How much did people go for my nerdy christmas list? I managed to get a few takers on the idea and received presents from 3 of the four categories on the list: professional memberships, coffee & grocery gift cards (thanks to the responsive crew of family & friends). Feedback to the idea was generally positive; I heard from people who had an easier time coming up with gift ideas, as well as those who were happy to receive gifts similar to what was on my list. There was also the usual support for the several-decade-old Charlie Brown sentiment that gift-giving traditions should stop supporting commercialism, along with more contemporary concern about the way holiday gift-giving encourages environmentally unsustainable lifestyles.
Not all feedback agreed with my better-living-through-practical-gift-giving strategy; one nay-saying opinion felt my approach to gifts is too utilitarian and less fun or even less romantic (caution to the nearing Valentine’s shoppers); this view apprec
iates receiving the fun stuff as gifts because this way the holidays are more, um…fun.
I guess I see a six v. half dozen argument here because if my gifts spare me from having to spend my own discretionary income on groceries or professionally-related fees, I still end up with “fun” stuff in the long run (although I can still argue for the virtue of getting to pick out the fun stuff myself). In fact I have to confess: since the holidays I’ve found a thrift store in my neighborhood and what was the first thing I identified as worthy of my hard earned $7.50?