We finally resolved the gift-giving problem in my family this year. I’m not too happy about it as we are exchanging some things but at least people won’t be going overboard this time. For my part, I’m going to get everybody gift cards this time instead of trying to think of something in particular. That’s especially advantageous as we only have two weeks left. Nobody seems to mind. They all keep trying to tell me that I don’t have to get them anything as they know I don’t make much money. I’m getting sick of that attitude. I had some money problems earlier in the year which messed my scheduling bill payments but that’s it. As far as receiving, I only asked for one thing: take whatever you were going to spend on me and give me the cash so I can put it towards the current debt I owe my father. That’s another thing from earlier this year although I could have started paying it back. I wanted to get to being on time for rent every month first.
Everybody else is going to be donating to charity in each other’s names as gifts. That idea was settled on before I got to discuss it with them. I also offered my desires for the gift exchange before they told me about the charity. While giving to charity wouldn’t have entered my mind as I don’t usually give as a general rule I would have felt the pressure to come up with something. I can just imagine how well it would go over if I told everybody that I would want them to donate to the Freedom From Religion Foundation in my name. I still haven’t signed up yet but that would be a definite idea, perfect for the holidays.
My father also wants to pick up little gifts so there’s something under the tree. I can understand the impulse. I was thinking that maybe I’ll get huge boxes and put the cards in them. It would not only be a fun prank but it would help me use up the sixty years-worth of holiday wrapping paper I have in my attic. Back when I worked at Linens ‘N Things I picked up thirty or so rolls of the crap cheap after Christmas one year. Every year I get less and less things for everybody–I still spent the same amount but people kept giving me more expensive ideas–I’ve been using less and less wrapping paper. Now that I have no real use for it I’m having to resort to cheap jokes to get rid of it. Maybe I should have put it in that yard sale I had a few years ago. By the way, I have no reservations about putting the joke here as I know it won’t spoil the surprise. As far as I know none of my family reads this blog.
So while this doesn’t satisfy my personal desire to not exchange gifts at all this time of year it does alleviate the tension created a few months ago when my sister brought up to the family that she didn’t think we should do anything, either. We have a solution that will work in the future as well. It’s a compromise but even that’s a step ahead. A few years ago when I started to try to stop exchanging gifts even a compromise wouldn’t be entertained. At least my own personal most important holiday, my birthday, is just a few days later. For that I have no qualms about getting stuff.