A hilarious article by Polly Vernon in Grazia magazine really made me chuckle. In it she launches the CASG – the Campaign Against Shit Gifts. Love it. Particularly as we seem to be falling into the chaotic mess that is Black Friday. Today’s blog runs the risk of upsetting some and making me look like a Mrs Grinch or totally ungrateful. That is absolutely not the intention, but it is intended to save time, money and effort for everyone.
As we approach that time of year again, we brace ourselves for the onslaught of poor taste, offensive, inappropriate, unwanted and downright thoughtless gifts, all in the name of Christmas. Now, I’m not trying to be Mrs Grinch here, I like a gift as well as the next person, but make it relevant to me, show me that you know who I am and what I like. Don’t give me a piece of plastic tat that has no purpose other than to collect dust and take up space in my already overcrowded house. Save yourself the time, effort and money. Just don’t buy it.
I think the all-time worst gift I ever received was a victim of the dreaded Secret Santa. I was given a comical handbell on which was written the phrase “Ring for Sex”. This was at work, from a senior colleague (let’s face it there’s nothing secret about a Secret Santa). She naturally thought it was hilarious because I ring bells. It was completely inappropriate for the workplace, and I certainly wasn’t going to take it home to show hubby. It found its way to a bin within the hour. What a waste of the other person’s money, and highly embarrassing for me to have had to open this in front of other senior colleagues and pretend to be grateful.
I don’t want to add to the “stuff” in my house, I don’t want to add to landfill or recycling. I would rather have a voucher for a meal out or an activity, or a subscription to flower deliveries or a magazine I enjoy. I don’t want book vouchers that can only be spent in bookshops when I download books from Amazon. I don’t want smellies (I’m allergic to most anyway). If you’re going to give me a voucher for £x and I’m going to give you a voucher for the same value, they’ll negate each other so what’s the point? I don’t need gifts and I don’t want others to feel obliged to get me anything. And I am very ok with that.
That said of course, I’ve undoubtedly bought my fair share of shit gifts for others who probably felt the same about what I’d bought them. And I know that I’ve bought a few items already for people this year that they haven’t asked for, may not actually want or need, but when I saw them I thought of them. So I apologise in advance for anyone who thinks the gift I got them this year was shit. Where possible I try to find things that have a use or a purpose, or that I know that person has said in the past that they wanted, and cut out the incidental stuff that’s just for the sake of padding.
C is dreadful to buy for. Outside of #bellringing he has no other hobbies, he dabbles with taking photos. He’s not into sport, or gardening, or cars, or anything else really. He has very specific requirements around camera equipment and/or #bellringing paraphernalia so he has to supply a list with links to the exact item. If there are only two things on his list, he’s only going to get two things. He doesn’t like stuff for the sake of stuff either.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful but as PV said “do us all a festival favour – step away from the novelty gift”.
Written with love and gratitude.
One thought on “Join the CASG”
Fabulous. I’m so with you on this one. There can also be the pressure of outdoing and competition with present buying that is just far too stressful. Mr and I have never bought each other gifts, we’d rather have time or experiences together. I would much rather someone gave me their presence than presents to be honest. Surely that’s more important at this time of year (and after the last couple of years) than materialism anyway 😃