Monday, December 20, 2010

Should I Really Not Have?

Today, I delivered some Christmas gifts. At every stop, I heard the same things:

"Oh, I wish you didn't go through the trouble."
"You didn't have to give us anything!"
"You shouldn't have."

I can't help but think, should I not have?

Would people rather I just not give them anything at Christmastime because:

They then feel the burden of obligation to return the favor, even though I sincerely do not expect a return and in fact the gifts I've given them are ways of saying thank you for what they've done for me throughout the year?

They're overloaded with Christmas cheer already and another tidbit of thanks is just another thing to go stale on the counter?

To be honest, such replies to my Christmas gifts kind of burst my bubble. I was all happy to give and would have been more than happy with a simple, "Thank you."

I do believe that in the area I live, it is considered polite to refuse. Why? I don't know. I always grew up believing that it was better to refuse and muddle through without than to accept graciously and thankfully and be better for it. I remember someone telling me that refusing a blessing is throwing it back in the person's face. That really hit me hard.

I don't get many chances to give. Please, let me give when I can.


glojo said...

When people say such things to me, my response is "I know, but I wanted to." and I leave it at that.

Stephanie Ann said...

I know how you feel, I don't like receiving gifts from other people but I do love giving. I dislike that Christmas has become about "checks and balances." Gifts should just bring holiday cheer and not cause grief about "but we didn't get you anything."

Jack's Mommy said...

I think its a mixture of

a.) feeling a twinge of embarrassment that the person has not gotten you anything (can't fault's natural)

b.) being raised in a culture where giving and humility are prized (therefore, they think those words are showing how humble they are)

c.) part of a basic english conversational give-and-take and all they expect truly is an "i know, but I love you!" ...sorta like "how ya doing / fine!" kinda thing.

d.) not wanting to appear that they "expected" something from you.