If I Were King, There Would Be A Few Rules Regarding Gifts

For many years, I have chafed against the endless obligations, and often insincere, tokens of celebration.|

This year, my daughter sent me two pieces of coal. (Charcoal actually.) And for the first time in many years, I smiled broadly and without reservation.
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You see, gifts should be given out of kindness and appreciation and good humor, not because of a date on the calendar or obligation.

Chocolates when someone is down. Cut flowers, if they cheer the person. Never because you should, only because you want or they need.

A few years back, I came up with some guidelines, which have not been particularly popular. If we all followed these rules, however, I am convinced the world would be a far more honest, decent, and less wasteful place.

  • Parents celebrate the birthday of children for years three through 18, 21, and 65, otherwise on the decades. And never celebrate in the office or other similar settings. Close, immediate family or similar may join in.
  • Couples celebrate anniversary years one, two, and on the fives thereafter. They are only celebrated by the two people who share the anniversary; possible exception 50 years.
  • Mother’s/Father’s Day years when the first child is 1 or 2. For all children at 18.
  • No other goofy hallmark holidays should even be acknowledged.
  • Xmas or the like: Cards, letters, emails, etc. are fine to any and all; gifts only to immediate family and gifts roll downhill:
    • Children are exempt from buying parents’ gifts *after* they turn18.
    • Between 5 and puberty only small, thoughtful gifts (this is more about learning how to give gifts appropriately.)
    • Parents are exempt from gift buying children gifts after their children are 30 or married or living with someone for more than five years.
  • No gift cards unless specifically requested.
  • No gifts — ever — after 50. We have too much shyte at that point in our lives anyway, especially if you live on a boat.
  • Anytime you want to say thank you.
  • Anytime you want to say you are sorry.
  • Anytime you want to say you share their happiness.
  • Anytime you want to say you share their sadness.
  • Anytime you want to say, “I am with you”
  • Anytime you want to say, “I love you.”


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