Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by PeterG, Dec 4, 2012.
Does it really? There seems to be a rough parallelism on the surface but how do you know this?
If you are asking how do I know about Boxing Day, here is the first line of the Wikipedia entry
Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts from their superiors or employers, known as a "Christmas box".
That explains the parellelism with those who now give gifts to people who provide services.
No. My question was how do you know the practice of giving gifts to service people in the US is derived from Boxing Day traditions. They may seem similar on the surface - I'm just not sure one can be said to be the antecedent of the other.
I'm with you, my Poodle. My answer is ZERO!
CHEAP PEOPLE ON THE WORLD, UNITE!!!
PeterG, you forgot the option I need, which is "Too many."
There is not a damn one of us in my circle who needs anything, so trying to find a gift is a pain in the patootie - pressure, angst, and inevitably, overspending just to be able to check a name off a list and be done with it.
I am a generous person but I like to give when I know it's needed or when it's inspired, and I hate the pressure and obligations of the holidays. And quite frankly the commercialization of Christmas makes me very depressed. How many of the earth's resources are wasted producing, distributing and wrapping useless crap, which will shortly end up in a landfill so that its toxic elements can leach into the earth. Do we really need a present from someone to know that we are loved or valued? I think not but try as we might to wean ourselves from the (forced) tradition, it doesn't seem to happen.
I'd much rather get a call, or a card with more than a signature, or go out to dinner to spend some time together, than receive a gift.
I buy for about 8 people. My mom, stepmom, dad, stepdad, brother, sister-in-law, grandparents (only 1 gift for them both) and nephew. My bf buys for his family and I buy for mine, we just slap each others names on the gifts. I try to keep it to that but usually there are other gifts I end up having to get. For example, at our family christmas party we play white elephant so I have to buy a gift for that. I would say 10 gifts is a good estimate, which I don't think is so bad.
I am trying to wean the number down. My bf and I don't exchange gifts. We no longer exchange with his siblings and instead buy for his parents and niece and nephew. I think next year I will mention about not exchanging with my brother and sister-in-law. I don't want to be cheap but I don't need anything and neither do they. We aren't rich so that we can buy whatever we want but we make a living and have what we need to live comfortably. I'd rather just see each other at Christmas than get another shirt I don't like. Honestly, I love when people give me homemade gifts, like cookies, fudge, etc. I always appreciate and remember that so much more than something bought at the store.
I guess I really can't speak about the tradition as it relates to the US. I know that the custom in Canada was imported from The Old Country, AKA England. I suppose it might have been common in other European countries with a feudal society. But why Americans give gift to service people, I really can't say with any accuracy. I suspect, however, that the basis is the same, and goes back to pre-revolutionary days. That would make a great thesis!
Four--husband, two kids and one friend who always insists on getting me something, so I have to get her something.
I don't consider it a huge hassle. Friend is fairly easy to buy something for, and so are husband and kids. Other people? Not so much.
Curses, make that five--I forgot that BYTCH and I always exchange "gifts" and sometimes gifts. One never knows what will come out of the box.
We are talking about Christmas gifts here in particular, not giving gifts or generosity in general. I enjoy giving gifts too, but prefer to reserve that for birthdays or other 'just because' occasions. For example, I'm passing on my old lap top to a friend who is terrified of technology and computers. I think she might really enjoy the Internet for a variety of reasons. It's an old and worthless laptop, but I'm enjoying bookmarking some sites for her and looking forward to seeing whether she can overcome her fear. She is kind of excited about it too.
With respect to Christmas gifts, there is the commercialism component and the sense of obligation. I personally find the commercialism off-putting. People end up buying a ton of stuff for way too much money that others don't want or need, or will never use, just because they have to buy a gift. If you are buying for a ton of family members/friends, taking each out for a meal - always a good option if you don't want/need to buy stuff - isn't feasible. And people get all stressed out having to shop for presents.
Well, after voting "zero" in this poll, I got three gifts. But still gave zip. That's the way to go! Just little things, a towel set, some baked goods/chocolates and a scratch and win lottery ticket/money combo from Mom ("you always win!!").
Husband, 2 kids, their fiancé/GF, brother, SIL, BIL/SIL, 2 nieces, niece's husband, Daughter's fiance's parents, my BFF, her daughter (my Godchild), neighbors and their 2 kids. Not including tips for mailman, trash collectors, hair stylist, manicurist. The underlined get multiple gifts!
Thought I'd bump up this thread to see if any new members are part of our Anti-Capitalist group.
My capitalism has grown to the twenty or more option. Many of my friends and family members spawned this year.
I have three siblings, a sister-in-law, serious girlfriend who is spending Christmas with us, two nephews, one niece-in-law (?), two grandnieces (there's only an eight year difference between the oldest nephew and myself), an aunt, an uncle, five friends with whom I exchange gifts, and nine honorary nieces/nephews (the children of the five friends).
I enjoy buying gifts. Or, in reality, I like shopping and Christmas gives me an excuse to indulge.
NONE! There are no little children in our family so I'm DONE with X-mas presents! My dad died in 2010, so no gift there. My mom lives with me now so I'll take us out for a nice dinner. I'm done done DONE with my freaking toxic sister and if I could afford to I would move to the other side of the country and never see her again, and be the happier for it. Not getting my brother/SIL presents because its not good enough to her anyway. So I am DONE with presents and gift giving!
I put "nine," but "exchange" is a generous term for that -- I buy presents for all my grandnieces and grandnephews. My mom and I tend to donate to each others' favorite charities as Christmas gifts, but I still buy for my in-laws.
I was about to post that I don't celebrate Xmas when I scrolled down and read your protest.
Small gifts for some of my colleagues, none for family , maybe a handful for some close friends out of guilt since I always forget their birthdays.
Let's see... 3 nieces and a nephew, 2 brothers and their spouses, parents, boyfriend, best friend, and my boss. My cousins and I do a gift exchange too. I also have a godson I try to send something to. It sounds like a long list but I don't spend that much money, I knit gifts and make things. I also get a very generous discount from the toy store I manage which helps with the kid gifts I love gift giving, it's the furthest thing from a burden for me
Couldn't figure out why I couldn't vote but I see I must have voted last year Anyway, this year I am exchanging with 14 people. 12 family and 2 friends I'm almost done my shopping and have wrapped a bit. Mostly just looking forward to some relaxing family time
This year, still 0.
I don't celebrate any of the December gift-giving holidays.
Is that better, Peter?
I do, however, intend to exchange holiday greeting cards