Why nearly 1 in 10 U.S. families don’t exchange holiday gifts

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Mark Holtz, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz New Texan

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    From Marketwatch:

    Why nearly 1 in 10 U.S. families don’t exchange holiday gifts
    FULL ARTICLE HERE
     
  2. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Gifts are a bad thing. Too many people give with an expectation of something in return... Too many people who receive gifts feel like they haven't given back enough in return. Other people game the "system" to get gifts.

    I knew a guy once... who told me how his sister was mad because him and his wife each got a gift from their mother while she only got one... she was jealous that he and his wife got 2 gifts... now, immediately after relating this story to me and shaming his sister over her argument... he then went on to say he wished his mother had gotten him better gifts because when he returned them he wasn't able to get enough money to buy what he wanted.

    So... one sibling didn't understand why a couple got more gifts than a single person... and the other sibling wanted his mother to spend more so that when he returned whatever she bought he would get more.

    That's, sadly, what a lot of people get out of Christmas.
     
  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The Target commercial is driving my wife up the wall with the "what did you get" message.
    Whatever happened to "what did you give?" Tis a season of giving, not getting.

    I stopped exchanging gifts with my family 20 years ago ... there is still an exchange at my inlaws. We give with no expectation that we will get anything in return. Some years the gifts we receive are not entirely useful ... but getting isn't important. So there is no complaining and no returns. That would be rude.

    Making the trip is the biggest gift ... especially with a midweek Christmas were one has to work on the 23rd and 26th. Sometimes it seems we spend more time in the car than with the family. But we make the effort because we can. Staying home unless there was some issue preventing travel would be rude.

    Tis the season to give ... not to get ... not to beg ... not to complain. The best gift my family can give me is a complaint free holiday. I usually get that - and I hope everyone here can also have a happy Christmas.
     
  4. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz New Texan

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    I sometimes wonder if the "gift giving" and "gift exchange" feeds into the entitlement mentality of some people. (sigh)

    Here is something from Money magazine that I like:
    FULL ARTICLE HERE
     
  5. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    I too have stopped giving gifts. I found it to be very stressful as I got older ( 71 now ). You go into the store and wander around and think about what is there and would they like it, is it the right color, would it fit, do they already have one, etc. etc. Eventually I told them all to do not buy me anything for Christmas and I am not buying you anything. I do give my daughter a check to help her pay for their Christmas for her, her spouse and the 2 grand daughters. Soon that also will stop when the girls get a little bit older.

    Edit: Actually I do send my mother a Kroger gift card that will pay for her meds for a month or 2 for Mother's Day, her birthday and Christmas ( she lives a thousand miles away ).

    Hope you all have a good Christmas and holidays this year.
     
  6. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    We quit a few years ago. People are losing the religious aspect and it's being replaced by outright greed and consumerism, fostered upon us by corporate greed.

    The last straw was the Thanksgiving "Black Friday" start this year.
     
  7. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    We don't exchange gifts with our siblings anymore. We get gifts for our neices and nephews though.

    - Merg
     
  8. PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    Our family Christmas party got to be like standing in a circle and and handing money to the person to the right. Now we just have a nice party. It is much better this way. We still exchange gifts at home with the kids.
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I went to a mall yesterday! And it wasn't bad. We still exchange gifts even tho I'd like to stop, but I got a watch for myself and a new phone and my son and I hit a Pandora store for the wife. But for us, it's all about the kids. Anything we can do to make Sadie's life a little bit better is good.

    Rich
     
  10. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    I give the birds seed.

    They give me ... well, you know.
     
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  11. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    As I've aged and the number of those on the gift list kept growing to the point I really can't afford to do what I used to do.

    Now I gift my kids, grandkids (and now my new great grandaughter!), other gifts are solely to the grand nieces/nephews. IOW, basically just the kids and not the adults.

    The one exception is my 94 year old mom. I always get her something snazzy even if not really expensive. She loves it and I love her reaction!
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    At 76, I no longer give gifts at Christmas and haven't for a number of years.
    I do give my housekeeper and yard man Christmas bonuses, along with my
    customary gift to the Salvation Army to help those in need. This year, I gave
    money to a friend who, at 62, lost her job and her unemployment insurance.

    I guess it's fair to say that I still have the spirit of giving, just not the spirit of
    shopping. Several decades ago, I summed up the vicious cycle of gifting in
    my then wife's extended family of in-laws and a plethora of nieces, nephews,
    cousins and few outlaws by summing it up that Christmas gifting was, for the
    most part, 'people buying stuff they can't afford to give to other people who
    didn't want or need it'.

