What happens when someone gives you a Christmas present you weren't expecting? Not necessarily a huge present, but a present still? You suddenly feel very weird. There's a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach. But what do you do?
That's what happened yesterday. A gift arrived in the mail from some friends whom I've never exchanged gifts with before. In college, I put a stop to all gift exchanges and I told friends honestly I couldn't afford to exchange gifts. Fortunately this has prevented me from going crazy and spending money we didn't have to exchange gifts with people that might not be useful.
But these friends just got married last year and though I've known them since college, I haven't been terribly close to them. So we've never exchanged gifts. Well now I am torn as to what to do?
Should I send a thank you note and graciously accept the gift? Or should I order them something online? Or should I send them something small in the mail?
My DH will say send a note and hope they never send another gift again. Me, I'm torn because I sort of want to just send a cute thank you note and pray they don't send a gift again next year. Another thing, this year I am not feeling up to do Christmas cards.
While financially this is not a big deal, I do feel gift giving out of a sense of "obligation" is a big deal. I don't like to get started card/gift giving because I hate keeping up with it. And the list it seems just grows are you get older, not lessen (well until after a certain age :p)
But seriously, I talked with my mom just back from another tour, and what were the words out of her mouth? "Oh I need to send Christmas cards to all these new people I just meet". My response? Why bother, screw it, they don't want a card from you. They probably just want to rest. She said I'm a terrible scrooge. Which I guess put me in my current conundrum.
According to how I was raised, I'd run out and buy a gift. But my upbringing is strongly wrestling with my adult practicality and I don't want to waste money on gifts for people I don't know that well, nor would I care if they never sent me a gift again.