Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

Do Not Want

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Maybe this should have been obvious, but apparently not.

  • I do not want your gift if it's against the rules for you to give it to me. Yes, I'm looking at you, sales reps. And giving it to someone else who "shares" it with me? Puh-lease.

  • I do not want your gift if I'm obligated to express my gratitude, even if it's a crappy gift. If you're wanting validation of your worth through gift-giving, then look elsewhere.

  • I do not want a bunch of things. I do not want a Kindle, for example, even though you might think I'd enjoy one. Nor do I want a new PC as a gift - I have very specific things I'm looking for, and when I look for one, I'll make sure it has it. If you want to give me cash for that reason, then so be it.


Yes, I'm an ungrateful bit of trash. But all you have to get me for my birthday is a card. Don't you feel better? No? You still want to get me something? Then I suggest you check out this site:

ReGift Receipts

While this year I received no bad presents (in fact, they were all awesome), there was an interesting moment at one of these events when someone recognized a "real" gift from a Christmas many years in the past re-gifted to someone else. This created some awkwardness on the part of the re-gifter, though the original gift giver didn't mind at all. This got me to thinking: we already have gift receipts. Why not take it a step further and include a re-gift receipt that establishes once and for all that once you are given a present, it's yours to do with what you want?
Why am I such a jerk about gifts? First, I hate it when I get things that I can't use - because then I both feel obligated to use it (since I don't want to upset the person who gave it) and resentful, since I have to use something that makes my life harder. Secondly, if you're giving a gift to get a warm fuzzy for yourself, then let me suggest that you're doing it for the wrong, selfish reason. Gifts are because you want the recipient to be happier. If your gift fails to do that, then why not let them exchange it?

And again, if you think I'm an ungrateful ass, then I suggest you take whatever money you were going to spend on a gift for me, and give it to someone who needs it. Because, you see, even though my finances would probably make an Enron accountant nervous, I also realize that I really just don't need much more in the way of stuff.

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