest, spend $200. I guess that applies more to the average guest; parents are probably expected to spend more, and so on. Also, there are mixed feelings on gift-cards and cash. Some argue that it’s better to give cash and/or a gift certificate so someone can buy what they want but others disagree, saying it’s thoughtless and cold.

This may be a less formal and more unwritten rule, but generally speaking parents try to be fair and spend equal amounts of money per child. Sometimes this causes tension, because there may be a greater quantity of packages to be opened for one child than another, and someone is grieved that their sibling has more presents than they do.

When the children get older, they are expected to exchange gifts, as my sister and I did. The informal rule of thumb there is to spend about the same amount of money on each other. If I were to buy her a CD player* and she were to “only” buy me a CD*, it would have been awkward for both parties. One would have been grateful with a touch of guilt that they received such a generous gift, and the other would have felt a bit slighted that they “only” got a CD when they spent so much money on a CD player.

Furthermore, people are supposed to buy gifts for their parents and grandparents, too. I don’t really know the rules on this one, but I do know that I don’t personally feel bad if they spend more money on me than I do on them. I guess that since I’m younger and will always be their kid or grandchild they can and should spend to the max on me without regard of what I’ll be getting them, but I think that even changes as one gets older.

Giving to parents and grandparents is awkward in itself, if there are siblings in the family. It creates a sense of either competition or joining together. The question is, should we all go in together and get the parents a big gift or do our own shopping individually? I prefer the former, but even then it’s difficult deciding what to get, because in my case at least, my parents are hard to shop for. And if you venture out to get your own gift for the parents, it’s also awkward if one of your siblings gets a more expensive or otherwise perceivably “nicer” gift. This is of course overlooked if that sibling is much more well-to-do than you are. But on the flip side if you’re the well-to-do sibling, are you expected to spend more simply because you make more?

And then there’s all of the sayings about gift-giving (ready for a Sage tie-in?), such as “don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth”, which translates to “don’t think about how much the gift costs or is worth”, or “it’s the thought that counts”. But people can swing and miss when they try to be thoughtful. For example, my boyfriend’s brother is a boxer. On numerous occasions, my boyfriend purchased Rocky t-shirts or other boxing-related paraphernalia as Christmas and birthday gifts for his brother. Much my person’s chagrin, his brother never wore or used any of it. I guess his brother may enjoy boxing, but doesn’t necessarily want it to be broadcasted on a t-shirt, or to own every boxing-related movie or video game.

I’ve long believed (and made clear to anyone and everyone around me) that spending time is way more important to me than exchanging gifts; one’s presence is their present. Unfortunately, gift exchanges of all kinds (Christmas, Hanukah, birthdays, weddings, or whatever) make people feel obligated somehow. I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling obligated to anyone. I guess that’s why I am kind of a Scrooge this time of year, and so are bunches of other people.

Have a nice day! Which reminds me...I recently got a fortune from one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants (Mekong...yum!!) that said "Today is a very lovely day. Congratulations!"

*Of course CD players and CDs are somewhat dated nowadays, but they weren’t back in the late 90’s so there.*


I wonder if attaching pictures works on the dot net.jpg
I wonder if attaching pictures works on the dot net.jpg

Review This Item




Submitted by congo at 2012-11-20 10:23:38 EST (#)
Rating: 0

Huh huh..... you said "Anal." (title)

Submitted by Sage at 2012-11-20 09:00:09 EST (#)

Shlongy, I will be happy to buy you a freshly brewed Gingerbread Stout from Richmond's own Hardywood Park Brewery, should you ever be in Richmond.

Submitted by Shlongy at 2012-11-19 16:27:49 EST (#)

To answer your 2 questions....I don't give a shit and....ditto.

Now, to the more important question: What are you getting Shlongy for Xmas?

Submitted by redskieslookfake at 2012-11-19 16:20:44 EST (#)

a.) A ticket to Switzerland.
b.) Halo would be fine. Not for online play though, unless they're ready to be called 'faggots' by a lot of Americunts.

Submitted by Sage at 2012-11-19 14:45:10 EST (#)

It's that time of year again.

Coupla questions:

A) What do I get my grandmother for Christmas? (I might regret asking that question, actually).
B) At what age is it acceptable to buy Call of Duty/Halo type video games for children? Is 8 too young?

Submitted by RoadSong at 2010-12-30 20:09:49 EST (#)
Rating: 2

You have elegant hands.

