Friday, December 26, 2008

60 - Getting Christmas gifts you didn't want

This year, I got a printer/scanner, some maths textbooks, a physics textbook and a vacation in China. I could say that I got everything I wanted this year, which is good, or better yet, I could say I didn't get anything I didn't want.

But I think almost every year before this year, I have received Christmas gifts I just did not care for or would never use. It can be quite an awkward situation. I would be sitting cross-legged in front of the tree with a half-unwrapped gift in my lap that I don't want to open anymore because it was crap. The person who gave me the gift would be disappointed on seeing my disappointed face, then my mother or some obnoxiously self-righteous friend of mine will say it's the thought that counts, so say thank you. And I would be obliged to say it, BUT in my mind, I'm thinking, "Well, if it's the thought that counts, maybe they should have thought of buying me a present that I actually wanted."

Does that make sense to you? I think it's sensible (and a little bratty).

I never understood why people thought I would actually enjoy a ball-point pen with my name engraved into it, or a red and green (Christmas-themed) woolen sweater that doesn't go with anything (I'm male but I can still tell).

After the Christmas spirit has worn off, the awkwardness is not necessarily gone. Maybe they'll come into my room, snooping around, and inquire, "Why is the pen I gave you still wrapped in the box? Why don't you use it? It has your name on it!" Or perhaps we'll go out for some lunch, they'll take a good, long look at what I'm wearing and protest, "Why don't you ever wear that Christmas sweater I bought for you? It cost $300!"

Here in Hong Kong, few families care that there's Boxing Day, a whole day dedicated to gift-unwrapping. We open our presents on Christmas Day anyway. But, whether you opened them yesterday or today, let me ask you: Did you receive any crap gifts this year? Book ends? Giant book of wordsearches? Cheap bottle of wine?
What about bad presents you've received in the past? You may not be able to share your real thoughts with anyone in real-life, but you're welcome to here. Rant away!


Jia Jun :D said...

So what is your favourite christmas present ? Mine is iPhone :D

Douglas said...

I always wanted to hand out empty, nicely wrapped, boxes and say "Remember, it's the thought that counts."

Short Stick said...

i actually did get a cheap bottle of wine. but i guess i didnt care because i don't practice christianity so i don't really think i'm entitled to anything.

Michael said...

Jia Jun: Every year, I always get one big electronic (this year: printer/scanner). I would say my favorite present ever is either my iPod or my laptop.

Douglas: I thought of that too.

Short Stick: See? 'Bad' gifts are predictable like that.

siteseeingcyndi said...

Wow, how would it be to get a trip to china. Spoiled! I got some body wash from my sister in law. Maybe she thinks I smell bad.

Michael said...

Cyndi: I live in Hong Kong. China's the cheapest vacation there is...