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[P]
Christmas Presents time again

By jann in Culture
Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 08:36:29 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Well ... it is christmas time again. Presents around the tree and all that stuff. But how do YOU do the present thang?


The spirit of christmas has, since I have known it, been intimately tied to the purchasing and exchange of presents between family, friends and workmates. Every year I used to go out and think deeply about who everyone was and buy a present that would be meaningfull and representative of who someone was and what they wanted or needed. This was a time consuming and, less importantly, expensive exercise.

But I came up with a solution. For a few years almost everyone got an identical present. Scotch drinkers got a bottle of Glenfiddich and everyone else got chocolates and ground coffee (except the girlfriend and my 7 year old sister who got individual presents).

This made christmas easy. Everyone liked their presents, everyone had a use for their presents and no one got something they didn't want. And no one felt that they had been shortchanged compared to someone else.

But it is getting a bit dull. So I am trying to think of something new.

But what? Should I give everyone a membership to Greenpeace? Should everyone sponsor an animal at toronga zoo (Sydney).

Others in the community must have ways of "optimising" the christmas present thing. And perhaps bouncing some ideas around could help everyone come up with easy, meaningfull and usefull presents that they can give to spread the christmas cheer.

So ... How do you deal with christmas?

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Poll
What should I buy everyone for christmas
o booze 19%
o chocolates 4%
o greenpeace membership 12%
o animal sponsorship at the zoo 9%
o a book voucher 8%
o a CD of FreeBSD 17%
o Signal 11 24%
o Rusty 3%

Votes: 91
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by jann


Display: Sort:
Christmas Presents time again | 44 comments (37 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
yah its almost funny (2.25 / 12) (#1)
by maketo on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 09:20:46 PM EST

How everyone almost "demands" you to get them a present. Sad.
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
And... (3.33 / 3) (#16)
by qslack on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 08:42:28 AM EST

And, it seems as if I always get about 5 or so purchase orders around Christmas. It's so hard to distinguish between those and the lists...

[ Parent ]
write a personalised computer program... (4.27 / 11) (#3)
by Friendless on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 10:40:04 PM EST

The theoretical best way of choosing presents is to give someone something that only you would give to them. Give lingerie to your girlfriend (or boyfriend :-), because presumably it's only you and they who will see it. Don't give lingerie to your Mum, even if she would like it. If your Dad likes country and western, and while you were on a trip to Australia you found a great artist called Slim Dusty, give your Dad Slim Dusty's Greatest Hits. A present that could come only from you.

For Mother's Day several years ago, I wrote a computer program for my Mum. It was a version of that Concentration game where you have to flip over pairs of cards that match. It wasn't a very interesting game, but in this version the pictures you had to match were pictures of her grandkids. Not every Grandma has a customised Grandma computer game.

Of course, finding or making good presents like this takes a heck of a lot of time. I have only bought one present this year - for my 4yo, and it's a copy of "The Hobbit". Since he can't read, I will be committing myself to read it to him, which is what he really wants.

For all the people I should get presents for, my wife has found something. Don't know what. As long as I can come up with a good one for each person every couple of years, I think I will maintain my credibility enough to continue receiving :-).

Overspend, with sincerity (4.42 / 14) (#5)
by jabber on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 12:46:12 AM EST

That's what I do. I always buy expensive and extravagant presents for those near and dear. I don't set out to buy something expensive, but that's how it always turns out. I don't try to figure out in advance what to buy everyone - I just go on a Jihad each December. I wander around, thinking very hard about the past year, about each person at a time. I think about that one person, what themes surrounded our relationship in the past year, and what feelings and abstract thoughts bubble to the surface of my mind. I then look for a gift that will address those feelings. Once I am satisfied that this is the gift(s) that will mean what I intend, then - and only then - I move on to shopping for the next person.

This way, the gift is a meaningful one for me to give, and for them to receive. Often times, the recipient isn't very aware of the thinking behind the gift. The present is a special one, and a valuable one, and this is clear - but I make a point of explaining why I chose that particular something, and what it's symbolism and semantic payload is.

That way, I am not giving a thing, I am giving a sentiment - an object that represents my thoughts and feelings - a 0th generation heirloom if you will.

