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Gifting traditions suck

Cermank
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11/1/2013 10:17:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
During these festivals, the social obligation to gift is the worse thing ever. Not only do you have to calculate the worth of someone on your life, so that your gift can reflect that- you also have to be careful of not overshooting or understating that value. An entire new dynamic of a relationship is exposed if you gift something less than the recievers expectations, and if you overstate it? The reciever now is obligated to return something of similar value. And this goes on an on in this vicious cycle.

The work gifts are worse, because there is this unspoken agreement that the gift ensures that the work buddy remains in good terms with you, and now you have this social aspect to the work relationship that you have to maintain too. Its a bloody nightmare.

/endrant
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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11/1/2013 1:01:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 10:17:29 AM, Cermank wrote:
During these festivals, the social obligation to gift is the worse thing ever. Not only do you have to calculate the worth of someone on your life, so that your gift can reflect that- you also have to be careful of not overshooting or understating that value. An entire new dynamic of a relationship is exposed if you gift something less than the recievers expectations, and if you overstate it? The reciever now is obligated to return something of similar value. And this goes on an on in this vicious cycle.

The work gifts are worse, because there is this unspoken agreement that the gift ensures that the work buddy remains in good terms with you, and now you have this social aspect to the work relationship that you have to maintain too. Its a bloody nightmare.

/endrant

http://online.wsj.com...
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
YYW
Posts: 36,344
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11/1/2013 1:05:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 10:17:29 AM, Cermank wrote:
During these festivals, the social obligation to gift is the worse thing ever. Not only do you have to calculate the worth of someone on your life, so that your gift can reflect that- you also have to be careful of not overshooting or understating that value. An entire new dynamic of a relationship is exposed if you gift something less than the recievers expectations, and if you overstate it? The reciever now is obligated to return something of similar value. And this goes on an on in this vicious cycle.

The work gifts are worse, because there is this unspoken agreement that the gift ensures that the work buddy remains in good terms with you, and now you have this social aspect to the work relationship that you have to maintain too. Its a bloody nightmare.

/endrant

Do something like a Yankee Swap.

I actually like buying gifts for other people, though -friends and family, especially. There are some people who I'll buy gifts for because I care deeply about them and want to do something nice for them. Especially my friends. I don't expect -or want- anything in return, either. I have basically everything in my life that I need or want (materially, at least.... I remain boyfriendless), and I fundamentally have no use for more stuff... If someone wants to do something nice for me, I'd far rather we go out for a nice meal, or take a trip together than them buy me something to put on a shelf.

There are others who I'll buy gifts for -like my family members- to remind them that no matter how much we dislike one another (like my homophobic aunt and uncle), we are still family. Buying their kids Christmas presents is especially entertaining for me because (1) I'm pretty damn good at buying gifts and (2) I enjoy watching their reactions to my taking the higher ground. I've done that to people who have fvcked me over, as well. There is no better way to say "Go straight to hell, and I am better than you could ever hope to be." than with an expensive gift basket of wine, cheese and pate that says "Happy Holidays" on the card.
Tsar of DDO
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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11/1/2013 1:21:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 1:01:34 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/1/2013 10:17:29 AM, Cermank wrote:
During these festivals, the social obligation to gift is the worse thing ever. Not only do you have to calculate the worth of someone on your life, so that your gift can reflect that- you also have to be careful of not overshooting or understating that value. An entire new dynamic of a relationship is exposed if you gift something less than the recievers expectations, and if you overstate it? The reciever now is obligated to return something of similar value. And this goes on an on in this vicious cycle.

The work gifts are worse, because there is this unspoken agreement that the gift ensures that the work buddy remains in good terms with you, and now you have this social aspect to the work relationship that you have to maintain too. Its a bloody nightmare.

/endrant

http://online.wsj.com...

"But the Christmas cycle imposes a deadening routine and predictability. This is why the accidental genius of Charles Dickens is to have made, of Ebenezer Scrooge, the only character in the story who has any personality to him"and the one whose stoic attempt at a futile resistance is invoked under the breath more than most people care to admit. And when the author of "A Christmas Carol" was writing, the great clanking machinery of a Ramadan-length Christmas had not got into gear, and English people reserved Dec. 26 ("Boxing Day") for the exchange of tokens."

