Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

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AirTimeMD
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Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by AirTimeMD » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:55 pm

Hello BH,

I have a problem....

I have everything in life materially that I could ever want. ALL I aspire for now is growing my business, helping others, learning and eventually leaving a legacy. There is not one single item out there that I need or that will increase my overall happiness.

I am constantly asked by friends (and my s/o) what they can get me for Christmas. I often times feel that they judge my answer that "I have everything I need but thank you so much" as rude - I don't want to be a grinch.

How do other BH handle this? I like to buy for others but find it very difficult to provide others with lists of items they can purchase for me.

Rexindex
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Rexindex » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:58 pm

Ask others to donate to a favorite charity, poverty, homeless, spca etc.....
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” | — Simone Weil

mouses
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by mouses » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:22 pm

Rexindex wrote:Ask others to donate to a favorite charity, poverty, homeless, spca etc.....
Yes, that's what I do.

livesoft
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:24 pm

And that's what I do, too. Be sure to write thank-you notes to the giver even though you did not receive anything yourself thanking them for making the donation (whether in your name or not!).
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packet
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by packet » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:25 pm

If there are any kids available, deflect the focus to them.

I don't have everything I could want, not by a long shot... but I am a Grinch... :/

It's taken me years of convincing, arguing, and putting up with unwanted gifts (both given and received), but I've finally convinced all of the adults around me to focus on the kids. There aren't many young ones left, I can only hope the whole fascination with gift exchange fades away with their youth.

Stick to your guns, when you say you will not, under any circumstances, be giving them gifts... don't. It only takes a year or two until they stop giving to you... stinks those couple of years, but worth it in the long run.
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prudent
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by prudent » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:31 pm

I ask for donations of single-serve food items to our local food bank. I tell them our church packs 80 lunches a week for kids in our local elementary school who get breakfast/lunch at school but don't have enough to eat on the weekends at home. The lunches are put in the kids' backpacks during the school day on Friday so their classmates don't see them picking up food to take home. The food comes from the food bank or from church members.

Explaining the very local connection to that gift seems to resonate with people. Two have even gotten involved with the lunch packing/delivery.

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Kosmo
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Kosmo » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:31 pm

Ask them to make a donation to The Human Fund.

The Human Fund. Money for People.

On a serious note, just say "nothing". Maybe I'm in the minority, but I wouldn't consider that answer rude.

AirTimeMD
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by AirTimeMD » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:37 pm

I'm not sure that I'm effectively communicating.

It's not that I don't want to get them things - it's that I want them to save their money and spend it on themselves while I also give them gifts. I always get things I don't need or don't use and it's a waste of their money. I'm in a far better financial position than any of my peers and I feel guilty when they spend their money on me.

The donation idea has not gone over well for me. I'm surprised it has for so many of ya'll.

GoldenFinch
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:39 pm

I feel the same way. I like the festive part of the holidays, but not the shopping/gifts (except I like to give to the younger kids and and older relatives). I fear I am becoming Scrooge-like :( , but really I am just tired of material things in general.

^^After I wrote that I read what Packet said. I have to agree with Packet :happy.

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Kenkat
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Kenkat » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:46 pm

I think items you can consume are good choices for the person who has everything because you eat/drink it and it is gone forever. Ask for your favorite spirits, wine, craft beer, gourmet coffee, fine chocolates, etc.

Hug401k
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Hug401k » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:51 pm

Perhaps you could ask for things on behalf of others? Tickets to the zoo to take the kids/grandkids? Fine beer or wine to drink the night your guests arrive? Gift cards to a restaurant or coffee shop you visit with the gifter? Or movie tickets? Tickets to a fundraiser..or something that does some good? Or perhaps the local animal shelter needs a vacuum or something along those lines? Is something your significant other would enjoy, like a concert? Finally, perhaps you could ask for KIVA gift certificates? While it's not exactly a charitable donation, so it might feel a bit more like a gift to the giver, it does allow you to "gift/lend" the money over and over, helping many times over.

That being said, my family finally did the "pull a name out of a hat" gift giving style and I've never been more delighted.

Rodc
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Rodc » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:52 pm

My son noted I really have about everything I might want and suggested he give a donation to a children's charity because he knows how fond I am of young children.