Choosing presents in this way is very tiring for me. But it is also very rewarding to see the feelings realized, and see them recognized in the face of a loved one on Christmas Eve (when we exchange gifts). As with all catharses, the process is a great relief afterwards, and in a way, it's a kind of self-psycho-therapy. It requires me to be honest about my feelings, and even if a relationship has been difficult (as it almost always is with my Father), I have to keep in mind the good things, and let go of anger and spite and negativity in general.
Through deliberate, emotional shopping, I force myself to come to terms with any ill will I may harbor - and to step back from old thinking about my friends and family, and see them in terms of this past year - and the year that is to come. To thank them for the lessons I've learned and to wish them well for the future, just in case. To go through this process each year helps me to recognize that my relationship with them works both ways, and if I have a gripe, they likely have one as well - and if I am grateful then they have earned my gratitude, and if I was hurt, then I owe them forgiveness - because despite whatever happened, we are family, and we are friends - and beyond each other, we have very few better options with whom to share our lives.

Anyway, just my two cents.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Christmas (4.10 / 10) (#6)
by ocelot on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 01:18:31 AM EST

I'm having a very difficult Christmas this year, as half of me doesn't particularly want to celebrate at all, for various reasons. I'd be much more comfortable with just giving gifts to people as I found something appropriate, rather than waiting for a particular time of year.

But I have family who would probably be hurt by my lack of celebration...so...

I think I'm going the charity route this year, at least with my grandparents. Donate in their name to a charity that fits them, and then give some homemade cookies or something as well. I usually do something non-edible and homemade, but I'm rather stuck for ideas this year.

In any case, my usual method of present shopping is just to rely on intuition. This works great when my intuition is working - some random idea will pop into my head, or I'll see something, and just know it's the right thing. And it always is. But this doesn't work with everyone - I'm *always* stuck on what to get my dad, for instance.

I think if you're going the charity route (which I personally think is a great idea), it would be best to donate to to a seperate charity for each person, based on what their interests are, rather than doing the same thing for everyone. Makes it a bit more personal and meaningful (though it requires a bit more work), while you can still spend an equal amount on everyone.

Apologies for any typos. My monitor is dying, making it rather hard to proofread.

Exemption (3.00 / 4) (#14)
by mrBlond on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 06:18:10 AM EST

I'm having a very difficult Christmas this year, as half of me doesn't particularly want to celebrate at all, for various reasons. I'd be much more comfortable with just giving gifts to people as I found something appropriate, rather than waiting for a particular time of year.

I saw a CD I knew my mom would like, bought and gift wrapped it ages ago for xmas. I've given customized (one-way) exemption vouchers to those on my gift exange list, and recently got one back from my mom - so I'm giving her the CD when I see her next which will be before xmas.

Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits. - Dan Barker


--
Inoshiro for cabal leader.
[ Parent ]
Duelling Presents.. (4.55 / 9) (#7)
by Chiron on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 02:02:40 AM EST

I know it isn't appropriate to the season, but my friend and I tend to duel with gifts.. The rules, informally, are that you cannot give expensive items, but you must utterly amaze the other person with the gift..

This year, he's dug up a Sega Nomad, and two games that I very wistfully remember, and nauseate everyone else by ranting about how great they were, for my long nightly shifts. Don't ask how I know, I don't want to give away my sources, for fear of reprisals. (And being cut off from more info. =) )

Our gift to him is a monthly delivery of a case of Jolt for the next year.. I figure it's the gift that keeps on giving, and it ensures I have someone to talk to while on my night shift.

Isn't it appropriate? (2.85 / 7) (#9)
by squigly on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 03:25:25 AM EST

I know it isn't appropriate to the season, but my friend and I tend to duel with gifts.. The rules, informally, are that you cannot give expensive items, but you must utterly amaze the other person with the gift.
Am I missing the point here? Personally I don't think I can see anything wrong with trying to get a friend the nicest possible gift. I'm sure both sides enjoy trying to find the gift, both sides are happy with what they receive. And you get a sense of satisfaction from giving, which is surely the whole point after all.

--
People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
[ Parent ]
Well.. (3.00 / 1) (#34)
by Chiron on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 04:51:41 PM EST

This has become a bit of a competition for us, seeing who can outdo the other.. That isn't quite the 'holiday spirit', I don't think, but it /is/ quite a bit of fun for two overpaid geeks. =)

[ Parent ]
Jolt for a year.. (2.66 / 3) (#22)
by Malachi on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 11:31:50 AM EST

I know just the Geek this should be for.. Where can I get it. :D
We know nothing but to ask more questions.
[ Parent ]
Available at www.thinkgeek.com (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by Chiron on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 04:54:11 PM EST

The monthly delivery of Jolt is available at www.thinkgeek.com. You can basically schedule shipments from them for just about anything. I set up a shipment of a case for each month, next year.

