For me, Christmas is my favorite time of year. I LOVE giving gifts to people and don't expect anything in return. I genuinely feel good when they open it up in front of me and appreciate it. However...I wrote the following post below a couple of years ago and it still applies today.
"I’ve been slightly bothered by the amount of people this year who have openly complained about getting Christmas gifts this year because it means they’ll “HAVE to buy something in return”. Wow. I’ve gotten people gifts in the past and literally have had some of them say something like:
- “Aw, you didn’t have to do that”. No I didn’t. But I did.
- “Now I gotta get you something”. No, you don’t. I couldn’t believe someone actually said that to my face.
- “Now I feel bad because I didn’t get you anything”. How about feeling good and thankful that I got you something?
- “I’m totally gonna buy you drinks/dinner/take you to a show/etc. one night." Very sweet but don’t say it just out of obligation/guilt for not having gotten me something. And 95% of the time, that night never happens anyway so why even promise it?
All I expect in return is a simple “Thank you”. It makes me sort of think twice about buying gifts for people if that is going to be their reaction. I was chatting to a friend about this the other day. They made the point of feeling guilty when you don’t have a gift in return. If someone is buying you something with hopes of getting something in return, then that’s a bad friend. If someone gets me something and I don’t reciprocate, I don’t feel guilty. Hopefully, they did it out of the kindness of their heart and my gratitude is good enough. That’s all I expect.
But if guilt is overwhelming you, be proactive. I’ve seen some of the reasoning for the above behavior is that people are short on funds. I’m not saying to go buy a bunch of presents. You can make homemade cards, cookies, record a song, make a video, write a poem, etc. So many free things! I honestly mean this from a good place.
Get the proper gift giving/receiving spirit, folks! You’ll be less stressed and much happier. Happy Christmas all!"