Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A Present Nightmare. Thoughts on making gifts.

One of my most dreaded moments in the year is the christmas-presents-nightmare. Presents are a really serious source of getting trapped in the net of consumerism. Because you want to show you care and then instead of concentrating on the person or making something yourself , it suddely gets really big because you are compensating for not finding the time or thought for that present. Also I find that all year round shops are trying to get us to buy and give something (expensive and superfluous) to show that we care. Starting with January "Happy New Year" Presents to wish one another a good year. Continueing with February - Valentine's Day. I'd rather get a spontanous hug during the year than a forced Valentine's Day card. Really. Next is Easter. Then Mother's Day, Father's Day, Beginning of Summer, Beginning of Spring, Autumn begins, Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Football Championship, Wedding Day anniversaries .... and so on and so forth. 
Whatever is going on - be sure it is going to be made into a Consumer's delight. What I find worrying is that there seems to be the conception, that not buying something for your loved ones on the right occasion (as dictated by the shops) is utter neglect and proves lack of love. And it is not like that at all. Not  at  all. 

And then there is also this: - Big Bang Theory - Why Sheldon doesn't givegifts

At Christmas also, I find prices go up. I prefer to buy Christmas presents during the year (which also takes the stress of Christmas shopping away, which is mad anyway, because christmas is about love and not about the biggest presents and getting totally stressed about it and the whole thing possibly ending up in a giant argument and tears...).

If you really don't know what to give to somebody and still want to give them more than just a card - why not try a voucher for a shop they might like. It's better than giving them something they don't like that clutters their home... talking to people helps, too. Like "For your birthday I'd really like to buy you something" Or you could try "For your birthday, I would really like to spend some time with you, what do you like?"

If you like DIY and arts and crafts - why not make something yourself? The time and thought and care invested  in making the present is the most precious thing in the world. If that someone doesn't appreciate self-made gifts, then maybe it is not such a good idea. And would they notice how much you've spent? And if so, why is it important?

A gift is something that is meant to make somebody else happy. And it shouldn't be forced and it shouldn't be about money. At least as far as I am concerned. 

So how am I dealing with Christmas presents then... well, first of all - for our small family unit, it is birthday and christmas, that we definitely exchange gifts. Everything else is voluntary. We think about what each family member would appreciate. And we set budgets. And thats that. Everyone who doesn't get presents from us: It's not because we don't love you - we just don't show it through regular scheduled gift-making. But I think you all know that already. :)

And for everyone who is disappointed we didn't make a huge gift at a certain occasion: Really? That's what our relationship is about?

Some more thoughts on by wikipedia: gifts
Thoughts from Zen Habits

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