Gift-giving

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conwy
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Gift-giving

Post by conwy » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:56 pm

Given the time of year, I thought I might start a discussion on gift giving.

It's something I've been trying to give more careful thought and planning to, as I find it one of those things in life I struggle with.
  • The occasions (e.g. holidays) seem to come up suddenly, before I've properly decided what to get people
  • This, in turn, causes me to panic and either A) get nothing, B) get the wrong things, C) and/or spend way too much time or money.
So for the future, here are some actions I want to take to try and make this easier:
  • In a page in my notebook, keep track of people I'm close to and what gifts (if any) to buy them. That way, when the occasion comes up (e.g. Christmas, birthday, etc) I have a kind of "go to" of what they might like.
  • Each time I meet loved ones, try to notice anything that comes up in conversation that reveals what a good gift might look like for them. (Could be anything from an in-joke between us, to a favourite band, to a career goal.) Incorporate this into the notebook.
  • Set a digital reminder a couple of months before Christmas, birthdays, etc, to buy the gifts ahead of time. This means they can be bought online or elsewhere at a much cheaper price!
  • D.I.Y. gifts. One such gift I did was a fake DVD case and cover. Bought the case for about $2, spent about 1 hour designing the cover in Google Draw, then printed it for about $2. It was based around an in-joke with someone very close to me, and she absolutely loved it.
  • Food / perishable gifts. For people I know who are minimalists and don't want more clutter.
  • No gifts. I'm going to make a point of telling everyone I know that I don't expect or want gifts. I prefer to live minimally and purchase things myself. Also, many of the folks I know really don't want anything. Just company matters to them.
The whole "keeping notes on people" thing probably sounds a bit creepy, I admit! However, I would certainly keep the notes private, and I think a lot of people keep these kinds of "notes" on each-other mentally anyway, and I wouldn't have a problem with people doing so about me.

Keen to hear anyone else's thoughts & ideas on this subject.

Dream of Freedom
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Re: Gift-giving

Post by Dream of Freedom » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:48 pm

You could search amazon to see if they have a public wish list. If you use android put their birthday in google contacts and it will add it to your calendar automatically. I bought some little 1 ounce silver bullion in case I can't think of anything else to give. If you travel far away it is a perfect opportunity to pick up items they don't see where they are from.

Jason
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Re: Gift-giving

Post by Jason » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:35 pm

I was watching this news report on this woman who turned 100. The news team went down to the nursing home to interview her. They wheeled her out for cake as soon as she got up, probably just in case she died before lunchtime and they wanted to make sure they got to celebrate the fact that she made it to 100. You could tell the lady had absolutely no interest in being alive, let own a party celebrating the fact that she was alive. In any event, they bring out a cake with a 100 candles and her family is there to help her blow them out because this woman can barely breathe to keep her heart going let alone to put out a candle. And her kids are like 75 at this point so its not until you get to the middle-aged grandchildren that anyone is really contributing to blowing out the candles. And of courses the nurses are there trying to pretend this 100 year old woman is not a complete fucking nightmare to be around and that they don't go into her room everyday hoping she finally died. So this cast of thousands sings happy birthday and blows out the candles and the obnoxious news lady sticks her microphone into this woman' face and asks her "What did you wish for" and the old lady said "For you to leave." I guess my point is that what you want changes over time.

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Fish
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Re: Gift-giving

Post by Fish » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:20 pm

conwy wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:56 pm
Food / perishable gifts. For people I know who are minimalists and don't want more clutter.
I don't consider myself minimalist but I do wish more people would adhere to this when giving gifts. Either give quality, consumables, or nothing at all. For example, I recently celebrated an anniversary with flowers and chocolate. They're great while they last, and don't create a long-term problem.

From an economic perspective, gift-giving results in an inefficient allocation of resources because it is unlikely you will spend your money in accordance with the recipient's preferences. Better to give cash and let them decide how to spend it. However, social norms are strong and we find ourselves buying a lot of toys for the numerous children's birthday parties we attend. I can't bring myself to re-gift, or to get nice unused toys from thrift stores, show up without a present, etc. Gifting just doesn't feel right if I don't bleed a little. That might be an area where I can improve.

OTCW
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Re: Gift-giving

Post by OTCW » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:32 pm

I've regifted gift cards. Zero thought process in the entire chain of transactions.

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daylen
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Re: Gift-giving

Post by daylen » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:42 pm

I like to make something creative from otherwise wasted resources that instigates positive emotion in the recipient. This provides an interesting challenge for me and helps to trigger positive emotions. Win, win.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Gift-giving

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:45 pm

My DD26 picked up a free hand loom from Craigslist, bought some remnant yarn at a charity thrift store, and used some scrap wood she had on hand to make me a very unique and lovely work of art for my Xmas present. The frame is constructed like mis-matched book-ends and holds the woven-work so it can be presented in somewhat 3 dimensional manner on a flat surface. The work is a landscape of 4 different pieces of weaving stitched together; a blue sky with white clouds, a striped field of green and fuzzy brown stripes, another field of light brown, and a forefront field of green with handstitched bits of pink, coral and red representing flowers. So, the entire cost of scavenged and re-purposed materials was definitely less than $2. Value to me is such that it will definitely be one of the things I attempt to save in the event of a fire, because I know she was giving consideration to my preferences in its construction, and it made me remember her as a 3 year old happily stringing together beads with her clever little fingers.

Anyways, IMO, that's how to do gift-giving.

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conwy
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Re: Gift-giving

Post by conwy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:38 pm

7Wannabe5, that's just beautiful, on both a financial and aesthetic level!

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