Thisthisthis.
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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11/1/2013 1:41:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 1:05:40 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/1/2013 10:17:29 AM, Cermank wrote:
During these festivals, the social obligation to gift is the worse thing ever. Not only do you have to calculate the worth of someone on your life, so that your gift can reflect that- you also have to be careful of not overshooting or understating that value. An entire new dynamic of a relationship is exposed if you gift something less than the recievers expectations, and if you overstate it? The reciever now is obligated to return something of similar value. And this goes on an on in this vicious cycle.

The work gifts are worse, because there is this unspoken agreement that the gift ensures that the work buddy remains in good terms with you, and now you have this social aspect to the work relationship that you have to maintain too. Its a bloody nightmare.

/endrant

Do something like a Yankee Swap.

Is it when you give a gift you receive to someone else?

I actually like buying gifts for other people, though -friends and family, especially. There are some people who I'll buy gifts for because I care deeply about them and want to do something nice for them. Especially my friends. I don't expect -or want- anything in return, either. I have basically everything in my life that I need or want (materially, at least.... I remain boyfriendless), and I fundamentally have no use for more stuff... If someone wants to do something nice for me, I'd far rather we go out for a nice meal, or take a trip together than them buy me something to put on a shelf.

inorite. I think this is why the obligation to gift suck. When I have to gift something to everyone (interestingly, the festival I'm talking about doesn't necessitate gifting to your family- just extended family and work people.), I can't really focus on gifting thoughtful gifts to people I personally prefer. I can't show my preference to my one maternal uncle, because the gossip mill is fast, and that hurt people's feelings.

I think the fact that I don't really need anything is what makes it stressful, in a way. Because then you need to reciprocate for something you don't really want. Usually I just swap my presents, its pretty traditional- some sweets, dry fruits, crockery, and stuff. Now that you have work included, though, people like to give you expensive stuff as a sort of bribery (?). To ensure a social aspect to the work dynamic, with the expectation that you'd give them preference. So coupled with the fact that I really don't want to gift them anything, (it seems almost unethical to me personally, although its social obligation), nor do I want the gift they gifted me, I have to give them 'expensive stuff' so that I'm not socially excluded.

Its all so mechanical. Wasn't the gifting supposed to be voluntary?

There are others who I'll buy gifts for -like my family members- to remind them that no matter how much we dislike one another (like my homophobic aunt and uncle), we are still family. Buying their kids Christmas presents is especially entertaining for me because (1) I'm pretty damn good at buying gifts and (2) I enjoy watching their reactions to my taking the higher ground. I've done that to people who have fvcked me over, as well. There is no better way to say "Go straight to hell, and I am better than you could ever hope to be." than with an expensive gift basket of wine, cheese and pate that says "Happy Holidays" on the card.

That is gold.
YYW
Posts: 36,344
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11/1/2013 1:55:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 1:41:13 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 11/1/2013 1:05:40 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/1/2013 10:17:29 AM, Cermank wrote:
During these festivals, the social obligation to gift is the worse thing ever. Not only do you have to calculate the worth of someone on your life, so that your gift can reflect that- you also have to be careful of not overshooting or understating that value. An entire new dynamic of a relationship is exposed if you gift something less than the recievers expectations, and if you overstate it? The reciever now is obligated to return something of similar value. And this goes on an on in this vicious cycle.

The work gifts are worse, because there is this unspoken agreement that the gift ensures that the work buddy remains in good terms with you, and now you have this social aspect to the work relationship that you have to maintain too. Its a bloody nightmare.

/endrant

Do something like a Yankee Swap.

Is it when you give a gift you receive to someone else?

Basically everyone gets together, decided on a cost-limit for the gift, and people buy presents that are arbitrarily distributed. Once, I received a women's scarf. I traded it for a french press... I still use the french press.

I actually like buying gifts for other people, though -friends and family, especially. There are some people who I'll buy gifts for because I care deeply about them and want to do something nice for them. Especially my friends. I don't expect -or want- anything in return, either. I have basically everything in my life that I need or want (materially, at least.... I remain boyfriendless), and I fundamentally have no use for more stuff... If someone wants to do something nice for me, I'd far rather we go out for a nice meal, or take a trip together than them buy me something to put on a shelf.

inorite. I think this is why the obligation to gift suck.

The obligation exists only to the extent that you allow yourself to feel obliged. A true gift is not given with the expectation of something in return, either.

