You’re probably wondering what the meaning of the title of this blog post is about, and how outrageous I am for saying that! Let me explain.
P.S. If you are someone who feels very strongly about the tradition of gift-giving, this post may not be for you. Before you begin, let me just say that this is all purely my own views and that I’m not pushing it on anyone! Is it a mental health post? I suppose you can say that!
I love that everyone is home for the holidays and you get the sense of warmth and comfort that everything is just perfect. I used to take part in the gift giving and all that jazz.
As the years went by and I got older, relationships with family and friends changed. I started noticing it wasn’t just the simple concept of giving presents to your loved ones anymore. People who would never talk to you on any other occasion or basically have nothing to do with you suddenly act all friendly and become chatty with you around this time of year. They give someone a pair of gloves as a present and get resentful if they aren’t given anything back. Over the years, this holiday ends up becoming more of a worry and a mind game where I have to think if a certain person might give me something.
We’re not that close but will they get me something? Will they get mad if I didn’t give them anything? I should probably get them something just in case? But I don’t even know what they like?
This results in getting too hung over on making sure I hadn’t forgotten about anyone, and and that I would be able to give them something back or else someone’s feelings might get hurt.
I’ve tried making my own presents for others, but it never really had the same weight as when you gave someone else a store-bought present- something with a bigger monetary value. It then turns into a competition and game of comparison, in which often those small handmade stuff are tossed aside first. Again, this is just my personal experience. It doesn’t happen for everyone but this is how I honestly felt.
Maybe it was always this way. Maybe it’s just some in my family and my so called “friends” back then that acted this way. It stressed me out when I didn’t have enough money to spend on presents for everyone I wanted to give gifts to. I hated when I could feel that someone was upset because they got me something but I didn’t /couldn’t give them anything. I hated the hypocrisy I was seeing. I don’t want to feel obliged to give a present just because someone else gave me one. My relatives are also quick to analyze and compare the monetary value of a gift. In other words, they are very scrutinizing, and somehow everyone knows everyone so there was no way I can escape if I didn’t get someone something.
I know you can’t possibly please everyone.
This whole process / tradition easily became too exhausting and I didn’t want to deal with that anymore.
After careful consideration, I made a decision to stop giving gifts to anyone. This way, no one gets salty, my wallet isn’t sad anymore, and I no longer have to break down from all the stress. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend time with family. I still love listening to the music and looking at the pretty lights. I just prefer to give gifts to my friends and family on any occasion, not just because it’s a holiday and it’s the custom to do so. This way, they also know it’s a heartfelt present because I genuinely thought of them. I think it’s even better this way cause then they are REALLY surprised!
It’s been a few years since I made this decision. I feel much more liberated now that I’m not busy thinking and shopping for many people at once around this time of year. It FEELS like I’m saving a lot more money (though I’m honestly not sure)! Obviously I’m in the minority for feeling or doing this but all I can say is that my mental health has been better since then, and I think that’s really all I need to realize that this was the right choice for me!