Christmas 2013 has passed.
Of all holiday rituals, I have always found gift giving to be the most difficult.
What should I get for my nearest and dearest? I just can’t decide! What does he or she want?
What would make his or her life easier, more interesting, more inspired? Should I make something? Should I buy something? If so, do I go for whimsicality or utilitarianism? How do I stay within my budget?
How do I eschew mindless consumerism that seems to have enveloped us within its icy clutches, and opt for meaning, meaning, meaning? How can I give from the heart?
As anybody of gift-giving age knows, there are great gifts, good gifts and get-out-of-my-life gifts.
There are well-intentioned foibles.
There are gifting missteps of a more passive-aggressive variety.
And then there’s the person who just wants a good reason to clear out or give away the stuff from the junk closet. (You know who you are.)
We all have our insecurities and soft spots.
What makes a good gift? And what makes a terrible gift?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. To each his own. A chacun a son gout, say the French—to each his own taste.
I adore this Gawker post-Christmas photo essay from two years ago showcasing good, bad and downright bizarre holiday gifts.
Have you ever received a cemetery plot for Christmas? A box of toilet paper? A life-sized, animated garden gnome?
And, for the singleton: How about a book about how to talk to girls or guys, or a book on microwave cooking for one ad infinitum?
These posters have!
And, for the sake of all things good and holy, I’m hoping none plan to regift!
Have you ever had a super-awkward gift-giving or receiving experience? I’d love to hear about it!
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Nationaal Archief/Flickr