    Merry Christmas! :coffee
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    We give our mailman, garbage man (he takes anything I put out there), lawn care man and dog groomer monetary gifts. We double our housekeeper's last pay of the year. All these people go out of their way for us. Kindness is never forgotten.

    I could not agree more with you about the waste of money on the relatives, but we now use a raffle system for our gifts throughout the wife's very large family. With so many cousins, nephews and nieces if we had to buy a decent gift for each one of them, we'd go broke. The way it's done, we just have to give a few presents. There was a time where each gift was evaluated and arguments broke out among my wife and her sisters. Talk about Christmas spirit, as usual, it was all about the money. This raffle system works well.

    Rich
     
  14. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    The most unopened, resold gift has to be the Dewalt packaged power tool kits. They typically retail for maybe $500 to $800 a set. It has become the upperclass fruit cake gift of the 21st century. You can find hundreds, maybe thousands. of unopened Dewalt packaged power tool assortments on sale on eBay at any time for about half what their suggested retail price was. They seem to have the most listed after Father's Day.

    The "problem" with those, as gifts, is that the way someone knows that a prospective recipient might use such tools is that he already owns them, so he doesn't really need them. Another problem is, the ones included in each assortment don't match up well with the user's needs. For example, there are 3/8" and 1/2" drills and there are even hammer drills, but bigger isn't better for all users, as people who don't need the big capacity chuck or hammer drilling capability are actually inconvenienced by the additional tool weight, and people who are doing a lot of sawing simply can't use battery operated circular saws because even the largest capacity one won't finish a day's work on a construction job, and as for the Snakelight... who needs an oversized, $60 flashlight?
     
  15. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    I am on my way to stopping the entire gift exchange with my wife's family. I finally got it to where we draw names and somehow my B-I-L and I get each other and then sneak out of the house Christmas day and go watch a game at a bar. We don't exchange, but instead get to hang out and have a beer. Better than stupid stuff we would give each other.

    My insistence on this stems from some worthless, irrelevant and useless gifts I have gotten from the in-laws. This include a wooden remote holder for the table. No a bad gift, except they have all been to my house and know I have universal remote that sits in a charging cradle. One year I asked my wife for a Fein Multimaster. Instead she pawned me off to her sister who gave the the Dremel one instead. It died in the middle of the project I wanted it for and then had to go buy the Fein. Why not just give me a gift card.

    My mom is no better. One year after my wife's niece and nephews didn't thank my mom for the $50 gift cards, she said she was done. So now we are on year 4 where she keeps buying them, yet never gets thanked. I swear this will be the last year.

    They are all too hung up on tradition. I was an only child, so we always took a trip over Christmas. So let me see: A cruise ship in the Caribbean in December or the in-laws in Indiana? Not a hard choice. Just a few more years until my daughter is off to college and then we are done with this nonsense.
     
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  16. PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    We have reached the point in life that if we need something we go out and get it. Time with friends and family are what is important.
     
  17. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    My parents were less traditional. We always had the philosophy that if there was something and we could afford it, we bought it. If we couldn't afford it, then we didn't buy it at Christmas... but if we could afford it in May then we bought it in May when it was wanted and could be enjoyed.

    The only exceptions to that... when I was a kid they bought toys and stuff... and when my sister was born we bought things for her as a kid... and now I try to get things for my niece and nephew (actually have two nieces but one of them is only a few months old)... so we make a special thing out of it for the kids... but not beyond that.
     
  18. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    Our children and grandchildren seem to be happy with the checks we send them for Christmas.

    We are happy when they come for dinner on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas. Today our grandson put up our Christmas tree; that's a great gift. For one thing I am getting too old to do it right. For another, my wife sometimes complained about the process and I threatened to skip the whole darn thing. Much easier buying the tree at Home Depot and letting the grandson do the work. She won't yell at him. :angel:
     
  19. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    We give gifts to my niece and nephew, but that's all, except sometimes "I saw this and knew you would like it, so I bought one and it's been sitting in my basement for months and Xmas is the perfect time to give it to you."
     
  20. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    My mother used to like to give kids $25 U.S. Savings Bonds. She would always tell them that it was important to hold onto them, because they would "mature" about the time they were going to go to college, and they could put that money towards their education. Riiiight. There isn't a friggin' textbook today that you can buy for $25. Hmmm... Are there even textbooks today??
     

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