How do you respond to thoughtless gift giving? I spend a lot of time choosing gifts for others, but I feel like one particular person spends little to no time choosing gifts for me. Should I continue searching for the perfect gifts for them or resort to buying thoughtless gifts as they do for me?
Thoughtless Gift Giving
Every Christmas, I spend countless hours buying gifts for extended family members. Yet I often receive generic, thoughtless gifts in return. Last year I received a particularly crappy, five-dollar present as part of a family exchange.
Before anyone jumps in and says, “maybe the gift giver can’t afford more than that,” I will say with absolute certainty that they can. This particular person had no problem providing more thoughtful, expensive gifts to other family members.
It’s obvious they don’t want to spend the time searching for gifts for me.
I spent a good deal of time and money buying gifts for that person, but as the calendar rolls into December, I’m not sure that I want to get burned again. I’m not sure how to handle the exchange of gifts this year.
Do I continue to spend energy searching for gifts when I know full well that I won’t get anything decent in return, or do I throw in the towel and buy this particular person something equally crappy?
Ninety-nine percent of me says to do the right thing and buy this person a lovely gift. The other one percent says forget that; put very little thought or money into it and call it a day.
When Someone Gives You A Cheap Gift
Of course, I don’t comment on the cheap gift. I say, “Thanks for thinking of me” and fake a smile. There is a time and a place to tell someone you don’t like their gift, but sitting next to the Christmas tree isn’t one of them.
Ending Gift Exchanges
Two years ago, my brother and I officially stopped giving each other gifts for Christmas. I can say without a bit of remorse that I’m glad we ended the exchange.
It became more challenging to decide on a gift every year, and the added stress and cost just wasn’t worth it anymore. It was a mutual agreement; my brother was just as happy to end the swap as I was.
Honestly, I wish I could end the majority of my gift exchanges. I prefer Christmas to work like Thanksgiving, where we drive to someone’s house, eat good food, spend quality time together, and head home.
Unfortunately, I cannot envision a way to end the exchange altogether. That would be my preferred solution to this problem, but I don’t see a way to make it happen without a more massive conflict arising.
So what do you think? Have you ever been faced with a terrible gift giver? Do you have advice on how to handle my situation?