12 votes

Topic deleted by author

21 comments

  1. [3]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      Mandelmannen
      Link Parent
      I'd love to hear the response that made someone call OP a monster.

      I'd love to hear the response that made someone call OP a monster.

      1 vote
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        Right. There's always drama kings and queens around this sort of stuff, but it's also pretty easy to simply come across as incredibly rude when you reject people who have made an effort to think...

        Right. There's always drama kings and queens around this sort of stuff, but it's also pretty easy to simply come across as incredibly rude when you reject people who have made an effort to think about you, spend money on you, make sacrifices for you, etc.

        "Thank you, that's very sweet. It's lovely but in the future I don't want you to give me any more gifts because [I'm a minimalist / I don't actually like gifts / Christmas is not part of my religion / whatever]"

        versus

        "Urgh, don't give me gifts, I don't need more shit, it kills the planet and promotes sickening consumerism and anyone who gives gifts is a sheep who should stop"


        Anyway, I don't want to speculate. I really enjoy gift-giving; specifically, the art of finding the "perfect" gift. I don't particularly like spending $300 and saying "here, have the newest XBox fridge".

        A few examples of gifts I'm giving this Christmas:

        • A collector copy of the "Blacksad" video game, to a close friend who adores Blacksad and did not know about that particular game, that came out earlier this year from an indie studio. I already gave it to her earlier this week and she loved it; finished it in fact.

        • An absolutely beautiful leather notebook with a metallic Gryffindor sigil, to another friend who loves Harry Potter and writes a ton. I'm pretty excited to give it, it's a really nice, high quality book.

        • For my girlfriend's family, I settled on a "wood theme" for all the gifts. All of them are very much into organic products; I bought all of them from a local woodworker during my stay in Athens. Her mom, practical as she is, is getting a beautiful honey jar and dipper. The older sister is getting a candle burner (she collects them). The twin sister is getting an adorable, tiny wooden owl; her favorite animal.

        • As for my girlfriend, I wanted to stay in the wood theme but couldn't buy the gift at the same time as the other ones (she helped me pick her family's). I got her a wooden Puzzle box from a local escape room, that I'm sure she will enjoy unlocking. Once she does, inside of it is this wonderful sudoku which I printed — she loves Sudoku, obviously, and we often do them together. Also inside the box is the key to my apartment, padded with cotton so it sounds like the box is empty. We've been talking about moving in together for a while and I promised her I'd get her the key soon.

        3 votes
  2. [4]
    suspended
    Link
    I'm not convinced that I could change someone's mind. Generally speaking, people have already made up their minds and trying to persuade them otherwise, usually, has the opposite effect of...

    What do we do to get through to people that just don't get it that useless clutter is not welcome, and the planet doesn't need more disposable junk?

    I'm not convinced that I could change someone's mind. Generally speaking, people have already made up their minds and trying to persuade them otherwise, usually, has the opposite effect of solidifying their position even further.

    When someone decides that they'd like to learn something, it is then that they have cracked the door open a little. From that point on, at least at the beginning of the process, learning is best done a little at a time.

    I've learned this lesson as a college instructor many times over.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      Loire
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Pretty much this. Just had a fairly serious disagreement with my significant other on this topic. Even of I didn't care about the useless clutter aspect I seriously can't think of anything I would...

      Pretty much this. Just had a fairly serious disagreement with my significant other on this topic. Even of I didn't care about the useless clutter aspect I seriously can't think of anything I would want or need. There is nothing out there I want. I looked. I wasted hours on it.

      But somehow I am obligated to provide a list of gift ideas totalling a certain dollar amount so that my significant other's family can make themselves feel good by buying me useless shit I don't want. I thought the gifts were supposed to make the reciever happy?

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        envy
        Link Parent
        You can always suggest donations to charitable institutions in your name.

        You can always suggest donations to charitable institutions in your name.

        3 votes
        1. Loire
          Link Parent
          That most likely wouldn't work. They want to see me open something. It's gratifying for them. Maybe if I unwrap a certificate of donation...

          That most likely wouldn't work. They want to see me open something. It's gratifying for them. Maybe if I unwrap a certificate of donation...

          3 votes
  3. [6]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Me and my close relatives and friends don't have the habit of giving gifts at all. My father sends me about a hundred dollars a year. That's about it. I'd love to get some junk presents, TBH. On...

    Me and my close relatives and friends don't have the habit of giving gifts at all. My father sends me about a hundred dollars a year. That's about it.

    I'd love to get some junk presents, TBH.