When I have to gift something to everyone (interestingly, the festival I'm talking about doesn't necessitate gifting to your family- just extended family and work people.), I can't really focus on gifting thoughtful gifts to people I personally prefer.

Which is why I suggested the Yankee Swap, with something like a $20.00 USD limit... that way everyone enjoys the festivities, but no one is out a burdensome amount of cash.

I can't show my preference to my one maternal uncle, because the gossip mill is fast, and that hurt people's feelings.

Gossip mill?

I think the fact that I don't really need anything is what makes it stressful, in a way. Because then you need to reciprocate for something you don't really want. Usually I just swap my presents, its pretty traditional- some sweets, dry fruits, crockery, and stuff. Now that you have work included, though, people like to give you expensive stuff as a sort of bribery (?).

One of the best ideas I've ever seen in a company is that around Christmas, the managers would get stipends to spend on their employees however they saw fit. Usually, it came out to be about $100/employee. One Christmas my father took everyone out to a nice dinner completely on the company's card. Another year, they got Amazon gift cards. Stuff like that is pretty neat. But, I know what you're talking about. Gifts from employees to the boss can range in anything from small tokens of appreciation -like a nice card, to bottles of Johnny Walker Blue. It can get dicey, but it's just the way of things. I guess you learn to roll with it.

To ensure a social aspect to the work dynamic, with the expectation that you'd give them preference. So coupled with the fact that I really don't want to gift them anything, (it seems almost unethical to me personally, although its social obligation), nor do I want the gift they gifted me, I have to give them 'expensive stuff' so that I'm not socially excluded.

Its all so mechanical. Wasn't the gifting supposed to be voluntary?

It is voluntary. That you feel compelled does not mean that you are compelled.

There are others who I'll buy gifts for -like my family members- to remind them that no matter how much we dislike one another (like my homophobic aunt and uncle), we are still family. Buying their kids Christmas presents is especially entertaining for me because (1) I'm pretty damn good at buying gifts and (2) I enjoy watching their reactions to my taking the higher ground. I've done that to people who have fvcked me over, as well. There is no better way to say "Go straight to hell, and I am better than you could ever hope to be." than with an expensive gift basket of wine, cheese and pate that says "Happy Holidays" on the card.

That is gold.

Cheers.
Tsar of DDO
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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11/1/2013 2:26:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 1:55:54 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/1/2013 1:41:13 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 11/1/2013 1:05:40 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/1/2013 10:17:29 AM, Cermank wrote:
During these festivals, the social obligation to gift is the worse thing ever. Not only do you have to calculate the worth of someone on your life, so that your gift can reflect that- you also have to be careful of not overshooting or understating that value. An entire new dynamic of a relationship is exposed if you gift something less than the recievers expectations, and if you overstate it? The reciever now is obligated to return something of similar value. And this goes on an on in this vicious cycle.

The work gifts are worse, because there is this unspoken agreement that the gift ensures that the work buddy remains in good terms with you, and now you have this social aspect to the work relationship that you have to maintain too. Its a bloody nightmare.

/endrant

Do something like a Yankee Swap.

Is it when you give a gift you receive to someone else?

Basically everyone gets together, decided on a cost-limit for the gift, and people buy presents that are arbitrarily distributed. Once, I received a women's scarf. I traded it for a french press... I still use the french press.

Interesting. We did this once in school, I didn't know it had a name lol.

I actually like buying gifts for other people, though -friends and family, especially. There are some people who I'll buy gifts for because I care deeply about them and want to do something nice for them. Especially my friends. I don't expect -or want- anything in return, either. I have basically everything in my life that I need or want (materially, at least.... I remain boyfriendless), and I fundamentally have no use for more stuff... If someone wants to do something nice for me, I'd far rather we go out for a nice meal, or take a trip together than them buy me something to put on a shelf.

inorite. I think this is why the obligation to gift suck.

The obligation exists only to the extent that you allow yourself to feel obliged. A true gift is not given with the expectation of something in return, either.

True. I wish it was that simple though. I don't know if this is cultural, but the obligation does exist- especially when you have a more community oriented family structure. Although this makes me feel nice about future, once I move out- this wont be such a huge pain in the arse. Maybe I can finally enjoy festivals in their entirety.

