‘Tis the season to give … give … give. And sadly, not all of that giving brings joy. In a world where increased inflation has you clutching at the ends to make them meet, a long Christmas gift list can be a real financial burden.
We’re not talking about choosing gifts for our nearest and dearest … but rather those obligatory gifts you buy for people simply because they always buy for you. Maxing out your credit card in order to keep up with this tradition could lead to real hardship when January rolls round.
Worse, you could unknowingly be putting pressure on the recipients of your gifts, who then feel obligated to reciprocate … at the same level … even though they can’t really afford to.
You may also stress out those who’ve made the decision to de-clutter their lives. Your gift of a new gadget, scented candle or ornament – no matter how carefully or lovingly chosen – could well be the last thing they want. But throwing it out (or re-gifting it) makes them feel really bad. You’re actually forcing them to fill their home with ‘stuff’ they neither want nor need.
Why not take all the pressure off and make a pre NUP (no unnecessary presents) agreement with your wider circle, book or social club and office colleagues? Imagine how much time (not to mention, money) you’ll save, trawling through the malls in search of the perfect gift for so-and-so?
If you really feel the need to give generously this Christmas, why not choose beneficiaries who actually need and appreciate your gifts? Pay for some kids in a children’s home to go to the movies …. sponsor a needy pensioner’s Christmas lunch at Tafta … or drop off a bag of pet food for animals in a shelter.
Stop giving reciprocal gifts, and start putting a bit more thought into what you are doing, and why. Hint: it’s possible to show someone how much you love and appreciate them without rushing to the shops for a bottle of bath salts or mini screwdriver set!