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Saturday Evening Post

Ben Woodard liked this post

macchiatoChristmas is in the air most everywhere. It is not as chilly as it has been, but the wind is whipping. Grab a cuppa and snuggle into a rocker. Clyde is contemplative about high cognitive function. Let’s talk.

Redmund Productions

The final tweaks are being made to the books and the new website. Everyone’s excitement is palpable. It has come such a long way in the last three days. Be on the lookout for a large post pointing the way to the site in the week between Christmas and New Year’s day.

M3

M3 logoPlease pardon my obvious absence this week. I have been coding in the ballpark of 15 hours a day and, therefore, have been neglecting M3 during the guest post week.

Many of you have noticed the new ad in the left sidebar. It is available to anyone who chooses to advertise based on the parameters set out in The Office. Click both the ad and the link below it. The ad opens in a fresh tab and the link in this one.

If you would like to guest post in January when I am on vacation, please let me know either in the comments or the SIB.

Right Turn, Clyde!

Gift giving this year has been different for me than it has been in years past. Yes, I spent as much as I usually do, but I also gave a lot of my time and myself this year. Some of the recipients received services for which I normally charge fees. Some of the gifts were a complete surprise, while others required the recipient’s participation to pull off the gift.

Right turn, Clyde.

Right turn, Clyde.

Clyde has been perplexed by the entire affair. Not just the wrapping paper and the constant stream of messages but also the cavity checking.

I noticed something I had not seen in years since my older children got through teenagerdom: Ingratitude.

Now, given that children often cannot appreciate the work which goes into earning the money to buy their want-du-jour, I have often forgiven their failure to be appropriately grateful when gifts are not either the exact version or something beyond my control morphed what was the perfect version into something less than their dream gift.

Most often, it was a lack of the appropriately sized batteries as the culprit. It always became a lesson of being grateful for the giving, as opposed to being grateful for being a recipient. In all honesty, most children are only grateful for being a recipient. This is the same theory as being sorry one is caught rather than being sorry for the offense.

When it comes to adults, I grow horns, hooves and a tail. For all of my patience, I am thoroughly intolerant of adults who carry the childish version of gratitude. There are a load of reasons for it.

Cavities

Lucky Day by a nose, followed by Mighty Mate...

Lucky Day by a nose, followed by Mighty Mate…

I was raised by a horse trader. If you are unfamiliar with that term, it is derogatory. It is a skill set which reached the late 20th century best personified by the used car salesman. A good horse trader can trade a broken down nag for a fresh thoroughbred with the other person convinced they got the better end of the deal.

The lessons I learned were the ones which keep me from paying too much for things and not getting sucked into the commercial excitement of gift-giving. They also taught me to look at the recipients with a bit of a fish eye when they are checking the gift horse for cavities.

Immaturity

By the time your identification states you are above the age of majority, I fully expect you to be gracious. I do not expect to see the inside of your lower lip because if you had chosen what I gave you, you would have gotten something different…specifically, you would have gotten one like I gave someone else or the ultra-supreme-mega model, which would have required me to work 10-15 hours, more than the 10-15 hours I already worked, to accomplish.

Social Retardation

If one person types one syllable about political correctness, I will personally, promptly remove it. If you are unaware of the definition of retardation, educate yourself before you fly off the handle at me about using a word you have been bullied into believing is derogatory.

Whether as a sidecar of virtual living or merely a lack of parenting, more and more adults I encounter in both the virtual world and the FAB world have no concept of what it means to be socially gracious. They all appear to live in the toddler world where there are magic words. Specifically, “thanks” is sufficient for negating all of the ones which precede and follow it, especially:

  • Couldn’t you just…
  • Why didn’t you…
  • There is a better one…

Really? Perhaps, in the future, you should be responsible for your own gifts. Then, you would not possibly be disappointed by someone not exclusively servicing your wants while ignoring your obvious needs.

Ulterior Motive

Thank You Card

Before I get the other slap for this post, I do not do things for others just to get their thanks. I do things for others because I genuinely appreciate them or feel they deserve to have something nice. Since I do not believe ITTTC, I make a concerted effort to give those things I know are beneficial to my recipient.

Not all of my gifts are about satisfying entertainment wants. My children will witness all games throughout their childhoods were educational at some level. Even movies spurred animated conversations during and after. I give in the “need” category far more often than the “want” category.

Some gifts are pragmatically functional. No, this is not the same as giving your Mate a vacuum. But if I give you a widget for a gift and you have no concept how it is appropriate, ask. Do not be ungrateful because I did not give you something on your wishlist, especially when I did not have your wishlist nor did you expect to receive anything from me in the first place.

Most often, I am rewarded by a complete surprise burst of gratitude when the gift I have chosen becomes the apparent solution to something away from the gift-giving setting. I get a lot of “Oh, wow! How did you know I was going to need this?”, usually around March through ever. It always makes me smile because by then, I have already forgotten about the gift.

Enter Ape

Fresh FoodAnimals are simple creatures. They give one another food. It serves the dual purpose of necessity and comfort. Gift-giving is a bonding experience.