Smart kid for a young teen.
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by dbCooperAir » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:53 pm

If you like to give you will most likely find yourself on the receiving end. For the past few years we would buy a big old prime rib, pick up adult beverages etc. to give to the host. That way we can still give and others don't feel obligated to reciprocate.

It has been becoming more simple as each year goes by, I may end up with a 5 pack of craft beer, perfect.
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Rodc
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Rodc » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:54 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:I'm not sure that I'm effectively communicating.

It's not that I don't want to get them things - it's that I want them to save their money and spend it on themselves while I also give them gifts. I always get things I don't need or don't use and it's a waste of their money. I'm in a far better financial position than any of my peers and I feel guilty when they spend their money on me.

The donation idea has not gone over well for me. I'm surprised it has for so many of ya'll.
In that case, as others have noted, something consumable.

One problem is that if you give them something and they can't give you something in return it sets them up as "poor" and you as "wealthy". The asymmetry may be real, but this rubs it in. Plus, it robs them of the joy of giving.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:57 pm

You're evidently a decent person, and people want to buy you crap. Maybe it makes them feel good about their own lives even if they dig deeper into debt?

Christmas is a stressful time. Does anyone over the age of 7 really enjoy it anymore? I'm sure there are mental health stats showing surges in suicides, divorces and depression at this time of the year.

In answer to your question, I guess you have to be a bit firmer even if it offends the brainwashed colleagues who walk around in their Christmas sweaters. NO GIFTS! And your s/o really should know better, quite frankly.

Just wondering, are the gifts you're giving - which I'm sure are 100% useful and never returned - maybe a tad too much? Maybe it makes the recipients feel obligated to reciprocate?

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by YttriumNitrate » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:01 pm

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packet
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by packet » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:02 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:...It's not that I don't want to get them things ...
Sorry, you did have that in your first post.

This makes it more difficult... giving while demanding no reciprocation would likely be seen as rude or even pretentious.

How difficult would it be for you not to give to them?
You could take the advise here and give to charity or the kids ... :)

Give them stuff throughout the year and don't wrap it or make anything of it. Chose this time of year to abstain from giving to these folks.

If it helps any, I'll gracefully accept beer while promising not to get you anything... :)

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Watty
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Watty » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:02 pm

kenschmidt wrote:I think items you can consume are good choices for the person who has everything because you eat/drink it and it is gone forever. Ask for your favorite spirits, wine, craft beer, gourmet coffee, fine chocolates, etc.
I have given things like tickets to plays and concerts to people. Some local theater groups will have season tickets for half a dozen shows. When you have a subscription like that you can often change the dates if a specific night does not work for you.

A membership at a local museum would also be an option since that would mean that you could drop by there when you had a spare hour or two to see the latest exhibit and not be concerned about the admission fee being worth seeing that just that exhibit. That would also help support the museum. Memberships like that are sometimes part of a network where you can get into other museums for free when you are in a different part of the country.

delamer
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by delamer » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:04 pm

The core issue sounds like you don't want people who aren't as well off as you financially to give you gifts, in addition to that you have everything you want.

You are denying friends/family the pleasure, for them, of giving you gifts. My parents had a lot more money than I did for most of my life, but I still enjoyed giving them gifts. Maybe because I felt like I was repaying their generosity?

I agree with suggesting edibles. As in, "I love craft beer, so I always appreciate a six-pack of something new." Or "I have a sweet tooth, particularly anything made with dark chocolate."

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:05 pm

Rodc wrote:One problem is that if you give them something and they can't give you something in return it sets them up as "poor" and you as "wealthy". The asymmetry may be real, but this rubs it in. Plus, it robs them of the joy of giving.
This is true. Think about it.
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Teague
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Teague » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:07 pm

I tell people I spent the first half of my life acquiring things. At this point folks are welcome to start taking stuff away.
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Christmas Time and Marketing

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:08 pm

AirTimeMD:

In my opinion, most Christmas presents are an example of very effective marketing by merchandisers. Each year I ask family and friends to "give me a card -- not a present that I don't need or want."

My request is only partially effective. :confused

Best wishes
Taylor
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:14 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:I'm not sure that I'm effectively communicating.