When I have to gift something to everyone (interestingly, the festival I'm talking about doesn't necessitate gifting to your family- just extended family and work people.), I can't really focus on gifting thoughtful gifts to people I personally prefer.

Which is why I suggested the Yankee Swap, with something like a $20.00 USD limit... that way everyone enjoys the festivities, but no one is out a burdensome amount of cash.

I can't show my preference to my one maternal uncle, because the gossip mill is fast, and that hurt people's feelings.

Gossip mill?

Lol, its kind of funny. Especially my maternal side relatives, there is this common communication thing going on- transcribing what everyone is gifting everyone, so that they can decide what to gift them.

I think the fact that I don't really need anything is what makes it stressful, in a way. Because then you need to reciprocate for something you don't really want. Usually I just swap my presents, its pretty traditional- some sweets, dry fruits, crockery, and stuff. Now that you have work included, though, people like to give you expensive stuff as a sort of bribery (?).

One of the best ideas I've ever seen in a company is that around Christmas, the managers would get stipends to spend on their employees however they saw fit. Usually, it came out to be about $100/employee. One Christmas my father took everyone out to a nice dinner completely on the company's card. Another year, they got Amazon gift cards. Stuff like that is pretty neat. But, I know what you're talking about. Gifts from employees to the boss can range in anything from small tokens of appreciation -like a nice card, to bottles of Johnny Walker Blue. It can get dicey, but it's just the way of things. I guess you learn to roll with it.

Yeah, I guess.

That is actually a pretty neat arrangement, my dad got some gift cards too this time. Although we have like, two huge bribe stuff in the attic we'll have to re-gift someone too, because we don't need it. Small gifts usually are more useful (and thoughtful), I've noticed. Bigger ones just aim to signal to show off. But I digress.

To ensure a social aspect to the work dynamic, with the expectation that you'd give them preference. So coupled with the fact that I really don't want to gift them anything, (it seems almost unethical to me personally, although its social obligation), nor do I want the gift they gifted me, I have to give them 'expensive stuff' so that I'm not socially excluded.

Its all so mechanical. Wasn't the gifting supposed to be voluntary?

It is voluntary. That you feel compelled does not mean that you are compelled.

I'm so looking forward to the future.

There are others who I'll buy gifts for -like my family members- to remind them that no matter how much we dislike one another (like my homophobic aunt and uncle), we are still family. Buying their kids Christmas presents is especially entertaining for me because (1) I'm pretty damn good at buying gifts and (2) I enjoy watching their reactions to my taking the higher ground. I've done that to people who have fvcked me over, as well. There is no better way to say "Go straight to hell, and I am better than you could ever hope to be." than with an expensive gift basket of wine, cheese and pate that says "Happy Holidays" on the card.

That is gold.

Cheers.
YYW
Posts: 36,344
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11/1/2013 4:11:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 2:26:28 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 11/1/2013 1:55:54 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/1/2013 1:41:13 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 11/1/2013 1:05:40 PM, YYW wrote:
At 11/1/2013 10:17:29 AM, Cermank wrote:
During these festivals, the social obligation to gift is the worse thing ever. Not only do you have to calculate the worth of someone on your life, so that your gift can reflect that- you also have to be careful of not overshooting or understating that value. An entire new dynamic of a relationship is exposed if you gift something less than the recievers expectations, and if you overstate it? The reciever now is obligated to return something of similar value. And this goes on an on in this vicious cycle.

The work gifts are worse, because there is this unspoken agreement that the gift ensures that the work buddy remains in good terms with you, and now you have this social aspect to the work relationship that you have to maintain too. Its a bloody nightmare.

/endrant

Do something like a Yankee Swap.

Is it when you give a gift you receive to someone else?

Basically everyone gets together, decided on a cost-limit for the gift, and people buy presents that are arbitrarily distributed. Once, I received a women's scarf. I traded it for a french press... I still use the french press.

Interesting. We did this once in school, I didn't know it had a name lol.

Yes. Tis' called a Yankee Swap. I think it even originates from the great state of Massachusetts.

I actually like buying gifts for other people, though -friends and family, especially. There are some people who I'll buy gifts for because I care deeply about them and want to do something nice for them. Especially my friends. I don't expect -or want- anything in return, either. I have basically everything in my life that I need or want (materially, at least.... I remain boyfriendless), and I fundamentally have no use for more stuff... If someone wants to do something nice for me, I'd far rather we go out for a nice meal, or take a trip together than them buy me something to put on a shelf.

inorite. I think this is why the obligation to gift suck.

