Why I Don’t Expect People to Buy Me Christmas Presents

Every year my children get reminded well in advance of Mother’s Day that I’d like a hug, and possibly a hand-made note or card but that I definitely do NOT want anything from a store. Fortunately for me, they are too lazy considerate to go against my wishes and we don’t end up with a lot of unwanted stuff around here. Similarly, I don’t expect a huge pile of bags or boxes under the tree at Christmas. I have almost everything I want and personally I think I am a royal pain to shop for.  Here are some of the reasons why I don’t expect people to buy my holiday presents.


I don’t particularly like clothes. I have some. I would wear newer ones if I had them but I don’t want anything.

I don’t drink alcohol (any more; I drank moderately in my uni days.) I do use Chambord Royale in fudge but it takes a fairish amount of time to use up a bottle.

I don’t smoke legal or otherwise-listed substances.

I have several pieces of good jewellery and a few more of costume. My engagement ring is beautiful and my custom wedding ring was made by a person who worked with my family for many years so it is both beautiful and brings warm feelings of remembrance. I have no urge to replace either. My other ring is worth less than $10 and is priceless. Like clothes, I would accept and occasionally wear new jewellery but I don’t actually want anything.

I don’t wear or use a watch.

I don’t use a cell phone or tablet, handheld or mp3 player nor do I want one. Our “family” laptop, purchased in 2008 is still going strong.

I have a fairly recent boat anchor. I just retired my 1998 computer and re-homed my Tandy 2000 and feel no urge to replace either. I expect the newest one will last for at least 10 years if internet technology doesn’t sideline it (which is more or less what happened to the 1998.)

I have a camera and a zoom and macro lens. Until I become significantly better using what I have, I don’t see any need to spend any money on newer equipment. (I doubt I will actually ever need better equipment but it’s possible: I didn’t see needing to replace my film Nikon with a digital one but eventually that did happen.)

We have so many ornamental objects that we have gradually been giving them away keeping only those made by friends and relatives. Having talented people in our circle means the house is full of beautiful objects: it only makes it difficult sometimes because there are almost too many.

Within certain unpleasant dietary restrictions, I love food and can and will enjoy any given. It’s not a need, though, just a pleasure.

Although I have travelled a lot I don’t particularly enjoy it for several reasons. And I always have a vague feeling that I am contributing to many of the world’s problems when I travel far. I think the internet and the explosion of high quality films have offered me a better choice. For example, I would be devastated if I discovered I had accidentally introduced white-nose syndrome to North American bats. Far better for me to watch video of someone else’s visit to the Antarctic or Galapagos than to go myself and increase the stress burden on the wildlife there.

I don’t watch sports enough to want to see anything professional “live.”

I don’t golf, play tennis, sail, downhill ski, water-ski, horseback ride, play hockey or other team sports. All of the sports I like do not require memberships or fees. (For example, swimming, hiking, cross country skiing, recreational cycling, tobogganing, and flat-water canoeing.) I rarely need new equipment for any of them either.

I don’t belong to a gym. We have equipment for what we need in our home and in our garage.

I like attending the occasional live theatre or music production but I wouldn’t complain if I could never seen another live performance. I do enjoy attending school and amateur productions and would miss those.

I enjoy visiting zoos, aquariums, museums, galleries and various types of historical, cultural and biological buildings, parks and preserves. Almost all of them, though, can also be visited for free if I couldn’t afford entrance admission. Tickets to something would always get used and enjoyed but I could easily deal with it if I could no longer go again.

To be honest, the two things I like best are spending time with people who matter to me and spending time observing nature. Neither of those activities has a high cost. And while there are gifts I can and do receive related to both they aren’t as simple to get as, say, a new iPad.

So I will be happy if I get some hugs for Christmas and hopefully a handmade gift or two. And I will love the chance to spend time with friends and family. If the weather cooperates, a few hours outside would also be welcome. I will never forget the Christmas when a friend and I were cross-country skiing through a lightly falling snow when a Great Horned Owl floated over us to the shelter of a pine. Truly the best things at Christmas don’t come from a store.

PS One of my children just read part of this over my shoulder and commented: but you do know that *I* want an iPad, a new camera, a laptop, clothes, a nice watch, and new clothes for Christmas, right? And yes, I was aware of that.


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2 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Expect People to Buy Me Christmas Presents

  1. Too funny, good stuff.

    As I get older, now into my very early 40s, I appreciate the most precious commodities of all: health and time. I want more of it in that order – now THAT’s Christmas gift. :)

    Happy Holidays and thanks for all the visits and comments in 2014.

    Mark

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