Yeah, leave it for the kids

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For many people, giving and receiving gifts are one of the big parts of the holidays.

However, a new survey shows that 69 percent of Americans would skip exchanging gifts if their family and friends agreed to it.


Lisa and I very seldom exchange gifts. Usually what happens is something breaks about November and when the replacement is bought it’s “Well, there’s your Christmas right there” and it usually is. Oh, we’ll get each other something small for under 20 bucks but that’s about it. I don’t need my wife to buy me something to prove that she loves me.

When we all get together with Lisa’s family for Thanksgiving, we all draw a name and buy a gift for one person with a 20 dollar cap on it which is pretty damned reasonable although I gotta tell you, finding something for under 20 bucks is a challenge in itself.

I’ve seen way too many people go into debt over Christmas. Hell, I knew a dude that bought his wife a fucking car for Christmas and they were just getting by as it was and no, there was nothing wrong with her old ride.

I remember my first Christmas with my ex, The Evil One. Man, here I was, newly married with a 14 year old stepson and in debt. I mean, we were just barely making our rent. We spent a couple hundred bucks on the stepkid, which I had no problem with, but when I gave my ex her present she blew up. Like I said, we were broke. She was really into sweaters so I bought 3-4 really nice sweaters (fuckers aren’t exactly cheap) and a silver necklace. She threw a fit like a 5 year old because it wasn’t what she wanted, a red ruby ring in a gold setting.
I learned my lesson though – from then on, no matter what the occasion was, if it called for a gift she got jewelry. I was also about $15,000 in credit card debt when we divorced.

Lisa’s given up on asking what I want for Christmas or my birthday – she doesn’t understand that I would really really enjoy a pound of gunpowder or some once fired brass. I just can’t think of anything I want, need or gotta have.

This entry was posted in Wirecutter, WTF?. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Yeah, leave it for the kids

  1. Winston Smith says:

    In our family, when you hit adulthood (meaning out of school then a job) gifts stop. My wife however is a fiend when it comes to holidays so she buys a few handfuls of lottery scratchoffs. Now I hate those as they have the worst odds mostly but wth, its xmas. And I was stunned when she first gave them out at my religious family xmas- Absolute Hit of the Day. Even the kids said fuck the presents, gimme a coin so I can see what I won. Now every xmas, everyone anxiously awaits their scratchoffs.
    That could be your answer to the $20 question.

  2. Padawan says:

    I “spoil” my mom, best friend and Warhorse. Everybody else I dollar store shop for. His birthday almost always falls around our summer vacation so we work that into it. My birthday is ten days after Christmas so my family likes to pull the “here’s your two-in-one gift.” I ask for things I need and one fun thing, usually a shopping trip to my favorite store.

  3. KM says:

    My wife and I are on the same plan. She sees something she likes, buys it and says, “This is what you got me for Christmas”….she never goes full retard with it either.
    When asked what I want, I say the scope I want is only $2300…it’s on sale!

  4. Glenfilthie says:

    Spot on as usual Ken! A box of .22, or some fishin’ lures and a half sack a beer and I am set for the holidays. I used to have kiniptions about Christmas and set aside a couple grand but no more. I do Christmas for the food now and that’s it for me – and maybe take a couple hours to pay my respects to my Maker and that’s it.

  5. NewVegasBadger says:

    Buying gifts for family members is a pain in the ass, unless you tell them to make a wish list. They can not bitch about what you got them for Christmas if it was on their list In addition, the stuff that I want, they can not afford. And let’s be honest, chances are you do have more stuff than you know what to do with. What I have told others is that, rather than buying some thing for me, I would prefer that they take the money they would have spent and to give it to some organization in my name instead. For example your local animal shelter is always in need of extra funds. Same goes for a humanitarian organization. If the “Christmas spirit” means any thing, it means doing a bit more for those who worse off than you. The folks who lost every thing in the hurricanes come to mind. This Christmas is going to suck for them.

    Another thought here, donate to your favorite blogs. Like this one. Show your appreciation, by hitting the donate button.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Another thought here, donate to your favorite blogs. Like this one. Show your appreciation, by hitting the donate button.

      Well, I appreciate the thought but the fact of the matter is I very seldom if ever get a donation from about mid November through January.
      It is what it is.

  6. hey! luis says:

    Hell, I’ll take cash. I’ll send you my address…

  7. Judy says:

    Hubby was nervous the first Christmas we had together. Evidently his ex-wife went stupid every year. I love giving gifts and watching someone’e eyes light up when you get them something they really wanted or something that screams them, but the bills get payed first.

    One interesting thing in our family is someone every year makes something for everyone, no telling who it will be. One year, Dad made worm-gear driven nutcrackers that were tough enough to crack black walnuts. Those nutcrackers are cherished possessions.

  8. Rick says:

    My rule around receiving gifts…”If you can’t eat it, smoke it or drink it,I don’t want it”.

  9. Guairdean- says:

    There are no little ones left in my family, we’re between generations. We decided that most of the gifts we were buying were a waste of money (we give things during the year if we find something special or see a special need) and started a white elephant gift swap a few years ago with a $5 limit. It’s fun and cheap.