It's not that I don't want to get them things - it's that I want them to save their money and spend it on themselves while I also give them gifts. I always get things I don't need or don't use and it's a waste of their money. I'm in a far better financial position than any of my peers and I feel guilty when they spend their money on me.

The donation idea has not gone over well for me. I'm surprised it has for so many of ya'll.
Then I would agree with the others and focus on gifts that facilitate experiences, rather than simply being things. Consumables can help with social events. Tickets, museum memberships, etc. lead to experiences at those venues. You can even say that you cherish experiences with family and friends over things, so you'd really enjoy tickets, visiting new restaurants, etc.

You should also listen to the advice to consider if the gifts you are giving might also considered useless or just things by the recipient. If both parties are partaking in token gift-giving, perhaps a cycle needs to be broken by both sides.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:30 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:If both parties are partaking in token gift-giving, perhaps a cycle needs to be broken by both sides.
Token gift giving doesn't even feel good. If all else fails, I like the suggestion of consumable gifts the best.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by cherijoh » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:35 pm

prudent wrote:I ask for donations of single-serve food items to our local food bank. I tell them our church packs 80 lunches a week for kids in our local elementary school who get breakfast/lunch at school but don't have enough to eat on the weekends at home. The lunches are put in the kids' backpacks during the school day on Friday so their classmates don't see them picking up food to take home. The food comes from the food bank or from church members.

Explaining the very local connection to that gift seems to resonate with people. Two have even gotten involved with the lunch packing/delivery.
That is a great idea. :happy

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by DaftInvestor » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:42 pm

kenschmidt wrote:I think items you can consume are good choices for the person who has everything because you eat/drink it and it is gone forever. Ask for your favorite spirits, wine, craft beer, gourmet coffee, fine chocolates, etc.
I agree with this. I would suggest wine ... or anything else...whatever you don't want to eat or drink can be put out for company during the holidays.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by TheTimeLord » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:48 pm

I the past I have tried asking people to donate to specific causes but that wasn't very successful. Now I just ask for Amazon gift card then use them to donate to charity who have Amazon Wish List or accept gift cards.
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Riprap
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Riprap » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:54 pm

I ask my kids to give me the gift of some of their time. They seem to like the idea too. It is usually just a simple, mindless activity together with a chance to chat. I like to call it making memories.

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FreeAtLast
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by FreeAtLast » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:57 pm

AirTimeMD wrote:Hello BH,

I have a problem....

I have everything in life materially that I could ever want. ALL I aspire for now is growing my business, helping others, learning and eventually leaving a legacy. There is not one single item out there that I need or that will increase my overall happiness.

I am constantly asked by friends (and my s/o) what they can get me for Christmas. I often times feel that they judge my answer that "I have everything I need but thank you so much" as rude - I don't want to be a grinch.

How do other BH handle this? I like to buy for others but find it very difficult to provide others with lists of items they can purchase for me.
In my Dad's latter years, I was faced with the same problem. He had everything he could possibly want. However, he liked to entertain his good buddies and for that, a well-stocked, diverse liquor cabinet was useful. So every year at Xmas I gave him a gift certificate to the local spirits store. He loved it. Even if you are a teetotaler, I'll bet you have some friends that imbibe. Would you accept some reasonably priced gifts of wine and/or liquor?
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CABob
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by CABob » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:35 am

Rexindex wrote:Ask others to donate to a favorite charity, poverty, homeless, spca etc.....
I would like to do this, but I just don't think my family would really do it.
I have thought about asking for a goat but haven't tried it yet.
To those of you who do ask for charity contributions, how did you initiate that practice?
Bob

SrGrumpy
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:41 am

CABob wrote: To those of you who do ask for charity contributions, how did you initiate that practice?
Kiva.org is a fun charity - microlending to good folks around the world, and you can follow their progress (if you care). They have gift cards ...

http://www.kiva.org/gifts/kiva-cards

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Zendelta » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:41 am

The "white elephant" gift exchanges got old for our group of extended family/friends so we started sponsoring a family (or families) in need as a way to satisfy some people's gift-giving/shopping urges but also direct them toward a worthwhile cause. There are lots of local organizations that do this and they tell you the general (anonymous) family profile-- kids ages, any specific wants/needs, etc. you can usually pick the family size too, from 1 person to 7 or 10.

