Ghost of Christmas Presents


It is likely a bit late for most, but I do have a suggestion for removing one of the stresses of Christmastime: Declare a gift giving truce.

For all the adults you normally give gifts to, declare that you will not be giving nor expect to receive any gifts. While you can claim economic reasons, I see the real benefits of stress (and waste) reduction. Besides the financial strain, the real hassle with gift buying is figuring out what to give. Christmas often seems a time when people receive gifts they don’t really like or need and give gifts that the recipient does not really appreciate. You avoid the bother of shopping and no longer have to fake excitement over another trinket that you have no idea what to do with (in the garage with last year’s I guess).

I, and my family, have done this for a few years now and barely miss the gift swapping ritual. To those who claim such an idea Scrooge like, I would suggest that if the only joy you get from meeting family or friends over Christmas is swapping useless gifts then, perhaps, gifts or their lack, are not the problem

My family excludes children from such truce. It may be a sign of materialism, but receiving gifts is a large part of the excitement for the younger ones, it seems cruel to foist on them something they may not understand. You can include older children in the truce, or perhaps, limit them to one most desired gift. The older children (e.g., teens) should be capable of understanding the aim of such a gift truce.

Whether you call a truce or engage in an all-out gift war, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas.


Wow, it hardly seems like a year ago since I put my last Christmas message post.

I guess it is time to dig the decorations out of the closet.


because ASCII art never goes out of style.

5 Responses to “Ghost of Christmas Presents”

  1. Rebekah Says:

    It looks like the Christmas post you linked to was actually two years ago?
    [DU: Ha good catch. It seems time really *does* fly. I was thinking of the time passed since last Christmas, even if I linked to an older post. It seems I actually had three Christmas themed posts last year (Bah Humbug and Happy Holiday and In the Style of Santa Clause.]

    I only give gifts to closest of loved ones. It makes things simple and I am intuitive to things they really need or would enjoy. The gifts still stay somewhat modest.
    [DU: I love giving gifts if I am certain it will be something they really appreciate. It can be difficult to find such a thing, especially for adults. It is the gift giving for the sake of gift giving that I find such a waste.]

    Greeting cards are another thing altogether. Love them and give them out a little bit more liberally. It seems the only time anyone ever gives a handwritten note or sentiment anymore is at Christmas. Beautiful cards and even the type of ink you choose to inscribe them is a lost art. Too bad many are replacing them with those generic photos of their family. 😦

    Agreed that stress and shopping should not be the theme of Christmas; it’s much more fun just to get together and enjoy each others’ company.

  2. Rebekah Says:

    Totally thought the title read Ghost of Christmas Present! I’ve been watching A Christmas Carol on loop.
    [DU: Corny Christmas puns, the blogging equivalent of large plastic snowmen or reindeers.]

  3. sdaedalus Says:

    Happy Christmas, Default (and Rebekah)
    [DU: Thank you, and a happy Christmas to you. I suppose it might be bad form to wish you a white Christmas given the weather in Ireland last year.]

  4. Rebekah Says:

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. 🙂
    [DU Thank you.]

  5. Rebekah Says:

    Thank comment was for sdaedalus, but thanks anyway.

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