Christmas 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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