I hope my friends and family will forgive me for this. Effective immediately I will no longer buy gifts for anyone. No gifts. Not one. Never again. I’m done.
Now, don’t get me wrong, my family and friends who have been the grateful, I think, recipients of my unique gifts over the years have done nothing wrong. Although, that time my mother dressed me up against my will in a frilly pink dress with white patent leather shoes and flowered tights might be considered a wrongdoing. After all, it was my high school prom. But, other than that humiliating, life-altering experience, my closest acquaintances have done nothing to deserve this. However, they had better become accustomed to seeing me show up empty-handed on future holidays.
What spurred me on to make this monumental decision was an email that popped into my inbox recently. We all get hundreds of marketing emails each year, mostly useless and most of which we quickly delete. I don’t have a problem with the odd email promoting Christmas (or, “Holiday” as we are now required to call it). I don’t even mind the tear-jerking emails selling flowers around Valentine’s Day: “Don’t let people feel sorry for you again this Valentine’s Day. Send yourself flowers at work and watch the faces of your co-workers go from pity to utter shock! Priceless.” But, the email I received today was promoting giving gifts for… St. Patrick’s Day! I have to draw the line there.
I thought St. Patrick’s Day was a day reserved for drinking green beer. Never has a family member expected a gift on this special day which, as far as I can tell, honors rowdy drinkers. What makes the whole concept worse is that the email promised me the “luck of the Irish” if I buy some of these gifts: Green chocolates in a clover-shaped box; four-leaf clover cufflinks (who doesn’t want those?); lucky Divot Tool (actually, I could use some luck on the golf course, but still…..); and finally Irish potato-scented green toilet tissue for your lucky tush! Honestly, I think I’d rather stick with my bad luck than send someone potato-scented toilet paper. Are the Irish really that lucky anyway?
Retailers are out of control. I believe they actually make up holidays each year just to increase sales. Next thing you know they will promote giving hunting rifles on Vice-President’s Day. Or maybe they will suggest buying that special someone a Brokeback Mountain DVD on National Hug-a-Cowpoke Day.
So, I’m officially boycotting gift-giving. If it truly is “the thought that counts” then I will email my precious thoughts to my friends on their birthdays. Certainly they will appreciate that more than holiday bathroom tissue?
Of course, not wanting to punish those closest to me for something that is clearly not their fault, I will continue to submit my Christmas and birthday gift wish lists. After all, it’s the giving, not the receiving that matters. What better gift to provide my closest relatives than giving them the gift of giving to me?