Anyone can participate at a variety of levels which makes it easy for family or acquaintances to be involved-- it's pretty easy to say, "oh, we need a gift for a 10 year old girl who loves art" or "we're pitching in for new tires for the x family" and redirect that way.

With your S/O, how about a trip or experience gift? Planning is half the fun anyways and you can take it any time in the year.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:49 am

AirTimeMD wrote:Hello BH,

I have a problem....

I have everything in life materially that I could ever want. ALL I aspire for now is growing my business, helping others, learning and eventually leaving a legacy. There is not one single item out there that I need or that will increase my overall happiness.

I am constantly asked by friends (and my s/o) what they can get me for Christmas. I often times feel that they judge my answer that "I have everything I need but thank you so much" as rude - I don't want to be a grinch.

How do other BH handle this? I like to buy for others but find it very difficult to provide others with lists of items they can purchase for me.
I like the charity idea and think it's great if truly there is nothing you can use. I take a slightly different approach. As I get close to Christmas, I deliberately delay purchases I can very well afford and will certainly buy within a month or so if I don't get it for Christmas. Often they are replacements for stuff I wore out it the summer. The list I gave my wife this year includes:

New hiking shoes (others have lost big chunks of tread)
New climbing shoes (hole in the sole)
New canyoneering backpack (holes in the bottom)
Razor (gonna try Harry's or similar)

Now, if I could just figure out what to get her without pestering her for a similar list. Giving is WAAAAY harder than getting, not because I'm not willing to give, but because it is really hard to figure out what people will like. At least the purchasing part is easy with Amazon these days.

If there is no gear you need or will need soon you need some more hobbies.
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:13 am

After years of being told "I don't need anything" for Christmas, I started sending food gifts to all of my older relatives. I know what their favorite foods are and I buy items that I have discovered during that year.

Leonides Chocolates from Belgium
Cheese from the University of Wisconsin and Washington State Creameries
Pecans from the local orchards
Fresh picked oranges and grapefruit

I must be doing some thing right as now they are hinting that they really liked what I sent last year.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by mouses » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:17 am

CABob wrote:
Rexindex wrote:Ask others to donate to a favorite charity, poverty, homeless, spca etc.....
I would like to do this, but I just don't think my family would really do it.
I have thought about asking for a goat but haven't tried it yet.
To those of you who do ask for charity contributions, how did you initiate that practice?
I just asked. I was getting books I'd never read, etc., it was a real waste, so one year I said, You know, I'm a supporter of Operation Migration, it would be great if instead of giving me something personal, you'd make a donation to them. That generally seemed to go over well. They can always give you a card including a note that they've made a donation if they want to materialize something concrete at gift giving gatherings.

There is one person who continues to give me stuff even though I said the above. I have gritted my teeth and not given her anything for 2-3 years, an unpleasant situation, but better one of us cluttering the world than two of us.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Cigarman » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:21 am

Be like a kid again....remember circling things in the Sears catalog and putting your name and initials on it?

Throughout the year as you get catalogs, do that and then hand them a catalog when they ask!

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Cottage » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:10 am

Apologies if someone else has mentioned it - didn't read every reply yet.....

Charity donations are always the best suggestion, but if anyone needs/wants other ideas on how to deflect the holidays, I'd like to suggest going to Francine Jay's 'missminimalist' (-dot-com) site and on the right-hand side, she has a "holiday" category. She has some good insights on how to handle things.

(no affiliation, I've just read a lot of minimalist sites over the years, and still consider hers one of the best. Just wish she was still able to post as often as she did in the early days)

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Rodc » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:21 am

EmergDoc wrote:
AirTimeMD wrote:Hello BH,

I have a problem....

I have everything in life materially that I could ever want. ALL I aspire for now is growing my business, helping others, learning and eventually leaving a legacy. There is not one single item out there that I need or that will increase my overall happiness.

I am constantly asked by friends (and my s/o) what they can get me for Christmas. I often times feel that they judge my answer that "I have everything I need but thank you so much" as rude - I don't want to be a grinch.

