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Season's Greetings to You Too

weather: mostly clear
outside: 3°C
mood: *sigh*
I love my friends dearly. Really, I do. I'm just really crabby about it at this time of year. >={

I enjoy the holidays. I just hate it when people get all Seinfeld about gift exchanging.

Come January/February, I'm going to try to rally the RL friends into creating personal online wishlists. Amazon, ThinkGeek, HBC.com, Sears.ca, or just a manual HTML page off their personal websites or whatever. Everyone needs to pick things that range in price from $5.00 (or less) up to however much they want. This way, people have a choice to get them something small or chip in with a group to get them something bigger.

I don't have to actually buy the items from Amazon or wherever, but I at least have an idea as to what people want so I have a starting point to look for it in local malls/stores.

This isn't "fishing for gifts" at all. As long as you're not expecting anything and you're truly thankful for whatever you get, no matter how small (including nothing at all), it's fine. It's a courtesy to friends to make life a LOT easier by taking the uncertainty/guesswork out of it.

And what the hell is wrong with our society that we can't be nice to each other unless the retail industry says to?

I've taken to giving people things when they need them. Not just for their birthdays or Christmas. When a friend's shoelaces broke, I got him a new pair. It was only a few bucks, but it was needed and appreciated. A friend's dress ripped just before a gala fundraising banquet. I drove out to the nearest London Drugs, dressed to the nines, and bought her a little sewing kit. I helped sew her into her dress for the evening. I've lost count of the number of friends stuck in the embarassing situation of being short on cash, at a restaurant, with a group, that I've lent money to. I've also lost count of the number of times I've been caught cashless and friends helped me out.

I once gave a friend $250.00 cash because her car gave birth to a muffler in the middle of rush hour traffic and she wasn't going to be able to eat for the rest of the month until her next payday. I told her that she could consider it a gift if she wanted to or a loan if she wasn't comfortable with taking it. She ended up paying me back slowly (by treating me to lunch or paying for small things for me at outings or whatever). So, it really technically cost me nothing at all, but it was deeply appreciated. She tells me so, she tells everyone so.

To me, those things mean much more than deliberate Oh-It's-That-Time-Again gifts. Both to me, as the giver, and the recipient.

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Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
xinit
Dec. 20th, 2002 11:27 am (UTC)
I want a meta-wishlist site.

I want to be able to have a list at all those above places and point someone to www.meta-wish.com or something which lists all the lists I have. Bonus points if it'll compare catalogues and price compare too...

bride
Dec. 20th, 2002 12:25 pm (UTC)
Re:
Y'know, if I didn't have a time limit here, I'd Google for a service like that. I'm almost sure SOMEONE's done this already...
mayna
Dec. 20th, 2002 11:29 am (UTC)
I wish I could get my family to set up something like that. I have to practically beg them for ideas of things that they'd want. I got some info for my sisters by asking them "If you were given $100 and were told you had to spend all of it on yourself TODAY, what would you buy?" Not that my limit was $100 but I got a bunch of ideas out of them that way.

Other people (my brother, my dad) I have to resort to giving them food/edibles. It's hard when you don't live with the person.
bride
Dec. 20th, 2002 12:30 pm (UTC)
Re:
If you were given $100 and were told you had to spend all of it on yourself TODAY, what would you buy?

Husband Guy's company does a Secret Santa thing every year, but they have a survey that everyone has to fill out about their interests, likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. This anonymous survey is given to their Secret Santa who uses the answers to buy gifts.

Other people (my brother, my dad) I have to resort to giving them food/edibles.

Or gift certificates. I don't have a problem with gift certificates or cash, but if everyone's sitting around the Christmas tree trading paper, it starts getting dull.
mayna
Dec. 20th, 2002 12:37 pm (UTC)
I hate giving gift certificates. I"m sure you've seen my rants about my father-in-law's thing with the Sears gift certificates. At least edibles give them something to unwrap.

My brother-in-law told me he doesn't care for gift certificates (Bill was wanting to get him a gift certificate). Because then if he goes to the store, he always has to pitch in some of his own money to get what he wants (and he doesn't have much money right now for frivolous stuff).
katie_ah
Dec. 20th, 2002 11:29 am (UTC)
I agree. It's so tough- there are people that are easy to shop for, and there's people where I just hit a brick wall.

Good idea. I mean- if you're going to give someone something, you want to be sure they like it. Hmph.
bride
Dec. 20th, 2002 12:34 pm (UTC)
Re:
Honestly, I really don't want to do gift exchanges at all. I'm really Bah Humbug about gifts for any occasion. But then I really do want to do something for family and really close friends.

*sigh*
katie_ah
Dec. 20th, 2002 12:37 pm (UTC)
Re:
I'm the same way. I barely even got presents for my good friends this year- just a couple. That, and my parents (I don't really have an "extended" family) and I was set. Took all of 3 or 4 hours of shopping.

But, I have to say I do like getting presents. I'm such a hypocrite, but at least I admit it.
bride
Dec. 20th, 2002 10:04 pm (UTC)
Re:
I prefer buying things for people when they need it not just for their birthday or a holiday.

When a friend's shoelaces break, get them a new pair - it only costs you a few bucks and it's needed/appreciated. If their dress or tux rips at the prom, go out and buy a little sewing kit and help them fix it. If they're stuck in the embarassing situation of being short on cash at a restaurant with a group, spot them a few.

I once gave a friend $250.00 because her car gave birth to a muffler in the middle of rush hour traffic and she wasn't going to be able to eat for the rest of the month until her next payday. I told her that she could consider it a gift if she wanted to or a loan if she wasn't comfortable with taking it. She ended up paying me back slowly (by treating me to lunch or paying for me at outings or whatever).

To me, those things count more than deliberate Oh-It's-That-Time-Again gifts.
katie_ah
Dec. 21st, 2002 03:39 am (UTC)
Re:
They do.

Christmas with me is such a family thing anyway- I only really do things for it with my mom and dad anyway, and this year my cousins since both of their parents have are now dead. (They are both about my age) It's just nicer that way.

I try to do stuff like that for my friends a lot. I know sometimes if I see something I know someone will like at a store, I'll get it for them, and then I just can't wait til whatever holiday is next to give it to them!
ugly_boy
Dec. 20th, 2002 08:41 pm (UTC)
That’s a good idea, I should rally my RL friends to do that, as well!

Why in Jan/Feb, just as a way to boycot Christmas?
bride
Dec. 20th, 2002 09:49 pm (UTC)
Re:
I figure it's too late to do it now. By the time everyone gets their ass together, it'll be July already.

Also, I buy things for people throughout the year when they need it, not just when it's their birthday or anniversary or whatever. If we, as human beings, can't be nice to each other unless there's a holiday sale, there's something really wrong.

I bought my parents a new microwave when theirs broke, I got them a hot water tower that they could really use, y'know that kind of thing.
ugly_boy
Dec. 22nd, 2002 11:55 am (UTC)
Re:
I think that’s great. I love getting things for my friends, and I love it when someone surprises me with a little something. I don’t care if it cost 50¢ or if it was from the free book bin at the library, just knowing someone’s thinking of me is nice.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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