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SECRETS CORNER – Gifts when it hurts

Sanka Price

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GIVING GIFTS TO loved ones and close friends is traditionally the way we show how much they mean to us. And at Christmas time, more so than any other occasion, people give gifts and expect gifts in return.
But with the cost of living at an all-time high, with basics like food, beverages and higher utility bills to pay, more and more people have been saying that they will find it difficult to both take care of their home the way they want to and buy gifts too.
Hence this week’s question: “Given the increase in prices as a result of the new Excise Tax on gasoline and hike in VAT, would you consider it unreasonable if your loved one did not buy you a Christmas gift this year.”
The majority of those who responded said they had no problem with that suggestion, while others said no matter how bad things got, a small gift just to show appreciation would be better than none at all.
For my two cents’ worth, you can keep the gift and just be honest with me every day of the year.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the fun of opening gifts because I am a (slowly reforming) shopaholic.
But what I appreciate most is when those closest to me make or do something for me, no matter how simple.
For me, the time they sacrifice and the effort they make are the true essence of what Christmas is all about.
The following are edited versions of responses:
• “It wouldn’t be unreasonable. We all need to understand that it’s more about the relationships that we have, more than if someone can afford to buy you something once a year. If two people get along well all year, that in itself is a gift, because [these days] people don’t care about each other like before.”
• “Celebrate Christmas every day; don’t use one particular day to be good. And be thankful every day. You already have the greatest gift – the gift of life.”
• “They can still buy something as a small token of appreciation; nothing big. The love that is shared amongst the couple is the most important thing.”
• “Not a problem for me. I would welcome the “no gift” thing. The last time I made this agreement, though, I ended up in the doghouse because she still bought one and I did not. So I am still buying one even if it costs five cents.”
• “If I had a loved one, no. Maybe this would teach that people are worth more than things.”
• “As long as my family and friends are living, and we have God on our side, that’s all that matters.”
• “I buy gifts all the time for loved ones.
The $3 Store has very nice and practical stuff in there. Sometimes a nice picture framed or even a hand-made card would do. It’s the thought that counts and I must admit the emotional value of a gift made with your own hands, or even put together is priceless.”
• “It doesn’t make sense having a “feast today
and a famine tomorrow”. It doesn’t make sense you buying me a gift and then we have to struggle because of the increased cost of living, especially if I have been given gifts throughout the year. So I can sacrifice not getting a gift for one Christmas, simply for the greater good of our family.”
• “I don’t really care to receive gifts, period. Whether it’s Christmas, birthday, Valentines or anniversary. I just need to hear ‘I love you’ often and to be loved and respected 365 days a year. Cook me dinner sometimes and let’s snuggle on the sofa. Show me genuine love every day. When it’s from the heart, you can’t put a price on it.”
• “No, it would be unreasonable. I am hoping
that many don’t buy gifts, but give the money instead to those who may prefer to buy what they really need.
“Being nice to me, cooking dinner, pleasant surprises, an occasional outing, an unrequested massage, being sensitive to my feelings, all these things say “I love you” much louder than any gift can. So, no, I would not mind if I don’t get a gift.”
• “Instead of giving to your loved one, give to the unfortunate – perform a kind deed. I’m sure we all know someone who is less fortunate, who might be alone for the holidays. I will do that. Furthermore, I always buy myself something at Christmas and for my birthday.”
• “I still want my gift.”
• “No, people need the money to buy food.”
• “I went shopping this evening and find it’s ridiculous. I’m paying VAT on PHD yogurt, milk, juice. I glad there’s no VAT on bread.”
FOR?NEXT WEEK, please share your views on the following: How is the best way to encourage your partner, who has diabetes and high blood pressure, to eat healthy this Christmas? Tell us what you think by calling or texting 262-5986, or emailing [email protected] (SP)

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