Humans are animals who believe they are superior to the other species because they have higher cognitive function. Should humans take a page from the animal book, they would be grateful there was another who thought enough of them to give them something in the first place.

It is enough to make an ape wonder.

Until next time,

Red Signature


What is the simplest solution? Why do we believe the only gifts which are worthy of gratitude are the ones we choose for ourselves? Do you prefer the gifts you give to be in the want or need category? How about the ones you receive?

Hashtags: #gifts, #holidays, #gratitude

© Red Dwyer 2012
Re-Blogging of this or any other post on The M3 Blog
is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy Policy available in The Office.



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32 Comments

  1. I sometimes have the hardest time showing my gratitude – mostly because I don’t think thank you covers it – and when someone is thoughtful enough to give me a gift – especially one that is something i needed or wanted to is so me… I can not adequately display the enormity of the emotions – and then I feel like I didn’t say thank you enough. There is so much obligatory gift buying thee days that it is hard sometimes to find the true spirit of – no I mean the meaning of the true spirit of giving a gift. Do you know this is the first year in 5 years I have been able to buy my kids presents? They were always taken care of and someone would always let me sign my name to a card so that they wouldn’t know – but there is something about not being able to just buy whatever that makes you really think about what you are going to give someone.. being poor pared down some other gifts I like to give and cards and baking – and the first 2 years were so uncomfortable – but I do not buy for the sake of having something to give – and I regift too if its the perfect thing i think it is ok but am puzzled when talking to my kids and if they find out its something you were given and passed (unused ) on to them.. its not worth as much? we have had that talk – it seems it has turned onto a who spent the most instead of who thought the most…

    ok I am rambling on an on
    Merry Christmas Red,,,
    much love and thanks for all you do and give <3
    Lizzie
    Lizzie Cracked recently posted..I Believe in Santa The Ninth Holiday Mental MomentMy Profile

    Reply
    • I am a subscriber to the unbirthday party. For me, it is more important to have a random Thursday with cake than it is to make a large production of bows and paper. I engage to a small degree with my children, but they have all grown up knowing Momma was Santa Claus. I am one of the only people you will ever meet who does nothing to further Santa beyond a few Papa Noel figures which spend most of the year out. I am not an Ebeneezer, but I am always with my children. There is little I buy they do not know when it is purchased. Fortunately, they have forgotten most of it by the time Cmas gets here.

      And Lizzie, from all I have seen, your thank you comes across loud and clear. <3 Much love and dreamy wishes. xxx

      Reply
  2. Being part of a large family that was always challenged economically big-time, it is easy for me to see that gift-giving has now become so twisted, so warped, it has taken on a life of it’s own–that it does not resemble anything near the original intention.
    Giving a child a $400.00 X-box or the equivalent is ridiculous; it certainly does not teach the child ‘value’ in anything. Soon they feel no guilt in demanding a $30,000 car for their 16th birthday. When advertisers make me feel guilty because I haven’t spent $$950.00 for some nonsensical piece of crap they’re trying to get rid of, there’s something very wrong.
    The new, “modern” way of retailing is to make the individual feel like a snail if they don’t empty their wallets AND their bank account at Christmas–or for any other occasion, for that matter. We are ‘less than loving men’ because we don’t buy our wives a $5,000.00 bauble. Right.

    A tiny, thoughtful gift is much more meaningful,–we all tend to say that, but in fact and practice, we get sucked in by the big corporate retailing snow-job, that ‘ deceptive grooming- from- birth “shopping ethic’ – commercial chant -that dollar value SPENT is more important than time and thought put into hand-crafted sentiment. I carry that further.
    I’m a bit old-fashioned, I think function is more important than fashion…. Send me a 2013 Land Rover 4×4 or a ’76 Chevvy 4×4 with a good motor, drive train, round tires, and only a dozen rust holes on the body, and I’d say, ‘hey, thanks,’ and I would mean it, because I need a truck in either case–and it’s the practical thought in a gift-and the need that counts, not the dollar value. Function is value. Thought is value.

    That doesn’t preclude your parking a 2013 Land Rover just outside the door of my corner office, when I’m not looking, Red, don’t be shy….any Thursday will do, even an ‘unbirthday’ “:)

    In reality, I am always appreciative of effort, love, and caring, no gifting is required, period.
    Psst…leave the keys on top of the GummyBear machine. hehe….I’ll leave you milk and cookies.
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..Merry Christmas EveryoneMy Profile

    Reply
    • LOL! My children have to learn early. They save for what they buy for others and learn how budgeting effects what they can purchase. They inevitably apply that to the things they have gotten and realized the “from the heart” gifts were always far better.

      When the dealership sends the keys, I will distributed them via email, as I do everything else 😉

      Reply
  3. Red, sending you a warm thought as you juggle your pen and keyboard, along with all the things that need doing in a busy household this time of year..
    I so admire your website and all the effort that you pour into it..

    I just want to thank you for all your visits and I wish you a Wonderful successful Healthy Happy 2013 and lots of Bright Blessings your way..
    Take care
    Hugs ~Sue xxx
    Sue Dreamwalker recently posted..My Soul Journey~4My Profile

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