And remember, to use caffiene in moderation. *wink*

[ Parent ]
Books (3.30 / 10) (#13)
by Toojays on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 05:27:14 AM EST

I am not very good at choosing presents for people, so I tend to wander into the nearest book shop and pick up whatever looks like it would interest them. Usually non-fiction in an area where they have a hobby.

Buying gifts for Christmas (3.66 / 9) (#17)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 09:17:00 AM EST

First of all, I always overspend. There is always somebody I forget, somebody I have trouble finding a gift for and somebody who I think I've hit the jackpot with until they open the box.

That aside, I normally do pretty well, so here is my advice.

Plan ahead. You can't start too soon. Make a list of people who you want to get gifts for, and maintain it. Write down ideas. Listen to what people say. Once you've done it once you'll be able to refer back to it in following years. Know what people bought you. People buy stuff they want, its like a huge hint. :)

Buy a few extra "cool" gifts in the lower end of your price bracket. You'll be glad you did if you forget someone, or something doesn't arrive on time.

Mail order / internet shop. There should still be time. Some places will wrap, gift tag and deliver for you! Especially usefull for long-distance friends & famaly.

Take a friend. Go to markets. Go to art fairs.

Want to give. Know your friends. These are the most important parts. You have to know what people want, and want to give it to them. Otherwise, whats the point?


---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell

I missed one... (3.00 / 5) (#19)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 09:42:58 AM EST

Sorry about that. Anwho, you get the picture! This kind of thing...
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
My plans (3.50 / 10) (#18)
by PlanetJIM on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 09:30:54 AM EST

Funny thing: I always plan to do better than I do. Every year... "This'll be the year everybody loves what I get them." And they do, but I always have to rush on somebody and wish I could have been a little more thoughtful. It's always seemed to me like a really nice bottle of wine can be a great present. You get one of those cool wooden boxes to put it in, wrap it up nice... people get a kick out of opening it on Christmas day, then in a year or two when they drink it on a special occasion, they give you a call and tell you how good it was and that they were thinking of you when they drank it. It's the gift that gives 3 times... twice to the reciever and once to the giver.

Good gifts... (1.83 / 6) (#20)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 10:33:08 AM EST

For everyone? Decorator candles for the ladies; cans of good nuts (macadamia, pistachio, cashews) for the guys.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
Got lucky this year (1.66 / 6) (#21)
by nd on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 10:59:35 AM EST

Since I tend to procrastinate and have little time to shop, I gave my mom a bunch of money and a price-range list for the people to buy gifts for in my name. It's worked out pretty well so far -- I can relax and my mom can do something she loves (shopping).

Yes, I know I'm going against the meaning of Christmas, blah blah blah.. but I'm only 19 and am already beginning to dread Christmas rather than look forward to it.

Gift Giving.. fal la la la la.. (2.66 / 3) (#23)
by Malachi on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 11:41:27 AM EST

Each year I take a different tact on what I'm going to do. I don't have a spending limit per person, and I'm not an equal buyer by any stretch.. I think of the individual(s) and try and come up with something reflective of our relationship.. So to some a humourus gag gift of a punching nun might be good, while to others a bottle of wine, or maybe a gift cert for a home cooked meal might be in order. This year I've got a Bong for a stoner, a rack of steaks and lobster for a food conniseur, fleece sweater for sis, a massage for ma, a model plan for step father, case of cigars for dad, a new custom homemade computer for myself. Sometimes I make gifts, sometimes I run out of money before I get everyone.. that sucks.. but hey.. what can ya do.. I really enjoy making people happy, and sometimes the right gift will keep an appreciative smile for a few days longer than normal. ;)

Its all good,-M
We know nothing but to ask more questions.