The obligation exists only to the extent that you allow yourself to feel obliged. A true gift is not given with the expectation of something in return, either.

True. I wish it was that simple though. I don't know if this is cultural, but the obligation does exist- especially when you have a more community oriented family structure. Although this makes me feel nice about future, once I move out- this wont be such a huge pain in the arse. Maybe I can finally enjoy festivals in their entirety.

It's a perception on your part, and you are only obliged to the extent that you feel you are obliged.

When I have to gift something to everyone (interestingly, the festival I'm talking about doesn't necessitate gifting to your family- just extended family and work people.), I can't really focus on gifting thoughtful gifts to people I personally prefer.

Which is why I suggested the Yankee Swap, with something like a $20.00 USD limit... that way everyone enjoys the festivities, but no one is out a burdensome amount of cash.

I can't show my preference to my one maternal uncle, because the gossip mill is fast, and that hurt people's feelings.

Gossip mill?

Lol, its kind of funny. Especially my maternal side relatives, there is this common communication thing going on- transcribing what everyone is gifting everyone, so that they can decide what to gift them.

Interesting. I had a friend whose parents divorced when he was very young. Until he was in college, Christmas became a time for his mother and father to compete over who could give him the nicer things. From one parent, it was a bike. From another, a gaming console. etc. It was pretty pathetic, and he hated it, because his parents hated each other and he realized when he was in about the 8th grade that his affection was not more than a pawn each parent manipulated to hurt the other. I'm not saying that all parents who divorce are stupid, emotionally unbalanced and vindictive at the expense of their kids... but it does seem to be pretty common.

I think the fact that I don't really need anything is what makes it stressful, in a way. Because then you need to reciprocate for something you don't really want. Usually I just swap my presents, its pretty traditional- some sweets, dry fruits, crockery, and stuff. Now that you have work included, though, people like to give you expensive stuff as a sort of bribery (?).

One of the best ideas I've ever seen in a company is that around Christmas, the managers would get stipends to spend on their employees however they saw fit. Usually, it came out to be about $100/employee. One Christmas my father took everyone out to a nice dinner completely on the company's card. Another year, they got Amazon gift cards. Stuff like that is pretty neat. But, I know what you're talking about. Gifts from employees to the boss can range in anything from small tokens of appreciation -like a nice card, to bottles of Johnny Walker Blue. It can get dicey, but it's just the way of things. I guess you learn to roll with it.

Yeah, I guess.

That is actually a pretty neat arrangement, my dad got some gift cards too this time. Although we have like, two huge bribe stuff in the attic we'll have to re-gift someone too, because we don't need it. Small gifts usually are more useful (and thoughtful), I've noticed. Bigger ones just aim to signal to show off. But I digress.

The gifts my father would receive from his bosses were always the nicest. One time they took us to Mexico on vacation. Another time, they gave him a timeshare. He got a fourth quarter bonus too, but the extras are nice. Of course, the company paid for it -and included the cost of whatever taxed he would have had to pay on the gift in his fourth quarter bonus (which was especially considerate).


To ensure a social aspect to the work dynamic, with the expectation that you'd give them preference. So coupled with the fact that I really don't want to gift them anything, (it seems almost unethical to me personally, although its social obligation), nor do I want the gift they gifted me, I have to give them 'expensive stuff' so that I'm not socially excluded.

Its all so mechanical. Wasn't the gifting supposed to be voluntary?

It is voluntary. That you feel compelled does not mean that you are compelled.

I'm so looking forward to the future.

Well, I hope so!

There are others who I'll buy gifts for -like my family members- to remind them that no matter how much we dislike one another (like my homophobic aunt and uncle), we are still family. Buying their kids Christmas presents is especially entertaining for me because (1) I'm pretty damn good at buying gifts and (2) I enjoy watching their reactions to my taking the higher ground. I've done that to people who have fvcked me over, as well. There is no better way to say "Go straight to hell, and I am better than you could ever hope to be." than with an expensive gift basket of wine, cheese and pate that says "Happy Holidays" on the card.

That is gold.

Cheers.
Tsar of DDO