Do you have the receipt?

So, did you get anything nice? You DID! Ohh you must’ve been very good then.

I got some excellent presents this year, but I have to admit that as time marches my attitude towards Christmas is changing.

I’m fairly agnostic these days, and look upon such Christian-based holidays in a more spiritual sense. Christmas is a time to re-connect with family and close friends, to spend time with loved ones and generally ground yourself before the next helter-skelter year comes along.

The acting of giving and receiving presents is well established but, like many traditions, seems to a little misplaced these days. After all, in our current society where anyone with a reasonable income can afford everything they need, and a lot of things they don’t, then any gift is either very specific, or generic enough that it becomes one more item in a cupboard or wardrobe.

That sounds mean. It’s not supposed to be, and I know that most people put a lot of thought and effort into their gift buying, all of which is very much appreciated, and it is genuinely exciting to open a present that has been chosen especially, but there surely must be a limit of the amount of stuff one can own.

I am seriously considering asking for donations to charity for next year.

Hey, I said considering, I’m not actually going to do it… am I??

Anyway, I’m sure you got a present or two that you aren’t really that fond of… go on, spill the beans… I’ll even let you comment anonymously (use a false name, your email address isn’t displayed).

If I get enough comments I’ll give you the gory details of the wonderous present I got from my in-laws one year…

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i am inclined to agree with you gordon, i just keep thinking… STUFF! Do I really need any more STUFF?

My sister and hubby and I had a present moratorium this year as we’re all a bit skint, and just had a nice dinner together. her paying for a train ticket from london was gift enough!

so g’wan, tell us about this present πŸ™‚

I received a small briefcase containing a three-piece golf putter – three pieces that screw together to make a whole putter, like those billiard cues that professionals and haughty amateurs use.


*keeps doing the anti-FOTCR™ spell*

There are signs all over blogland that it’s finally working πŸ™‚

Even the most ardent present-buyers I know were expressing similar sentiments this year.

But, to answer the question… those few people who still buy presents took my hints… ie something garden or something art, so I have nothing that I don’t actually want. For the first time ever. Hurrah!

I’m with BW on this one – being famed for disliking the season anyway, people tend to try and avoid incurring extra ire by giving generic tat or crap I haven’t explicitly said I wanted, so I did OK this year and just got bits I’d asked for.

Well, a couple of random (unexpected) books, but again from people who know me and know what I’ll like, so that’s OK.

*shrug* Works for me, anyway – although I’d be just as happy if people said “We’ve bought an Oxfam goat on your behalf” or whatever. Materialist I really ain’t when it comes to the Festering Season. Nor grammatical, it would seem.

I suggested to my mum that she, my brother and I set a limit of Β£20 this year and stick to it. That did not go down at all well, and we all ended up spending vast amounts. I find it frustrating since both of them have extremely wealthy partners and live a five star lifestyle (my brother’s birthday present from his girlfriend’s parents was a trip to Canada and a trip to Vegas – two separate holidays – on top of their annual paid for trip to Spain, tomorrow) while I don’t. Anyway. I managed to get my brother the wrong boxed set of DVDs – because I am stupid – and have now ended up shelling out for the right ones. The wrong ones can’t be returned, having been purchased from at the beginning of November. An expensive mistake, then.

I think manners dictate that if you receive a dud present you should keep quiet about it.

I am seriously ticked off at getting a desk diary entitled “Get in touch with your inner bitch”. I have blogged my feelings on it today. Nae happy.

I am actually hoping the person who gave me it reads the post.

wee sis says:

I didn’t get ANY presents I didn’t like only thing maybe I got flavoured ground coffee, I had to go buy a cafetiere to drink it! But then I’ve still to get my present from you bruv…lol!

mum says:

I totally agree with your last statement Cat. I have a brother like you – last Christmas I gave him,wife and 3 daughters (all working and driving own cars except 1) a ‘family’ game as a joint present as I was fed up buying 5 presents and getting a bottle of wine between 2 of us. On the day they said thank you etc, but 2 days later the phone goes and he told me they already had it and could I change it – and if I could, could I exchange it for a PC game and then followed a choice of 3 that they would like…. Of course I should have told them that I didn’t have the receipt and that I had bought it at an exhibition so couldn’t return it, but as usual rather than cause trouble I dutifully spent another Β£40 pounds and delivered it to them. All my life I was brought up to say thank you sweetly and deal with it – but my brother was brought up the same way so when did he get the balls to speak up?!!

Go on then, my “present” from my in-laws one year was a set of dumbbells.

10 year old dumbbells that they had found whilst clearing out their loft. They were rusty and scratched and decidedly worse for wear.

As I was brought up to be polite, I thanked them and quietly thought “bloody hell!”.

Thankfully a few seconds later, everyone else burst out laughing and they pulled out the set of NEW dumbbells they had bought me.


I had one present on the day – a rather nerdy present – field guide to fish of the Red Sea from my husband. Naturally, I’m thrilled. I’ve not had my nose out of it much since.

Dumbbells are quite a nice gift actually. As long as the gift tag didn’t imply that you were one.

mum says:

Please note everyone – ‘As I was brought up to be polite’ That was me and dad and we are so proud – at least in our life we have done something right (sorry wee sis 2 things right!!)

mum says:

Please note everyone – he admits he was brought up to be polite. That was me and dad and we are so proud. It means that in our life we have at least done something right (sorry wee sis 2 things right!!)

I got a cookie jar from a friend of my parents. Though my first thought upon seeing it was “I have no use for this whatsoever”, Karen has managed to find a use for it, and now we’re very happy.

Her dad bought me a book which I’ve already read (and wrote a dedication inside it, so I can’t sell it on). But then he got me a selection of delicious coffees too, so I’m pleased enough. He’s also bought me so many great books over the years, I have nothing but gratitude.

Re: comment #8 from Gordon’s mum – I agree that what your brother did was rude, specifically because he expected you to spend your time and energy getting something else. Next year, get them gift vouchers πŸ™‚

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