Saturday, November 21, 2009


With Christmas fast approaching (5 weeks and it'll all be over for another year) and a conversation from this evening ringing in my ears I thought I'd address the thorny subject of presents.

The giving of presents at Christmas is related of course to the fact that the three wise men took gifts when they went to see Jesus, and they took things that were of value.

My present giving can be erratic I think, but I do always try to err on the side of over generosity - you know how it is, you buy something that you think is an OK gift and then a week later you see something else that is just perfect, so in that case the lucky recipient will get 2 for the price of one.

In Germany they are very traditional when it comes to the giving of presents and of celebrating birthdays - has to be done on the day or after. Cannot be done before, don't know why, bound to be some superstitious reason I guess...anyway I don't hold with that, I'd rather give a person their present as near to the day as possible and if that happens to be before then fine, they can have it early and open it early too - at least that way I get to make sure they like it (unless of course I'm concerned that they won't like which case they can open it at home alone!!)

So back to the giving of presents. I like to give presents that I know (or at least think) a person will like, maybe this goes back to the writing of Christmas lists for Santa as a kid. You think long and hard about what you'd like, write it all down and then keep your fingers crossed. As a parent I've now found that Christmas lists are very helpful, it takes the guesswork out of shopping for gifts, you get a head start. And I do find it annoying when someone asks for some ideas and then, after getting your hopes up, ignores the list and gets you something they want to give. Where's the logic in that? Surely it's better for both parties to give and receive something that is known to be wanted rather than something that will just be cast aside to live at the bottom of the wardrobe for a year?

Isn't it a waste of money?

Although I guess it is the right of the giver to choose the present they deem appropriate and we should be grateful for whatever we get, whether we wanted a stone frog for the garden or another set of handkerchiefs or not!

Meanwhile I shall go back to pondering what I can get Simon, who claims he would be happy if I didn't get him anything - but that surely gives him the opportunity of not getting me not happening, I want presents! So I also need to continue constructing my Christmas present list - I try to make sure everything is available online and include websites and article numbers just to make life really easy - I haven't yet stooped so low as to buy the gifts and wrap them myself, he ought to at least choose from a short (ok, it can be quite long some years) list!!

28 shopping days left...

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