I posted this as a comment on another friend’s journal, but after reading it over, felt it should also be given due space here as well:
My wife and I have come to the conclusion that the gift-giving traditions of modern Christmastime are antiquated and offensive. So we decided to have a chat with our respective families this year and put an end to it. We are done with feeling obligated to present someone with a gift regardless of if we actually WANT to or have even found that “right” gift. I completely resent the feeling of obligation this time of year.
I find it quite fitting that the German word “gift” translates into English as “poison”. Truer sentiments have never been so clear.
Of course this year, I believe I did find the perfect gift for my parents so the tradition stands at least once more. Everyone else just gets the typically gift cards to get themselves whatever they really want. Sigh… I know it is such a cop out, but really, it just fulfills the obligation.
Truly, I would much rather just have the time to enjoy spending it with family in any manner we please; without the expectations of gift-giving or any expectations of spending entire days with my relatives or Jean’s. Sometimes Jean and I just want to spend time alone and not have so many obligations thrust upon us. Sometimes we really DO want to spend time with our families. But don’t make us give gifts out of expectation.