The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

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henrik
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by henrik »


RecoveringConsumer
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by RecoveringConsumer »

Do you know what drives me completely insane?

Wrapping paper.

Honestly, the gift thing doesn't bother me. Because that is why we have thrift shops.

The problem is, with the exception of the people who receive jars of the jam I put up last July, everyone expects wrapped presents :shock:

People (including the person I used to be) spend money on something that was created to be destroyed and fill landfills.
Why?

Yes, there are alternatives, but they are either expensive, or incredibly time consuming. Can't people be grateful that they got something without expecting it to be covered in garish paper with cartoon polar bears?

GandK
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by GandK »

RecoveringConsumer wrote:Can't people be grateful that they got something without expecting it to be covered in garish paper with cartoon polar bears?
:lol:

You're right. Maybe just slap a bow on it next time. Bows are reusable.

BPA
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by BPA »

My mother has no idea that I bought her gifts second hand for cheap. Luckily I don't exchange with siblings or my boyfriend or friends. Just my mom and I buy for my son, but I don't expect or want a gift from him.

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jennypenny
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by jennypenny »

RecoveringConsumer wrote:Do you know what drives me completely insane?

Wrapping paper.
LOL...I completely agree. I'll be the crazy person tomorrow folding wrapping paper to reuse another time and saving bows. I also can't stand one-time-use or plastic decorations. We go out and trim the boxwood for greens and pick up pine cones. I'll fill baskets with those and candles and decorate with that. I also decorate with plants that I use as gifts.

jacob
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by jacob »

Themed gift paper bags. They're very reusable.

lilacorchid
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by lilacorchid »

I hate gift bags. I think they are more wasteful than wrapping paper. I will never in my life attend as many babyshowers or weddings as I have gift bags upstairs. I don't know what to do with them either.

I don't think twice about saving and reusing wrapping paper though. My dad did this, even though I think it horrified my mother.

George the original one
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by George the original one »

Pass the excess gift bags around to others who might have use of them. No need to pack-rat them if you don't plan on using them.

EdithKeeler
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by EdithKeeler »

I hate gift bags. I think they are more wasteful than wrapping paper. I will never in my life attend as many babyshowers or weddings as I have gift bags upstairs. I don't know what to do with them either.
Love gift bags. I buy the plain brown ones with handles and use them for all gifts. Also use brown craft paper the same way, but I prefer the gift bags because they're reusable. I've also used the regular brown paper lunch bags.

I don't give a lot of gifts anymore, but when I do, brown paper bags and white tissue paper is pretty much always the wrapping, usually with a bit of leftover knitting yarn as a bow. I like to consider it my "signature."

I've also been known to ask for the gift bag back if I think the recipient is going to throw it away. Cheap, I know, but still... so wasteful.

One year when I was first out of college and pretty broke, I wrapped up all my gifts in old bags--some were (clean) fast food bags, some were handled shopping bags from stores (all paper--this was before those cheap plastic bags were so ubiquitous). I think they were viewed pretty much whimsically by the recipients.

Does anyone else think the idea of the "gift wrapping room" is just freakin' insane?? I sat through a show on HGTV one time about Aaron Spelling's widow and her house--it had three gift-wrapping rooms! All outfitted with rolls of paper and ribbon, etc. Macy's probably wouldn't have that much gift wrap in one of their stores! And three rooms??? I suppose for when you find yourself in the East Wing and feel the need to wrap, but don't want to walk all the way to the West wing...

RecoveringConsumer
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by RecoveringConsumer »

I've discovered that gift bags last 4 to 8 usages (less if your then 6 yr old child decides to write names on the bag with a sharpie.)

A mahogany box lined in satin lasts for 100-500 uses, and always looks elegant. Of course, the challenge is getting it back for the next holiday...
EdithKeeler wrote: Does anyone else think the idea of the "gift wrapping room" is just freakin' insane?? I sat through a show on HGTV one time about Aaron Spelling's widow and her house--it had three gift-wrapping rooms! All outfitted with rolls of paper and ribbon, etc. Macy's probably wouldn't have that much gift wrap in one of their stores! And three rooms??? I suppose for when you find yourself in the East Wing and feel the need to wrap, but don't want to walk all the way to the West wing...

But... Darling... Of course you need three gift wrapping rooms! You need one to be your own gift wrapping room, of course. And then, you need a gift wrapping room for your secretary to wrap all of your family gifts and personal gifts. And, of course you need a third for the staff to wrap gifts for acquaintances...

