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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