Thursday, December 03, 2009


it's that time of year where folks have to scrape to come up with ideas for gifts for other folks. it's a real problem here in america- gifting. why? it isn't that americans aren't generous- it's that gifts have gotten exponentially more expensive and expectations have grown. see, most folks have everything they need and more than enough of their wants. or at least the folks i know- family and friends. there are plenty of things my husband and i want- but most of the stuff is expensive- furniture, electronics, etc..

and, as much as i love making lists for myself, i hate making gift lists. it carries a sense of obligation that robs the gift of any meaning. hate it. folks feel obligated to get gifts during the christmas season and i firmly believe that it's wrong. oh, i know how the custom started- folks would get together during the winter solstice and play games and bring gifts and take the time to spend with family and friends- because it was the only time of the year that they had it. they celebrated during the coldest, darkest time of year- and made it a time to look forward to.

can't say the same about the modern yuletide season. folks pretend to love it and secretely dread it because of the obligation thing. trust me- it's ok to say no. which brings me around to priorities. nothing steams me more than keeping a relationship going on a one sided basis. what do i mean? well, one party over extending to the other party time and again- and there isn't reciprocation. now, i am not saying that everything must be even steven all of the time- but let's just say that i have taken the white out to my address book more than once. i tend to be a communicator- ask many of my blog buddies and they will tell you that i am pretty good at emailing and i used to post multiple times a day right here in the blogosphere. what i don't do- continue communications with folks who only communicate with me after i have initiated. not worth my time.

which brings me to priorities- you need to make the effort. seriously. i don't buy the busy, busy, busy bullshit- or the 'i have kids so i don't have time' bullshit. really. if it's a priority to you to maintain friendships or whatnot- you will occasionally make the time for a 10 minute phone call or a snail mail card or a simple poke on facebook. really. and if it's an obligation or you find yourself making excuses- well, then it isn't a priority and have ass enough to end it. really.

which brings me to gifting and the whole 'consumer christmas season'- i don't really want your gift if 1) you feel obligated 2) it's a token 3) it's crap in a box with a bow. i would rather have conversation- or simply some time. and it doesn't have to be at christmas. in fact, i would rather it be in august when there is nothing going on. really. most folks feel stressed and harried and exhausted by the end of the 'season of joy and giving' and i really believe it's a shame. because it isn't what it started out to be- and we all have the power to change that.


jmsjoin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jmsjoin said...

Sorry Billie that was me!
Blogger an average patriot said...

Christmas and your Birthday is every day Billie! We never did gifts as kids it is all about the day. I love the atmosphere hate gifts and hate to buy them but I do appreciate being thought of enough to be recognized.

That makes the day for me. My youngest just called me from Iraq and in my excitement I forgot to wish him a happy 21st Birthday. I am mad but I know he is smiling saying I know Dad. No gifts it's the thought that counts!

Robert Rouse said...

betmo, even when my parents and/or grandparents were doing well financially, the kids - my two sisters included - would still get a fairly modest "bundle" of gifts - most were clothes for school.

My wife and I are still like that. The kids may each get one "big" gift and several small - read cheap - gifts. I was a happy kid and my children get more out of the love and excitement for life we share with them.

As for everyone else - outside of inlaws and immediate family, other than a card, they're mostly S.O.L.