  10. Andrew says:

    My wife, coming from a shitty fucking family (God-damned Tennessee hillfolk, no less) always tried to do the perfect holiday in an attempt to get her family to actually act like a family. Nobody ever gave her stuff, everyone forgot her birthday, and yet she was ‘required’ to spend awful amounts of time and money on those selfish assholes.She finally got it one year when she was near death in the hospital and all her family could say to her was “Where’s our presents?” and other bullshit.

    Now it is a few gifts to really close friends that she buys during the year, and one neat present for me (like a set of cordless tools I have always wanted. Corded tools are okay, but hate the weight and lugging the damned cords everywhere.) I will give her a neat present for her birthday, anniversary and for Christmas (and I keep a list, otherwise it might be a repeat of the ‘Year of Many Flashlights’ (yep, one year, noting that she likes neat flashlights, I bought her all sorts of neat flashlights. Went over like a lead balloon.))

    Me? My family always did the one semi-expensive gift per, some small stuff for the rest of the gifts and then check the stocking. Hell, I remember getting oranges and nuts in the stocking, and being happy about it, along with new underwear and socks (damned growth spurts around November always made buying new for school a stupid thing.)

    Hell, for my birthday all I really want is to wake up to my bride and to have her give me a kiss and a hug. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

    Now that I have her weaned off spending beaucoup bucks, I can actually not worry about paying the car tags and other crap like that.

    • crazyeighter says:

      Former GF was the same way with her family. From Labor Day to New Years, she was in a frantic scramble to have the perfect holidays, plus the odd Lutheran add-ons, plus a drive from Memphis to Kansas City. I just couldn’t watch anymore.

  11. Elmo says:

    I was in Sportsman’s Warehouse about 10 years ago when a woman standing next to me at the gun counter picked up one of these for her husband. It was her gift to him on their upcoming 30th anniversary.

    She said she buys a gun for him every year on that day.
    I asked her if I could give her my card, just in case the marriage didn’t work out.

  12. ron says:

    i never had a job that paid much more than minimum wage, so Christmas was a major drain for me. everyone felt sorry for poor me, and got me something for Christmas.
    i usely got something that i did not need, or want or could even use.
    that required me buying them a gift in return.
    Christmas shopping for even cheep gifts required me giving up money needed for luxuries like groceys, utilitys, and other frills in my then pathetic life.

    so i asked everyone to please do not buy me anything, and use the money they would have spent on me, to get something they really liked for themselves, or go out to dinner, anything but spend money on me.
    no body listened, the useless crap kept rolling in.

    so finally i hit on a brilliant idea.
    i bought a bunch of live rabbits.
    cute fuzzy bunnys.

    everyone that gave me something that year got a bunny in return.
    and i told everyone that the bunny i gave them was the most popular bunny in the pen.
    in 30 days or less, ms bunny will have multiple gifts for you.

    there was a lot of regifting that year, and i no longer have to do Christmas shopping .

  13. Tsquared says:

    My birthday was this past Saturday. The LGS had powder 25% off. I got a pound of rifle powder that I picked out myself. Works for us.

  14. Coyote Hubbard says:

    Growing up my family was not in great financial state. Christmas was always iffy, but my parents did the best they could.

    One year, and it was a rough one, my folks asked me what i wanted for Christmas.

    At my age, i actually understood where we were money-wise and just made it simple. I said just something to wear and something to play with, since an enjoyable gift for playtime is nice and i had no expectations of an epic item, but new clothes are always good.

    I was totally blown away that year when i got a really nice pair of Levi jeans, and for the toy, the front pocket liners had been cut out.


  15. AbbyS says:

    My huge (20+) family started a white-elephant gift exchange that was fun and funny. After the little ones grew up, not so much. We took a family vote & decides to give the $$ we would have spent on silly gifts in a hat, then choose a charity or a relative in need. That has continued for 10 years. Now that Mom and Dad are both got (1st holiday without Mom) I have no idea if the siblings are even going to get together.

  16. anonymous says:

    Yeah, my wife and I have been married 21 years and we’ve already collected what we already want. Little stuff here and there, something that makes every day life easier is appreciated though.

    I too began with jewelry, but she has a discriminating eye (i.e. picky) and finding something she REALLY wanted was hard – I gave up trying to surprise her. Didn’t have to be expensive, in fact the older vintage stuff is what really interests her. I’m just a dude – I don’t what the hell is good or junk jewelry.

  17. Putz says:

    Ok Ken, I got to ask, what are you looking for in once fired brass? Hit me with an email.

  18. Bacon says:

    With all due respect Ken, you’d actually be quite easy to shop for!

    Holiday shopping list for Wirecutter
    1. a pound of gunpowder
    2. some once fired brass
    3. a bottle of decent whiskey
    4. a new chain for chainsaw
    5. a peavey to move that log
    6. an automatic chicken coop door
    7. a plaque mount of obama’s nuts
    8. coffee table book of midget porn
    9. one day’s midget toss rental
    10. a package of bacon
    11. books about American history
    12. books about barbed wire
    13. display plaque of barbed wire
    14. carved skull-motif furniture
    15. a remote castle with moat

    I could easily keep going, but anyway, I rest my case.

If your comment 'disappears', don't trip - it went to my trash folder and I will restore it when I moderate.