    On another note, I tend to hoard broken electronics. The reason for that is that I simply don't know where to trash them. There's no environmentally safe way to dispose of electronics in my city (and this probably true for 99.99% of the country), and I'm certain I would contribute to the contamination of the soil. Right now there are three dead notebooks, a tablet, and a monitor in my closet. I don't know what to do with them.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      Is there a shop near you that repairs electronics? If so, you have a few options: Get the items repaired and then sell, donate, or use them Donate the items to the shop if you just want them gone...

      Is there a shop near you that repairs electronics? If so, you have a few options:

      • Get the items repaired and then sell, donate, or use them
      • Donate the items to the shop if you just want them gone
      • If the shop doesn't want your items, they still might know how to properly dispose of them
      3 votes
      1. [2]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        Thanks. There is. I'll do that.

        Thanks. There is. I'll do that.

        2 votes
        1. cfabbro
          Link Parent
          I don't know about Brazil, but at least here in Canada (and in the US) there is a bunch of non-profits that will take your old electronics, repair them if need be, and then send them or sell them...

          I don't know about Brazil, but at least here in Canada (and in the US) there is a bunch of non-profits that will take your old electronics, repair them if need be, and then send them or sell them to those in need. E.g. https://www.freegeektoronto.org/

          So you could try googling around for one of those near you.

          1 vote
    2. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      If you live in the US most electronics stores will take them for recycling. Granted, it turns out most of the “recycling” is just send it to a junk yard in Thailand where desperately poor people...

      If you live in the US most electronics stores will take them for recycling.

      Granted, it turns out most of the “recycling” is just send it to a junk yard in Thailand where desperately poor people work with caustic chemicals to pick it over. So that’s not exactly all roses either.

      Goodwill is another option. Or you can periodically check in Craigslist or Flea Markets to see if any artists want them for parts.

      2 votes
      1. mrbig
        Link Parent
        Thanks. Not in the US. I'll take my electronic crap to a repair shop like @hungariantoast suggested.

        Thanks. Not in the US. I'll take my electronic crap to a repair shop like @hungariantoast suggested.

        1 vote
  4. reifyresonance
    Link
    The past few days I've been thinking about what the function of gift giving is. One key thing, I think, is that some things it's easier to get as gifts for others than to get for yourself, because...

    The past few days I've been thinking about what the function of gift giving is. One key thing, I think, is that some things it's easier to get as gifts for others than to get for yourself, because we're all different people. I've got a friend who needs a wallet, so I'm getting him one that'll last a long time (100 year warranty they say...). He's a bit younger than I, and because of that has less money (I'm still pretty young), but I think getting him something that'll last (and that I've asked if he wants - key point there) is fighting against the culture of clutter you and I both despise.

    So, I think it's possible to turn around this season into something positive. Another good gift, imo, is Darn Tough Socks. I love their socks so much and they come with a lifetime warranty. Everyone needs good socks!

    Also if people aren't appreciating the things you made for them, their freaking loss.

    3 votes
  5. Omnicrola
    Link
    My SO and I decided years ago that we where fed up with trying to find gifts for everyone, and also that we didn't really need anything. We're adults and we can buy most anything we need ourselves...

    My SO and I decided years ago that we where fed up with trying to find gifts for everyone, and also that we didn't really need anything. We're adults and we can buy most anything we need ourselves without waiting for December. So we told all of our friends and family that we will not be giving gifts, and do not expect to receive any, and if anyone is still compelled we'd prefer a donation to be made in our name to a list of charities we like.

    5+ years in it's worked out pretty well. We still occasionally buy gifts, but it's for occasions like weddings or buying a house. And we send our nieces gifts, because they're adorable, and because we can help make sure they get a broad range of exposure to STEM related toys and books.

    3 votes
  6. DanBC
    Link
    My family did a "Secret Santa" this year, so we only buy for one person. That person has a list of things they want. Some people made a list of smaller items, others had just one big item. No-one...

    My family did a "Secret Santa" this year, so we only buy for one person. That person has a list of things they want. Some people made a list of smaller items, others had just one big item. No-one had random junk.

    I think this will significantly decrease the amount of junk we buy each other, and it will decrease the amount of CO2 used and waste generated.

    It made Christmas shopping much much nicer too.

    3 votes
  7. [2]
    patience_limited
    Link
    I've been giving gift cards for a while, under the assumption that people will use them to meet their needs or desires better than I can, and that they can be applied to services as well as...

    I've been giving gift cards for a while, under the assumption that people will use them to meet their needs or desires better than I can, and that they can be applied to services as well as material goods.

    Many people, I think, have bought into the misconception that an apropos physical gift means you understand and care for the recipient more than if you just give money, time or craft. I was at a large holiday party last week for our swimming class, where one of the instructor hosts gave out hand-decorated single tea bags, which probably cost a few cents each, and was perfectly delighted at the gesture.