How do other BH handle this? I like to buy for others but find it very difficult to provide others with lists of items they can purchase for me.
I like the charity idea and think it's great if truly there is nothing you can use. I take a slightly different approach. As I get close to Christmas, I deliberately delay purchases I can very well afford and will certainly buy within a month or so if I don't get it for Christmas. Often they are replacements for stuff I wore out it the summer. The list I gave my wife this year includes:

New hiking shoes (others have lost big chunks of tread)
New climbing shoes (hole in the sole)
New canyoneering backpack (holes in the bottom)
Razor (gonna try Harry's or similar)

Now, if I could just figure out what to get her without pestering her for a similar list. Giving is WAAAAY harder than getting, not because I'm not willing to give, but because it is really hard to figure out what people will like. At least the purchasing part is easy with Amazon these days.

If there is no gear you need or will need soon you need some more hobbies.
That is a good idea.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by retiredjg » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:49 am

AirTimeMD wrote:The donation idea has not gone over well for me. I'm surprised it has for so many of ya'll.
I tried this several years ago and although it would have made me happy, it did not make my friends or family happy. They still wanted to give me something.

What has worked for me is the same as EmergDoc - I have a list of things I'd like to have or that I'm going to buy for myself anyway. My list happens to be an Amazon wish list - this works well especially since my gift-givers are mostly long distance. Amazon even takes care of packaging and delivery.

What I like about this idea is that I no longer receive anything that is useless to me or a waste of money. I also like that I have learned to be more gracious. People like to give and it is a shortcoming to not be able to receive any gift graciously.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by corysold » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:04 am

My in-laws were in a similar dilemma in that we all bought them stuff they didn't really need, even though we enjoyed giving back to them for all they give to us.

This year, they adopted a child in Mexico and provide money to him through a charity. When gifts came up this year, instead of just saying they don't need anything like they usually do, they said they adopted the child in Mexico and asked if we'd like to help out and give to his family also.

So now instead of giving gifts, every family is pitching in to provide for the family in Mexico. Seems a much better arrangement for all.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by knpstr » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:19 am

AirTimeMD wrote: It's not that I don't want to get them things - it's that I want them to save their money and spend it on themselves while I also give them gifts. I always get things I don't need or don't use and it's a waste of their money. I'm in a far better financial position than any of my peers and I feel guilty when they spend their money on me.
Just remember that for some people giving gifts is about THEM, not you, per se.
A gift may be a thank you for being a good friend, mentor, family member, etc...
As many say, the most fun you can have with money is to give it away, even if you don't yet have financial independence locked in.
Did you ever buy a gift for anyone more financially well off than you at any time in your life? Was it a waste?

Accept their gifts with appreciation and gratitude, I'm guessing they probably realize you do not "need" it, it's not about that. Understand it is the gesture, not the "gift", that they want to give you.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

sls239
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by sls239 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:02 am

Gifting is a complex social behavior. Just ask the State Department!

There's a whole lot of hidden messages in it. It is often related not simply to generosity, but also to power. This is especially true if as you say, you are in a better financial position.

So your desire for the gift-giving to be one-sided or attempts to control the gift can be confused for a desire for the relationship itself to be one-sided. And of course anyone who would like to be considered an equal is going to resist that.

In this way, accepting a gift can be a sign of respect.

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Raybo
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Raybo » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:55 am

My family makes lists (on a website I created just for our family so all lists are accessible over the web).

Like many here, there isn't anything I need that I can't afford. But, there are things I use all the time that I would buy myself but, instead get them at Christmas. Examples are shaving cream, suntan lotion, socks, etc. They don't have to be "big" gifts, just something I can be given to check my name off the "given" list.

If you have all the money you need, try to pick things that save you time--things you would have to spend time to procure.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

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TinyElvis
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by TinyElvis » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:24 am

Kosmo wrote:The Human Fund. Money for People.
"It has a certain understated stupidity." :-)

alex_686
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by alex_686 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:36 am

FreeAtLast wrote:In my Dad's latter years, I was faced with the same problem. He had everything he could possibly want. However, he liked to entertain his good buddies and for that, a well-stocked, diverse liquor cabinet was useful. So every year at Xmas I gave him a gift certificate to the local spirits store. He loved it. Even if you are a teetotaler, I'll bet you have some friends that imbibe. Would you accept some reasonably priced gifts of wine and/or liquor?
+1 to this.

