Christmas Gift Exchanges

I’ve been trying hard not to rant about Christmas gift exchanges. I’ve had several discussions with one of my sisters who is in charge of our family’s gift exchange this year.

Hard as I tried, I came across an article in the New York Times that talked about this very topic. It riled me up again.

I like the premise of exchanging names for Christmas in large families such as mine. This way, I can focus on one person and get them a really nice gift instead of trying to spread my money over 20 people.

This is the second year that we are participating in the gift exchange. The rules are easy. Pick a name of someone not in your immediate family, ie not a sister, brother, mother, etc. The dollar limit for a gift this year is $35.00. Easy enough.

My sister creates a spreadsheet that has 3 columns next to people’s names. The columns have peoples preferences of things they would like to get. One is not obligated to get a gift from this list but it makes life easier. This list is where it gets interesting.

A lot of things listed are gift certificates such as Target gift certificates, Kohl’s gift certificates, etc.

It feels like we’re just exchanging $35 with each other. I hand you a $35 gift certificate and you hand me a $35 gift certificate. I say we save our gas money and just call it a wash. Why don’t we just get together, listen to some good Christmas music and enjoy each other’s company? It would be less stressful.

Perhaps that’s not the Spirit of Christmas? Hmmm ….


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