    The spouse and I have reached a negotiated truce on gift-giving, especially after the Nespresso debacle - I'm giving to Medecins San Frontiers in his name this year.

    2 votes
    1. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      I am against gift cards. If I have to, I send straight cash since it’s more fungible. But for the most part I’m big on experiences or consumables. Bottles of liquor or wine, books I know they’ll...

      I am against gift cards. If I have to, I send straight cash since it’s more fungible. But for the most part I’m big on experiences or consumables. Bottles of liquor or wine, books I know they’ll read, a coupon for a spa day, that sort of thing.

      It avoids clutter and also lets people try things they might not have spent money on themselves.

      6 votes
  8. vivaria
    Link
    I don't have any thoughts from an environmental perspective, but I think a lot about gift giving from a social perspective. I have a... really high standard of quality for gifts? I think, when...

    I don't have any thoughts from an environmental perspective, but I think a lot about gift giving from a social perspective.

    I have a... really high standard of quality for gifts? I think, when done right, they can be an expression of understanding and foster connection. "I get you as a person. I understand your wants and needs and tastes, to the point where I can predict that you'll appreciate this thing you didn't even know you wanted."

    That, to me, is how gifts go from "I felt obligated by social pressure to spend money on you, I'm just checking a box here" to "I wanted to do something nice for you so I just picked something surface-level vaguely related to your interests," and even further to "We share a deep connection and here's the proof."

    The problem for me is, that last one is hard. You have to be really attentive and involved in someone's life to pull off that tier of gifting. It's almost by chance that you stumble across a gift you think would fit someone that deeply. For me, I keep my eyes out year-long (rather than doing a last minute rush). Gift-giving "seasons" aren't really conducive to thoughtful gifts. To do something on the spot, you have to either be really imaginative or really in touch with that person, and most people (myself included) just... aren't?

    For me, if someone can't think of a really amazing gift to give, I'd rather they just get me nothing. I don't want them to feel an obligation to check boxes... I'd rather we spend time getting to know each other so that we're better equipped the next time around. I'd want to learn more about them and vice versa!

    2 votes
  9. tlalexander
    Link
    I am very concerned about waste these days. I’ve told my family “spend less than $10 on me or gift me something used or something you made”. I’ve been making people cards with watercolor the last...

    I am very concerned about waste these days. I’ve told my family “spend less than $10 on me or gift me something used or something you made”. I’ve been making people cards with watercolor the last few years, and writing a longer personal note. My dad still gets me hallmark cards and signs “love dad” at the end. I’m hoping he’ll get the picture sooner or later.

    1 vote
  10. asoftbird
    Link
    Over here it's slowly becoming OK to just gift money; it's already a thing between friends, less so between me and one generation up, but it's improving. It saves them the hassle having to find...

    Over here it's slowly becoming OK to just gift money; it's already a thing between friends, less so between me and one generation up, but it's improving. It saves them the hassle having to find the specific right item (which often ends up being precisely the wrong one).

    Sometimes we also do 'convenience gifts'; I go to the hardware store for a project of mine, forget to buy M6x40 bolts. Add M6x40 bolts to my list and get those. Only if gift giving date and "shit I forgot this at the store" are less than a week apart, of course.

  11. ibis
    Link
    Around here it isn't getting worse every year. I just saw a news story about how the retail sector is suffering because people are less likely to buy things for christmas than ever before. I've...

    We don't need more SHIT, and yet let's be honest, for all the big talk online about people caring, the clutter and plastic season seems to get worse every year.

    Around here it isn't getting worse every year. I just saw a news story about how the retail sector is suffering because people are less likely to buy things for christmas than ever before.

    I've also requested no stuff for christmas - and have for the last few years. Talking to the people around me, it is a pretty common sentiment. After Marie Kondo fever earlier this year, the last thing anyone wants is more stuff.

    Anyway, if you don't want to be given stuff, I suggest asking for food (eg. chocolate, cheese, wine). People don't want to turn up empty handed, and a lot of people aren't going to have the time to hand make gifts for every person on the gift list (it is a hectic time of year). Buying 'experiences' is another good alternative, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.

    Another good option - don't open the 'clutter' gifts you are given, and then re-gift them (eg. for a secret santa, a Kris Kringle, or just give to charity). I suppose it could be considered rude to the original gift giver, but generally I'd just use this approach for gifts that didn't seem thoughtful or personal in the first place.

    Anyway, overall, despite my own aversion to cheap disposable crap - I'm not about to get angry at anyone over a gift. I like to accept the sentiment that gifts are given with, and appreciate that sentiment. Even if I wind up recycling the gift itself, I am grateful for the time someone put into getting something for me.