You are in a quandary. You want to give gifts but not receive them. I know where you are coming from but you are giving off a "I am better than you" vibe.

Maybe not liquor, but consumables then are the way to go. My wife gave me a whole lamb this year for my birthday. It is going to take about 6 months to go through it. One of her best gifts yet. Now, lamb may not be the universal choice out there but cheese or a fruit basket could work. Actually, a "food" of the month might work better - sometimes it is hard to eat all of the fruit and cheese in time.

Another tactic is to emphasize when you get the right gift - that is the gift you want. Homemade card, charitable gift, etc. Emphasize the emotions behind the gift, not the dollars.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by Rupert » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:41 am

sls239 wrote:Gifting is a complex social behavior. Just ask the State Department!

There's a whole lot of hidden messages in it. It is often related not simply to generosity, but also to power. This is especially true if as you say, you are in a better financial position.

So your desire for the gift-giving to be one-sided or attempts to control the gift can be confused for a desire for the relationship itself to be one-sided. And of course anyone who would like to be considered an equal is going to resist that.

In this way, accepting a gift can be a sign of respect.
+1. This post nails it. Some people NEED to give you something. It's not rational AT ALL. It's how they love you. If you try to dissuade them, they will interpret that as a rejection, not of the gift, but of themselves. It doesn't matter how poor they are; if they need to do it, then they need to do it. One valuable lesson I've learned during international travel is that if someone offers you a gift, you take it. If someone offers you something to eat, you eat it. Personally, I've adopted the Amazon wishlist option, where I list a half dozen or so books or inexpensive items that I need for people to choose from. For relatives who don't do internet shopping, I'll tell them something like, "I'd really like a t-shirt from that great hole-in-wall barbecue restaurant near your house."

ERISA Stone
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by ERISA Stone » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:01 am

1. I ask for iTunes or Best Buy gift cards.
2. I ask them to make a charitable donation; or
3. I ask them to make a contribution to my children's 529 plans.

PowDay
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by PowDay » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:09 am

Now that we are all adults, my family has implemented a books only policy at Christmas.

Books can be new from Amazon, or $0.50 from a yard sale.

This makes the holidays so much easier, and more fun. The tree is full of presents, we have stuff to unwrap, and we can still be thoughtful and choose books that really match-up with the recipient.

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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by lowerleisureclass » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:09 am

Assuming these are people you actually enjoy spending time with, ask for an experience with that person: to go camping together, to see a play, to visit the aquarium, to check out the new burrito place in town, etc. Then you are getting time with your friend, they get the pleasure of giving you something, and you don't have another item to find storage space for.
"At either end of the economic spectrum there lies a leisure class." -- Eric Beck, rock climber

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FuyuKei
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Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Post by FuyuKei » Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:21 pm

retiredjg wrote: People like to give.
I know that might seem strange, but gift giving is actually another form of showing people affection.

Even when we were very poor we always went to the Dollar Tree and picked up a gift for even the wealthiest members of our family. It wasn't so much of a, "You need this" as it was "I want you to know I was thinking of you." If someone told me, "Don't give me something" it would feel almost like "Don't show me affection/don't hug me/don't be nice to me /etc." In fact, I think it was actually because we grew up very poor that giving had such a strong tie with caring about someone-- we had so little, so to give someone something was a big deal.

So even when you say, "Give to charity" that might not go well because the giver wants to give you some kind of thing that you -personally- will cherish.

--------------
On that note:
+1 consumables. Chocolates can be cheap but feel fancy.

+1 single item from a high end set of something (I asked for a few different cables for my computer/tv setup. ~$5 each)

+1 Things you would normally buy. Think of it this way- that means you have more money for those big things you care about. Maybe you quietly donate an equal amount to charity, or you spend the $20 you would have spent on new socks on your business instead.
- I think giftcards fall under this category because you can apply it to anything you want.

+ Socks. They always get worn out eventually.

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