DutchGirl
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by DutchGirl »

I had never heard of a gift wrapping room. I had seen a "gift wrapping station" or something with similar terms. It is one of my guilty pleasures to visit this website that has "home organizing" as their main theme. The waste of money and the waste of time that go into "making your home organized"! It's funny to see. I also still adore the way it looks, but just seeing the pictures is enough for me.

PS It's here... And remember, if you ever feel the need to create a gift wrapping station: splash some cold water in your face, take two deep breaths, and you will be fine.

jacob
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by jacob »

Much like indoor basement bowling alleys, shoe collection rooms, and shooting lanes, the gift wrapping room is more of an archetype of consumerist excess than something most people have. It's an archetype because a few overly rich people actually have such things mainly because they have no idea what else to spend their money on.

BTW that's just my take.---Ascribing something to limited imagination rather than empathizing with other people's appreciation of gift wrapping glory.

EdithKeeler
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by EdithKeeler »

About Candy Spelling's gift wrapping rooms:
http://www.people.com/people/gallery/0, ... 20,00.html

WSJ article about gift wrapping rooms (though some, apparently, are closets).
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 2508032956
The Container Store has suggestions on its website for converting a spare bedroom into a wrapping room and sells items to outfit it. Kitchen designers and custom-cabinet makers can also design functional wrapping rooms. For example, Cuvee Storage Systems of Andover, Mass., a maker of custom wine cellars, also designs and installs wood-paneled wrapping rooms using the same hardwoods and 800 year-old virgin timber.
I mean, a wrapping room isn't a sign of conspicuous consumption or anything... We NEED those! <snort> At least that 800 year old virgin timber is being put to use in something IMPORTANT.

I just got home from the family Christmas fiesta. The only family gifts I gave this year were for the pets, and they were given in the same bags they came in from PetsMart.

RecoveringConsumer
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by RecoveringConsumer »

If your business is entertaining - creating networking events for a corporation or a charity, or if your job is selling a conspicuous consumer lifestyle (aka Martha Stewart) then a gift-wrapping room is as useful as a home office.

However, I suspect that less than 3% of these gift-wrapping rooms are fully utilized.

When I was a little girl, I tried to argue that piano lessons were important, even though I never practiced. My father flatly refused, telling me that "if it's important enough, you will make time." At the time, I thought he was so totally mean. As I have grown, I realized the wisdom of what he was saying.

I think that a gift-wrapping room is like the piano lessons. The people who install them think that gracious hospitality is important - but not quite as important as their daly life. But if they have a gift wrapping room, they will magically have elegant parties and magical Christmases, and their children will love them.

Am I making sense? I don't think it's about boredom, as much as it is hope. The hope that they can buy all the things that they don't have the time to experience.

5to9
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by 5to9 »

Might not be applicable for most here, but we find that some spare paper, two kids and finger paint are a fun activity that generates more wrapping paper than we can use. It seems to be well appreciated too.

Riggerjack
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by Riggerjack »

My wife's whole family uses fabric gift bags. They just store and use the same bags for decades. All gift occasions these bags come out. She comes from a family that sews, so scraps of decorative cloth become gift bags, and store in the linen closet, taking up about as much space as wash cloths. Everyone gets their bags back before the party breaks up.
I have asked everyone to gift me the space that would be taken up by the gift they wanted to give, as there is nothing I want more than empty space at this point in my life.

jacob
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by jacob »

So from all this I gather I shouldn't try to start an ERE gift giving circle next year, eh? 8-)

ertyu
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by ertyu »

Is it time to ressurect this thread? I've just had a "noooo but Christmas isn't a religious holiday why don't you want to celebrate it, but thE ChRiStMaS SPiRit" argument and feel the need to be reaffirmed in my grinchery.

What are your guys' preferred ways of resisting social pressure around the forced socializing, mandatory cheer, and frivolous spending that seem to be required?

Alphaville
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by Alphaville »

ertyu wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 5:52 pm
What are your guys' preferred ways of resisting social pressure around the forced socializing, mandatory cheer, and frivolous spending that seem to be required?
classic teenage middle finger attitude like this:🖕

(but i try to present it politely, and nod and smile)

i also have a favorite christmas song:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l_2jG4Z0-68

it makes me laugh every time.

don’t get me wrong, i like a little winter party to beat the darkness, but it has to be the right kind. usually involves a big piñon fire and loads of cognac :lol:

oh, plus a great playlist. with zero christmas music.

Scott 2
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Re: The Tyranny of "Stuff" at Christmas!!

Post by Scott 2 »

We opted out of any and all gift exchange years ago. The last holdout was my father-in-law. This year, my wife finally convinced him to spend the money on her sister instead. Having a rough idea of his finances and knowing ours, I always felt very uncomfortable with the gifting.

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