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Started by WibbleAgain on Oct 14, 2020 11:25:32 AM
Martin Lewis tells people to stop buying Christmas presents and warn friends now

Imagine that I know my mate Noella is hard up. To be generous, I buy her a nice £20 smelly bath bubbles and salts set. Then… she feels obliged to buy me something back.

The net financial effect is Noella has spent her money to receive the bath bubbles I gave her. If she’d been free to choose, she might have put the cash towards buying shoes or other essentials for her children. Therefore by giving her a present and feeling generous I’m ­actually dictating her spending.

Sometimes the best gift is releasing others from the obligation of having to give to you. It’s time for us to get off this gift-giving treadmill.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/money-expert-martin-lewis-says-13373518?_ga=2.173342816.2100990067.1602670181-1456877661.1595600889

Won't anyone think of the retailers and jobs?

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GyratingTrampoline - 14 Oct 2020 11:37:18 (#1 of 109)

We've had a negotiated presents ban between myself, siblings and parents for a few years. It's called the Amatrice convention or something like that (agreed during a family holiday I wasn't at) and contains various articles exempting grandchildren and so on.

Ginmonkey - 14 Oct 2020 11:44:19 (#2 of 109)

Good idea.

We agreed a while ago we only do immediate family and then only token presents, and I put money in the accounts of my niece, nephew and step son.

HerrWalrus - 14 Oct 2020 11:49:32 (#3 of 109)

For a lot of older people, giving gifts is one of the few pleasures they have left.

dreams99 - 14 Oct 2020 11:49:52 (#4 of 109)

Economists have long said that Christmas is pointless and wasteful - people spending money on products that other people don't want or need. It's very inefficient, and also grossly distorts the retail market's seasonal sales. The fact that people are employed in making and selling these items is no defence - they could be selling other items. It's like objecting to banning drug sales because it would deprive the dealers of an income.

But it isn't going to change, it's so ingrained in society, in family life, business and media. On an individual level, we can cut back on the exchange of crap, but people aren't going to stop giving presents to kids, their own, of relatives and friends, because the reciprocation link is hard to break.

WibbleAgain - 14 Oct 2020 11:53:33 (#5 of 109)

My family members all have Wish Lists on Amazon, so we are only buying each other things we want/need.

They get delivered directly to recipients abroad so I don't have to worry about postal deadlines, etc. It's still enabling The Evil Empire though, so it's still VERY BAD.

All my grandchildren get money paid into their savings accounts for birthdays and Christmas, in addition to presents that the parents approve of. I was astonished to learn the saving account balances are now quite substantial. Obviously other grand parents/great aunts/uncles are far more wealthy/generous than I am.

darkhorse - 14 Oct 2020 12:26:36 (#6 of 109)

Its only the exchange of crap for kids which we have a problem with. Adults just get wine/chocs if anything. Me and msdarkhorse and my parents ask for specific things we want/need.

I have several cousins with kids of a similar age to mine, and there's a bit of a ritual of exchanging crap which nobody knows how to stop (and the kids may protest their lack of presents).

May just have to endure it until they are all teens.

Hilary - 14 Oct 2020 12:32:39 (#7 of 109)

Economists have long said that Christmas is pointless and wasteful - people spending money on products that other people don't want or need

Anthropologists have long known that the economy (in the extended sense) of the giving and receiving of gifts not actually 'needed' in any strictly utilitarian sense can nonetheless have vital cultural and social significance. Such things are often missed by economists.

FleurDuMal - 14 Oct 2020 12:33:02 (#8 of 109)

Even though I’m more fortunate than Noella, I sometimes think I could make better use of the money I spend at Christmas.

However, I’ve always been a curmudgeonly Scrooge-person, so I’m not the best person to ask.

cozzer - 14 Oct 2020 12:35:25 (#9 of 109)

people spending money on products that other people don't want or need

Other versions of Christmas gift-giving are available.

dreams99 - 14 Oct 2020 12:35:58 (#10 of 109)

Anthropologists have long known that the economy (in the extended sense) of the giving and receiving of gifts not actually 'needed' in any strictly utilitarian sense can nonetheless have vital cultural and social significance. Such things are often missed by economists.

Those things can be communicated without the donation of unwanted crap. It happened before for centuries. Perhaps anthropologists forget that.

Shadrack22 - 14 Oct 2020 12:40:25 (#11 of 109)

people spending money on products that other people don't want or need

I send my wife ‘the list.’

darkhorse - 14 Oct 2020 12:40:58 (#12 of 109)

I'm a bit baffled, personally I don't receive any (or negligible) unwanted rubbish. It's the kids who get too much throwaway stuff.

I think cards are nice, although perhaps environmentally unsound.

FrankieTeardrop - 14 Oct 2020 12:44:59 (#13 of 109)

Yes, there's an environmental cost to cards, crackers, paper hats, and so on. Are they worth the cost?

moto748 - 14 Oct 2020 12:46:07 (#14 of 109)

After reading this thread, I messaged my son saying just this.

TommyDGNR8 - 14 Oct 2020 12:47:19 (#15 of 109)

I resent the replacement of cards by FB posts etc. A nice card with a personal message says more than any gift and a shite one with "From Winnie and Bill" written in it in a hurried hand says more about the sender than they realise.

Rendered - 14 Oct 2020 12:47:53 (#16 of 109)

I'm sure the Chinese people who've never heard of Christmas are grateful for the work making all of our usual tat each year.

FrankieTeardrop - 14 Oct 2020 12:48:02 (#17 of 109)

A nice card with a personal message says more than any gift and as a shite one with "From Winnie and Bill" written in it in a hurried hand says more about the sender than they realise.


They're printed on plasticised card, with fossil fuels shipping them around.

HerrWalrus - 14 Oct 2020 12:53:35 (#18 of 109)

Best stop posting here and stop using the internet too. All those countries covered in data-centres just so Auntie Flo can say hello on Facebook...

GyratingTrampoline - 14 Oct 2020 13:10:38 (#19 of 109)

the Chinese people who've never heard of Christmas

I bet they have heard of christmas after all I've heard of the chinese new year

moto748 - 14 Oct 2020 13:19:50 (#20 of 109)

Even the cheapest card and most hurried note is better than nothing. It's human to human contact.

Personally I have a dislike of people who (in my view) self-importantly announce on FB or whatever that they are not sending presents, but rather donating to Shelter, or whatever.

Some bloke once said, when you give, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing. He had a point.

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