Submitted by Sage at 2010-12-30 11:28:05 EST (#)
Rating: 0

I am probably way late to the game on this one but I can't stop listening to this:



Submitted by HurtByTheSun at 2010-12-29 15:42:39 EST (#)
Rating: -2


Submitted by icarus1987 at 2010-12-29 13:53:16 EST (#)
Rating: 2

1. You get two choices on a wedding. Either I show up, or I send a gift. You cannot have both.

2. I generally spend more on my parents than they do on me. This is largely because they are retired and I am doing alright.

3. I generally give token gifts to most friends. My sister overgift, and I think it's annoying. If you buy someone an XBox when you know all they can afford is a card, you are a fucking asshole.

Submitted by EmissionImpossible at 2010-12-29 13:48:28 EST (#)
Rating: 0

nice jewellery B.A

Submitted by Doodles at 2010-12-29 13:29:55 EST (#)
Rating: -2

I logged in for the first time in a month, to tell you to shut the fuck up and die.

You should be honored.

Submitted by Sage at 2010-12-29 09:00:05 EST (#)
Rating: 0

Ridiculous: Thanks for sharing...I also resent the notion that gift-giving is "required" at certain social events. I guess this post was basically me a) outlining all of the social mores surrounding it and b) bitching about it. Although it could have probably used a little more b).

Berg: You put the "ho" in "hoser", eh? <3

Jeanneee: I agree...booze is a fantastic gift. I commonly give my Dad a bottle of bourbon on Christmas/birthdays; this year though for Christmas I decided to give him the plug & play version of Big Buck Hunter along with some Fererro Rocher chocolates. My boyfriend gave him a bottle of Blanton's :)

Roadie: What KINDS of "weird items" are you speaking of? Rare cross-breeds of genetically mutated smokeable herbs, perchance? Seriously though I wanted some leather gloves and a red scarf/hat but didn't get it. I did get some nice Isotoner driving gloves, though.

Skrap: Hahahahahaha @ Popcollar & Co. Although it would've been funnier to say "Popcollar & Bitch" or something. I did get my sister a gift card from Abercrombie because she likes their clothes but prefers to try things on before she buys them.

Shlongy: I almost dedicated this picture to you since you have been so persistent in asking me to show you my hole. Which is doing just fine, by the way :)

YourName: Ahoy ahoy!

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-12-29 00:55:32 EST (#)
Rating: 1

My companies ISP is based in Israel but the service is routed through Germany so whenever I click on a larger domain such as Yahoo or Google it automatically routs me to the German server by default. What it means: Ever morning I log into my email through Yahoo Deutschland and for a moment or two start to hear "Deutschland Uber Alles" in my head. Just sharing.

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-12-29 00:52:19 EST (#)
Rating: 1

1) I believe in gift cards, I don't have to go insane finding that perfect something for person x and person x doesn't have to try and be sneaky about returning that perfect something because it wasn't perfect / they needed the cash more / someone else got them one already.
2) I dislike that a gift should ever be required be it for holiday or event, if a gift is required then it isn't a gift its extortion. If the price at the door is a ribbon wrapped box then I won't be walking through it.
3) I am a generous person who very much likes giving gifts 'just because' and the only reason I bought any Christmas presents at all this year was because I knew I wouldn't be there on C day and as such thought to use them as a vehicle to make my presence felt.
4) Wow DanRan has been bitchy lately, Menstrual?
5) Skrap, you could have written him a check and said "Here, this is for tuition." or even better, written it to his folks so they could have made sure where it went (if he is the irresponsible type). Wish I had a loaded family member trying to help me pay for school :) Wanna adopt me?

Submitted by rob_berg at 2010-12-28 22:37:49 EST (#)
Rating: 2


I almost read some of this. Give giving is, like, complex eh.


Submitted by Fucking foul at 2010-12-28 21:55:30 EST (#)
Rating: 0

The best gifts are booze and drugs. Truth. Merry Christmas.

Submitted by RoadSong at 2010-12-28 20:25:57 EST (#)
Rating: 2

I celebrate Winter. Suitable gifts {heh} are flashlights, batteries, socks, gloves, ski caps, polar fleece scarves, cologne, soap, tangerines and pocket knives. I sew 30 or 40 bags from various fabric, and add draw strings. The bags are stuffed with the above items and hung on the wall. Each person who comes to my hut selects one.

I get to watch them look inside.

