Earlier this week, the New York Times had an article about gift giving which I cut and paste here.
It was in the back of my mind as I packed up a crate of stuff to mail to relatives. Some of it is ceramic (including one of my pottery bowls) and breakable. I hope the UPS people pack it up well.
Then I did some more shopping. For Brothers One and Two, I got them gift cards to big box bookstores. One brother lives a relatively transient lifestyle, and needs to keep material belongings to a minimum, and another brother lives in NYC so space is at a premium. We're a bookish family, so a gift card to a book store's always a good gift.
While I was at it, I got my employees gift cards to the bookstore too. And wonder of wonders, I walked out of there without getting any books for myself. However, I did go to a specialty store when shopping for someone, and another Kaffe Fassett book somehow jumped into my basket.
The rampant consumerism that seems to take over this time of year is lamentable. But exchanging gifts, with the attendant thoughtfulness of what the recipient likes, is a symbol of the social bonds we humans require to be happy. And it's fun to think about the other person and think about what would they enjoy.
Plus, it's a great excuse to buy some candy to include in the gift, and what do you know? a candy bar for me too :)