My Gifts (1.66 / 3) (#24)
by titivillus on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 12:18:35 PM EST

My wife doesn't read Kuro5hin, nor does she know I'm the minor demon of spelling errors, so here goes:

  • 6yearold son:
    Lego rocket. I guided other gifts, and this isn't the whole story, but he's interested in space, somewhat, and that is something I wish to encourage. Plus, he's a young boy, so he likes Legos.
  • 3yearold son:
    Woody. No, not the debian distro, the Toy Story character he was named after. He's a big fan of the story, and although he prefers Buzz, I don't think I want to encourage him zapping people too much. (Yes, he loves Woody, too.)
  • Wife:
    This goes back to last year and her birthday. She wanted to get a spa treatment (facial, haircut, fingers, all that girl stuff we guys don't understand), and I wanted to get what she wanted. I just didn't want her to know it. Giving gifts they know about just sort of stinks, y'know? So, I asked if she'd want a Palm like I had. She said not really. Then I acted sad and confused. (That I got away with it, I consider a minor miracle. I have a "tell". When I lie, I smile. I hardly smile otherwise, so when all of a sudden I have a pie-eatin' grin, you can tell I'm lying. I was driving, and thus looking at the road, and that's how I figure I got away with it. ) So she started asking me about what it's good for, and she started using one when I got a free green Handspring Deluxe. So, besides a book, I got her a keyboard for her PalmIII, and I'm thinking of getting her a Palm IIIxe. The price is right, and it'll work with the gear she has, including the keyboard she doesn't know about, and I'll get the old III back to use with some other stuff, like a SmartPad. (It is silly to have more than one PalmOS machine, I think. I'm silly, I guess.)
  • Mother-in-law:
    This one is easy. She like mysteries. She's also had a stroke, so she needs hardcovers so she can keep 'em open. So, that's a lot of books. Which one? Well, I took her shopping, and we went through Barnes and Noble and got her the new "Ransom Notes", the little booklet which presents the new books. She said "$author. I like $author." when seeing it, so I got her the new hardcover book by $author.
  • Sister, Parents:
    My wife is so much better than me covering general, sentimental, non-functional gifts, so she has that duty.


Oh dear god. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by Holloway on Wed Dec 06, 2000 at 05:13:41 AM EST

Oh dear god.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]
My Gifts (3.33 / 3) (#25)
by titivillus on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 12:21:32 PM EST

My wife doesn't read Kuro5hin, nor does she know I'm the minor demon of spelling errors, so here goes:

  • 6yearold son:
    Lego rocket. I guided other gifts, and this isn't the whole story, but he's interested in space, somewhat, and that is something I wish to encourage. Plus, he's a young boy, so he likes Legos.
  • 3yearold son:
    Woody. No, not the debian distro, the Toy Story character he was named after. He's a big fan of the story, and although he prefers Buzz, I don't think I want to encourage him zapping people too much. (Yes, he loves Woody, too.)
  • Wife:
    This goes back to last year and her birthday. She wanted to get a spa treatment (facial, haircut, fingers, all that girl stuff we guys don't understand), and I wanted to get what she wanted. I just didn't want her to know it. Giving gifts they know about just sort of stinks, y'know? So, I asked if she'd want a Palm like I had. She said not really. Then I acted sad and confused. (That I got away with it, I consider a minor miracle. I have a "tell". When I lie, I smile. I hardly smile otherwise, so when all of a sudden I have a pie-eatin' grin, you can tell I'm lying. I was driving, and thus looking at the road, and that's how I figure I got away with it. ) So she started asking me about what it's good for, and she started using one when I got a free green Handspring Deluxe. So, besides a book, I got her a keyboard for her PalmIII, and I'm thinking of getting her a Palm IIIxe. The price is right, and it'll work with the gear she has, including the keyboard she doesn't know about, and I'll get the old III back to use with some other stuff, like a SmartPad. (It is silly to have more than one PalmOS machine, I think. I'm silly, I guess.)
  • Mother-in-law:
    This one is easy. She like mysteries. She's also had a stroke, so she needs hardcovers so she can keep 'em open. So, that's a lot of books. Which one? Well, I took her shopping, and we went through Barnes and Noble and got her the new "Ransom Notes", the little booklet which presents the new books. She said "$author. I like $author." when seeing it, so I got her the new hardcover book by $author.
  • Sister, Parents:
    My wife is so much better than me covering general, sentimental, non-functional gifts, so she has that duty.


My gift (2.50 / 2) (#26)
by darthaya on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 12:40:51 PM EST

For my girlfriend, I plan to give her a set of makeup kits from Lancome since she likes them so much.

