December 18, 2013

Please, No Presents



Dear Santa (or NSA or whoever you are),

Assuming that we aren't on the "naughty" side of your little spy ledger, please do not bring any presents to our house. We have everything we need, and there is nothing more that we want that you can provide.

Thanks, 

Two Simple Living People


Two decades ago when Linda and I announced that we were no longer participating in consumer Christmas gift giving, the people around us went through a few interesting and definable stages.


Stage One: Confusion 

Most people were initially thrown into a state of confusion. Who doesn't like giving and receiving stuff you don't really need?

Stage Two: Anger

Many people were offended that we were opting out of this manufactured consumer holiday and the sacred shopping rituals that go with it - like panic shopping late at night on December 24th, or figuring the amount of debt incurred as the first activity of the New Year. Perhaps they were angry because they never realized that you could opt out.

Stage 3: Curiosity

After a while people started asking questions about what motivated us to quit Christmas gifting. It was an opportunity to share our philosophy of a less materially-focused lifestyle.

Stage 4: Acceptance

Eventually those within our circles, including the person who first said, "Well how can I do anything for you if I can't buy you gifts?", came to accept our decision to go gift-less.

Stage 5: Relief

Some were even relieved that they could scratch us off their list, thus making their lives a little easier at a busy time of year. A few have even adopted some form of our Please, No Presents Policy in their own start-of-winter celebrations.


4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this timely article! We have struggled with this concept for many years (to get it across to others) but this article is awesome and we have already forwarded it to family and friends. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,

      It would be interesting to hear how your loved ones respond to your continued push for No Presents.

      Good luck in your endeavours toward a less consumer-oriented celebration. Happy to be of help.

      Delete
  2. The anger from others was the one that was a shock to me when I declared "No Presents". I still have one relative who insists on buying me a present. I've resigned myself to the fact that I can't control someone's actions. She somehow thinks that I would be sad to not have a present to open. Then why not wrap an empty box? Works for me :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miss Marla,

      My mother in law still sends us a care package this time of year. However, the contents have changed dramatically over the years, and they now consist of 100% edible, yummy things. Also, a little bit of cash that we usually stash away in our dental savings account.

      I love the empty box idea! Contents? Love and caring. Best gift ever, any time of year.

      Delete

Discussion and debate is welcome on NBA. I believe that this can be done via courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the post, whether or not they agree with the views expressed.

Comments containing profanity, abusive language, or baiting will be deleted.

Comments with a user name attached above, or in a sign off in the text, are appreciated. It lets us meet on common ground, and get to know each other better.

I answer comments depending on what is happening in my life, and how much gardening, cooking, hiking, and music making needs to be done. I am also a full time caregiver to the beautiful Linda, partner in our joyous, simple life.

Click the "notify me" box to be updated on the thread by email.

Note: Comments are moderated to eliminate links to commercial interests. We are proudly a no selling, no buying website. Spammers take note. Please.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...