OK, there MIGHT be more exotic and weird items in some of the bags. {:

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2010-12-28 20:05:21 EST (#)
Rating: 0

Working out how much of a gift one expects based on how many people one invites and how much one spends on the party/wedding/orgy is just rude. If one is the type to want $30K in gifts to make up for spending $30K on the event, then that one is both fiscally irresponsible and greedy - a combination that will inevitably lead to ruin.

I used to be good at picking gifts for people. Now I just buy gift cards online for everyone. Partially because I honestly have no clue what the kids are into these days, and partially because I have no interest in going to Popcollar & Co in the goddamned mall to pick out a shirt for my nephew. He's graduating with a degree in Philosophy and like $40K in debt this summer. Too bad his school doesn't sell gift cards online - I'd have paid for a few math classes. But I digress... Gift cards online: Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

Submitted by Shlongy at 2010-12-28 19:22:54 EST (#)
Rating: 0

How's your vagina doing?

I miss it.

Submitted by YourNameHere at 2010-12-28 18:10:24 EST (#)
Rating: 0

wow! four fags in a row below!

actually that's nowhere near the record for this place

never mind

Submitted by Danger_Ranger at 2010-12-28 18:08:08 EST (#)
Rating: -2

Submitted by tinactin (user info) at 2010-12-28 18:02:40 EST (#)
Ranking: -2

boring as shit
she's an accountant you know

Submitted by tinactin at 2010-12-28 18:02:40 EST (#)
Rating: -2

boring as shit

Submitted by apollo88 at 2010-12-28 17:20:46 EST (#)
Rating: -2

lol @ your computer, hands, face, cheap jewelry, face.


Submitted by Wildman at 2010-12-28 17:15:44 EST (#)
Rating: 0

One can only imagine the type of cheap tchotchkes Bubba hands out at christmas.

I mean, other than Dick-in-the-Box that is.

Submitted by Danger_Ranger at 2010-12-28 17:04:50 EST (#)
Rating: -2


drums fingers........

you know sage isn't going to fuck you right

and that she's probably 25-26.

Submitted by willartstorg at 2010-12-28 16:36:39 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Dipshit below.

Submitted by Danger_Ranger at 2010-12-28 16:23:54 EST (#)
Rating: -2

oh, and stfu.

Submitted by Danger_Ranger at 2010-12-28 16:23:33 EST (#)
Rating: -2

did you ever consider that your brother didn't come to christmas because of YOU - you hideous horse-faced ogre? If *I* had to sit across the table from and listen to you 'regale' the family with stories as interesting as this post I'd make up excuses not to show up as well.

and way to embarrass your brother on the world wide web.

you are the worst sister in the entire world.

Submitted by Sage at 2010-12-28 15:09:27 EST (#)
Rating: 0

Speaking of gift-cards, my manager got about 25 $5 gift cards for her employees from Starbucks as a Christmas present. I got one of 'em, and tried to use it that same day, only to find out it had a $0 value. I found out from other coworkers that theirs didn't work either. I'm wondering who got the lucky card with all the $ on it...and also if anyone will be brave enough to tell my manager that their card didn't work.

Submitted by willartstorg at 2010-12-28 15:09:22 EST (#)
Rating: 2

+2 for knowing how to spell paraphernalia.

Submitted by Poots at 2010-12-28 15:08:33 EST (#)
Rating: 2

I've texted that photo before myself. Well, it was my hand but same, *sighs out loud*, same concept.

Submitted by Poots at 2010-12-28 15:04:59 EST (#)
Rating: 2

I said this via text to my friend concerning gift cards:

"People have to say,"don't spend it all on one place" less and less these days. THANKS ALOT GIFT CARD TECHNOLOGY! thanks for nothing gift card.

some people don't like gift cards because they spent all of their free time shopping in a mall and that's the last place they want to have to go back to. the gift card has become a binder of a place they have associated with as unnerving and painful.

Submitted by Sage at 2010-12-28 15:03:29 EST (#)
Rating: 0

I just texted this picture to one of my best friends (who is a Cowboys fan) and said "Love ya!! Go Skins :)" and he replied "I just said "fuck" out loud".


Submitted by Poots at 2010-12-28 14:59:56 EST (#)
Rating: 0

ehhhhh you got me....

Submitted by Sage at 2010-12-28 14:58:26 EST (#)
Rating: 0


Forget it, Marge, it's Chinatown!

-- Homer Simpson
Secrets of a Successful Marriage