For my l4 years old cousin, I will get him a nice PC game. Just like every other kids, they love playing computer games. :)

For my uncle, I should get him something that can help with his headache. Any suggestions?

For my aunt, some anti-wrinkle, and facial product would be nice.

My gift (2.33 / 3) (#27)
by darthaya on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 12:40:52 PM EST

For my girlfriend, I plan to give her a set of makeup kits from Lancome since she likes them so much.

For my l4 years old cousin, I will get him a nice PC game. Just like every other kids, they love playing computer games. :)

For my uncle, I should get him something that can help with his headache. Any suggestions?

For my aunt, some anti-wrinkle, and facial product would be nice.

An alternative stragety... (3.33 / 3) (#28)
by shaniber on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 12:46:32 PM EST

You say you've got a girlfriend, so what you need to do is employ her help in the matter.

My wife has a knack for picking out thoughtful and interesting gifts for just about anyone, and really seems to enjoy it. And (not to prepetuate a stereotype), it seems that alot of women are similar as well. If you're lucky enough to have a girlfriend that is like this, you've got a terrific resource in her for the holidays. Not only will you have great help in picking out presents, but you'll make points with her, in that you're demonstrating that you want to include her in your family, and that you think she knows your family well enough to help pick out nice things for them.

Just remember to set your budget a good amount below what you really want to spend, to account for accidental overspending... :)

shaniber.

Not the zoo! Guides. My list (3.50 / 4) (#29)
by Knile87 on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 01:53:12 PM EST

Aaaackk... don't buy animal sponsorship at a zoo. If you're doing something fauna-oriented, go to Heifer Project International which provides needing people (be they in Kentucky, Guatemala, or Cambodia) with animals of all sorts, as well as plants, to help them help themselves.

I had considered submitting my own story, entitled "Geek Gift Getting/Giving Guide" asking what K5ers were planning to buy for others, and coveted themselves, this holiday season.

    Some links to buying guides:
  1. From the New York Times
  2. From OfficeDepot
  3. From Staples
  4. From BestBuy
  5. From the Baltimore Sun

And now you're all saying, "Knile87! We wish to purchase you gifts, because you're such an eloquent little K5 person! What ever could we give you?" And I'd say.. A pair of Sony MDR-V300 headphones, a copy of Po Bronson's Nudist On The Night Shift, a nice little Elph, and a Palm M100.

Really, they'll probably just get me the M100 and a scarf. *shrug* No biggy..

"We're all on a big ship! We're on a big cruise, across the world!" -- Iowa Bob, in Hotel New Hampshire


that time of year again (2.00 / 2) (#30)
by mircrypt on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 02:21:11 PM EST

The thought of excitement over yet another over commericalized holiday is hard to hold onto in this day and age. Christmas, while it has always centered around gifts to a certain extent (ok..when you really wanted that toy as a kid, that was all there was to the damn season), it seems less significant to focus on presents this year, and more on who I'm giving them to and how I'll be spending the holiday. Given the demands of work its hard enough to set aside the time to think about shopping for gifts, let alone contemplate where to spend the holiday, but here's a thought. Go ahead and get the expensive or extremely uncommon gifts, but make the holidays mean little more than just a click on sharperimage.com and spend some time with those you care most about. You might be surprised which gift they prefer. Just a thought.
"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you". - Aldus Huxley -
Depending on if they like you (none / 0) (#42)
by blixco on Wed Dec 06, 2000 at 12:16:18 PM EST

It might also serve well to spend some time right the hell away from those you care about....esp. if you're as obnoxious as I am. Case in point: after spending two weeks with my stepmother, I gave her a certificate to a day spa. She got to spend the entire day being pampered and not having to hear my ceaseless ranting. The result was that she still pretends to like me....heh.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
also an option (none / 0) (#43)
by mircrypt on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 02:52:51 AM EST

that works too...gift certificates do wonders for the less than appealing prospect of spending time with unpleasant family members. screw the health spa though, just pop a few bucks on amazon or b&n in the direction of the undesireable elements, and spreading christmas cheer is accomplished sauf excruciating afternoons of uncomfortable silences.
"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you". - Aldus Huxley -
[ Parent ]
One of the best presents I've received... (4.33 / 6) (#31)
by paulerdos on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 02:41:55 PM EST

cost absolutely nothing.

