Today starts the season of giving - a term of which I disagree yet I've for once fallen into for the first time in a long time.
You see when I get gifts for folks I do it all year round. I find something they like and I give it to them. i.e. Julia of the Weather Vane Sisterhood is a writer and she running over the last year in a effort to become more physically healthy and happy. After reading this post I sent her a copy of Murakami's book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. He is a favorite author of mine and I've read his stuff in both English and (albeit only short stuff) in Japanese (which I'm very bad at - damn lack of practice).
I think if we find stuff we should pick it up and give it to folks when we feel the time is right. I picked up a book for CP aka Ben (Julia's Husband) a while back... over fifteen months ago. It's a gift that I hope he will like. I've yet to give it to him... it's in a postage box that I never sent. I want to give it to wanker in person and as such I've held on to it for over a year.
Second Sargeant anotehr mate of mine got me a random gift a Johnson HOT SHOT Laser Mouse - Laser Level. It's great for table top games where Line of Sight (Line of Fire) is important. I asked him about it since he is one of three tool experts I call on for tool advice (Ferrus Manus and Brother Bear are the other two). He simply bought it for me - I help him out with Computer issues, Electrical Work, AV stuff so he picked it up for me on a whim.
That's how I do buisness, I don't need a 'season'.
The Holiday season is a excuse for gifts and I don't like it.
I got my family out of gift exchange. We have more cash come the New Year, a burden that I am uninterested in taking up. Why go crazy and be hurting all Jan and sometimes even into Feb. In my family that is a big problem. Pa is born in Jan, Ma in Feb, Brother in Feb... now he's married and Sister Bear is in April just like me (we're a day apart) and my wife Lady Bear is born 30 days later in May. If I'm strapped for cash - well Papa Bear and even some yeasr Mama Bear will have a less then fancy Birthday.
Instead we get together (for the last three years) to see Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean, a family tradition started by my wife when we had our first Christmas together. Now this will be our fourth year watching the live show at the NAC as a full family. It's a brilliant show and tell everyone I know to go watch it on CBC or listen to it on CBC Radio.
Now I and Lady Bear will still exchange a gift and a stocking full of candies or little odds and ends. Also due to the birth of the wee Baby Bear, we're getting him some stuff. We're just not buying for each other... my family is considered pretty small but by not having to buy for four people every year means we can go out in Jan and Feb and not be wincing everytime we open our pocket book.
I also backed out of a Secret Santa that Dawn Seeker and her mates have done every year. Lady Bear jumped in and has some great gifts for her secret victim... hee hee hee. I just have a shit experience every time I participate with Secret Santa.
You see I also HATE (yeah that much) getting gifts:
1. I don't think I deserve the gifts that are given, and
2. I don't want dislike what is given.
Example: Ferrus Mannus to support my love of Heavy Gear got me two box sets for Peace River. A General Purpose Gear Squad Box and Fire Support Gear Squad Box. Awesome right? Well I was looking at getting the Reacon Gear Squad Box and the Strike Gear Squad Box, I don't play with many heavy weapon Gears when I play with my Peace River faction. The box is still sitting unpainted... I feel bad that he went out of his way to get that for me. Same goes for the GP Gear Squad... just unused. This sucks for him but I never wanted it - he got mad I told him he should have check with me first. (in our hobby you should check before hand)
I don't want to feel bad. I can't just say: "Thanks... urm no thanks..." It's considered rude. When I got clothes from Mama Bear I felt like an asshole because I didn't like what she toughfully picked up for me. She wanted to see me be happy and picked up something out of that want, sadly something I would never wear.
I dislike the onus that is placed on the reciever of the gift. If I give you something I'm glad if you like it but I'm ok if you don't. I will NEVER get upset if someone dislikes one of my gifts. It's not about me it's about that person - sometimes I miss the mark. I'm human and imperfect.
Yet my feellings on giving gifts is not the same. People feel bad when you dislike it and then it gets worse.
Oh man my engagement party did I feel like the fish in a desert. Something I NEVER wanted... heck I got into a argument with my mother in-law over the idea of the party. I felt so awkward in front of all those people trying to make sure I never let it slip when I got something I never wanted. I felt like such a dick.
Lucky for me that never happened. Hell I even have that card that Julia's and CP's kid made. I'm gona give it back to her when she gets married - hee hee hee. Filled with glitter and stickers, it's a work of joy. I hope it makes her smile when she gets it.
I know that's the effort to make the other person happy. I am not good at lying about being happy. When I'm unhappy, I'm unhappy - folks know. So when those gifts don't make me feel happy I feel like I'm lying and I know I am. I'd just not get stuff from folks and instead spend time with them cooking, chatting, playing games...
They say this is the season for family, and there is plenty on TV where the Christmas story ends with folks learning that it's not about the material wealth or giving of gifts. I agree but only because I dislike the idea of me getting gifts - not because I feel Christmas should be less materialistic. It probably should be less about presents and more about family, but I'm not gona slam folks who find joy in giving and getting gifts from friends and love ones. I will slam people who get angry and upset about not getting gifts or 'good gifts'. Those are two different things and should not be part of the same thing... another topic on needs vs wants... later.
I realise now that I've read over the above I'm scattered in my writing so I'll clean it up:
1. I dont think the Holiday season should be the excuse to get folks gifts, birthdays are ok - the person survived another year.
2. I don't like getting gifts
3. I will call you out if you freak out about not getting a good gift or not getting a gift at all. If you don't like it, thank them and try to be polite - or do like me and tell folks to not get you anything!
4. If I give you something, like it or hate it it`s yours now. I hope you like it, but no skin off my nose if you don`t. I will never get mad if you hate a gift you got from me.