There’s a whole realm of emerging data on giving and receiving Christmas Presents & it’s all saying one thing: - for a stress free Christmas, get the balance right. Give and receive gifts in equal measure for the value they possess, not for the money they cost.
The Gift Exchange System When you accept a gift, the acceptance becomes recognition of dependence on the Giver which results in tension as nobody likes to feel dependant on someone else. To relieve the tension, you decide/become obliged to, repay the Giver by giving them a gift. You are now both (Receiver & Giver) on the gift exchange see-saw! It can be a good place or a bad place, depending on which seat you occupy - the one on the ground or the one with their legs dangling in the air. I’m not saying being at the top of the see-saw isn’t fun, it is, but not when you’re rushed off your feet with a hundreds of things to do.
It is the sense of imbalance that drives the gift exchange system in a perpetual up and down tinsel covered motion. At other times of the year (birthdays, anniversaries and other special gift-worthy occasions) time helps to dissipate the tension. Christmas is a frenzy of gift swapping and there is little opportunity to avoid the tension unless you can learn to balance the system.
*Do Different, not Better * For many (I will go as far as to say most), Christmas brings on a dose of stress because we are trying to get a very fat Santa down a very narrow wood burner flue! When under stress, we make poor decisions. Our normal thought processes are clouded as if someone has sprayed fake snow over our logical brains and we feel the need to compensate for any ‘debt owed’ from last Christmas and/or any possible ‘perceived debt’ from the imminent one. To add to a gift debt or even to match last year’s is a personal no, no. We must do better, bigger, brighter, and bolder than last year or risk personal humiliation. Don’t do it! It’s bad for your health. Be a Gift-Pro, not a Gift Doh!
Buy my Stuff There’s a whole chapter devoted to buying gifts in my Christmas book available on Amazon. It includes the ‘Gold Star, Extra Thoughtful, Top Class method of choosing gifts for any occasion, not just Christmas’, so hurry and get one! https://www.amazon.com/Stressed-Angels-Wise-Men-Christmas/dp/1539095835