In particular, it came from someone who I knew didn't have a lot of money. When she asked me what I wanted, I told her that I wanted nothing more than a meaningful card, because: 1. it's true, a meaningful card is a very nice gift indeed, and 2. it would cost her very little money.

This is what she got me: a glass bottle (it was about the size of an Absolut Vodka bottle) full of paper cranes. And a meaningful card.

I've received many, many expensive gifts that meant very little compared to this gift that cost nothing. That is, in terms of monetary value. The fact that somebody cared enough about me to spend hours and hours to fold paper cranes, that was much more meaningful.

I guess my point is this. If you want somebody to really appreciate your gift and feel good about it, and you want to feel good about having gotten that gift for that person, then there's no short and easy "formula." You just have to go and make that sacrifice, whether it be a huge time commitment (like the paper cranes) or a huge money commitment, or whatever. You can't do something quick and easy that will really impress and touch somebody, because people are touched by the fact that you care about them enough to have spent so much <whatever resource> on them. You can't get something for nothing.



Would you mind terribly... (2.00 / 2) (#37)
by ragabr on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 06:06:20 PM EST

If I stole this idea? There's this tea that I drink everyday, and typically I recycle/dispose of the bottles, but I think this would be a great present that strikes of grandeur... or something.. :)

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
No, go ahead and do it... (none / 0) (#38)
by paulerdos on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 06:37:22 PM EST

just don't tell me about it. then i can still pretend no one else in the world has done this. :)

[ Parent ]
Computers for gifts. (3.00 / 2) (#32)
by blixco on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 02:48:12 PM EST

The spouse gets a new notebook computer. She finishing up her second year of her doctorate work and needs a system....so everyone else gets flowering and food seeds, art, and her sisters get gift certificates to some place obnoxious like Target.

I'm sending my brother a computer that I made. Has anyone done this? I expect (since he's never used a computer) that I'll be on the phone with him every day for about four years telling him how to fix and use it. But my nephews really need a system, and I can't afford a new one for them (this one will cost me the 85.00 for a Duron, everything else is overhead stuff from home). Please, someone talk me out of it.

I'm getting a Peanuts book and everything Social Distortion ever recorded. And some stuff the spouse won't show me, but the bag is awfully small and pink.

I like giving people things, but never know how to react to stuff being given to me. Like I'm never going to react with enough thanks/surprise/this is lovely.


-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
What do you do? (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by ragabr on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 06:03:47 PM EST

I think I'm of similar persuasion here, I love giving people I care about gifts, seeing their smiles, but I don't know how to show my appreciation, what do you do?

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
The thought that matters (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by phliar on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 03:53:40 PM EST

Yes, it's a horrible cliche....

This year I've decided to make some paper for paintings. (I usually use acrylics on wet watercolour paper.) The presents will therefore be completely handmade, unique, and will represent something meaningful about the relationship I have with the person.

This is going to take a long time - I estimate it will take me about four to six hours to make each one. Luckily I'm an atheist and a curmudgeon, and I usually give people things at random times all year, so there's no expectation that I have to get them all made by Xmas.


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...

I react badly. (2.50 / 2) (#39)
by blixco on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 08:24:01 PM EST

People at this point are used to me, so they don't take offense when I act uncomfortable about getting a gift. Man, there are some really *very* bad pictures of me opening gifts at family functions....

Anyhow, I do genuinely appreciate the gift, so I find that just being honest ("what a lovely set of tablecloths!") works wonders...that and drinking a bit to loosen up beforehand.....
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The root of the problem has been isolated.
Ooops...supposed to have been a reply (none / 0) (#44)
by blixco on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 12:15:31 PM EST

Hrm. This comment was a reply to a reply. I must have been, I dunno, out of my head and not hit reply. The comment sure doesn't stand on it's own very well.....
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The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
Presence of Presents (2.00 / 2) (#40)
by NullStream on Tue Dec 05, 2000 at 08:42:25 PM EST

Christmas bites. Always has always will. Sure giving gifts is great if you can afford it (afford meaning being able to eat for a few weeks after). Since cash is always tight (read tech support pay is a pittance and university tuition is akin to robbery) I tend to just find free time and spend that with peoples.

Personally I don't really want anything as I would rather work for it (it means more) and since I'm not socially attached to a member of the opposite sex I don't have that to "worry" about. :P

Just like every year my christmas present is to be able to sleep right through the day with no responsibilities to take care of. :)



Christmas Presents time again | 44 comments (37 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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