A Discussion of Gift Giving

For something as ubiquitous as gift giving at Christmas, there certainly are a lot of different ways to do it. We talked about some different ways we do gifts and the etiquette involved, but we would love to hear how you do gifts, in the comments!

Victoria: So Christmas is coming up, and that means buying presents!

Jaya:  Oh how do you do them? I mainly suck at giving gifts.

Victoria So I pretty much only buy stuff for my sister, my parents, and my grandmother. For all my friends, I do some kind of homemade thing. Last year I made jam. This year…I’m not telling because I haven’t given you yours yet!

Have you ever been in a group that did Secret Santas or like, a present exchange. or white elephant?

Jaya:  Some friends of mine and I actually do that, there’s this sort of automatic Secret Santa site that you put your names in and it assigns you someone. And it’s useful because instead of getting gifts for everyone you just have to do one person, so cheaper, and still nice. Last year I got two really good books, and I gave a cute vintage clutch.

Victoria Oooh that sounds awesome. I think if a friend group really wants to do more than token gifts, some kind of exchange is the way to go. It’s fun but it doesn’t cost TOO much money.

Jaya:  Exactly. I think we have like a $25 cap, but we’d probably stay within that anyway.

Victoria:  Yeah, then everyone gets something nice that they’d really enjoy but you don’t end up spending insane amounts of money on presents for people.

What do you think about a situation where one person gives another a present and doesn’t get a present in return?

Do you feel pressure to then go out and get one?

Jaya:  I mean, the nature of gifts is that they’re gifts, right? You give them out of love, not out of the expectation that you get another one.

Victoria Exactly!

Jaya:  Though with a holiday like Christmas, where the idea is gift giving, maybe that changes.

Victoria And I would feel terrible if my friends thought they had to get me something because I made them some jam.

I mean, its jam, it’s not a big deal.

And I do it because I like doing it!

Jaya:  But your jams are so good!

Victoria: Haha, thanks.

How do you open presents on Christmas morning in your family? Do you all tear in or do you open one at a time in turns?

Jaya:  We take turns, and draw it out. Basically you open your stockings as soon as you get up, and tear into that. And then we have breakfast, and then after breakfast is tree presents time.

Victoria Us too!!!

Jaya:  Aww yay! It was always torture waiting for breakfast to end as a kid but now I like waiting.

Victoria It always seemed the more “polite” way to me too, because then you have time to properly admire each gift and thank the giver.

Jaya:  Exactly. And easier to record things for thank you notes.

Victoria Exactly!

Jaya:  My grandma always kept the list, now my mom does.


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