Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

What The Hell gift ideas (final edition)


A few years back, we confabbed with our loved ones and decided that we wouldn’t exchange Christmas gifts anymore. It was a pain to pack things up and ship them hither and yon, and usually we didn’t quite hit the mark as to what to give everyone. Who needs another garish sweater, really (especially when picked out by someone else)? Who really needs a Chipotle gift card, at the end of the day?

What we chose to do instead was give money to whatever charitable entity fulfilled our sense of good and right. My wife and I went with the local food bank, so that the money we gave would have a real effect in our own community. Someone else might pick pet rescues or medical causes, but the main point was always: stop spending money on flimsy Old Navy clothing and do something to help someone else.

So here’s a place where you can find a food bank in your area. Think about it. Tell Uncle Fritz that you fed a few people instead of buying him a pair of battery-powered camping socks.

Merry Christmas, all.


5 comments on “What The Hell gift ideas (final edition)

  1. kingmidget
    December 24, 2014

    My family gets gifts only for the younger generation … until they turn 18. Once you’re an adult, you don’t need a boatload of gifts from the rest of the family. My in-laws, unfortunately, still do the gift giving extravaganza for everybody. For years, they also got me gifts, usually cash or a gift card, for my birthday. A few years ago, however, I insisted that my wife stop having big get-togethers for my birthday. I’m 50 years, for god’s sake, I don’t need a birthday cake complete with candles and singing. Odd thing happened when we stopped having those parties — they stopped giving me gifts.

    What really bothers me about the holiday giving is that there is no thought involved in it at all. I get a $20 check from my mother-in-law and a shirt from my sister-in-law. Every single year. The sister-in-laws daughters who are in their 20s now try to put a little more thought into it, but at the end of the day, I just don’t their gifts. I’d rather have a little more peace and good will across the land. I’d rather have donations made to charity, or nothing at all, than the useless gift-giving they participate in.

    I heard through the rumor mill that my sons (who are 19 and 17) were talking about getting me gifts. The oldest’s girlfriend was also talking about something she wanted to get me. I sent both boys a text that said I would prefer them not spending their money on gifts for me. Somewhere along the way, today or tomorrow, I’m going to tell them the best gift they can give me is this — that they become strong, independent young men who are happy, successful, and on their own. The one gift that is the most difficult to give.

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 24, 2014

      It does seem to drift toward the ridiculous. And your thought about the best gift your sons could give you is profound because it’s so beyond the thinking of most of us when we think about gift giving this time of year. In fact, we lean toward the exact opposite: trivial, generic things that disappear almost the moment they’re opened.

      What’s wrong with this picture?

      Hope you and yours have a great Xmas, though! We’re headin’ for the trails…

  2. John W. Howell
    December 24, 2014

    Great idea Kevin. My wife and I finally laid down a three gift $100.00 limit. Really causes thoughtful giving. Boxer rescue has our money mainly cause I never met a human who was abused by a Boxer.

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 24, 2014

      Super idea, to help those who really need the help: boxers and other fuzzy friends.

      Merry Christmas, J-Man!

      • John W. Howell
        December 25, 2014

        Merry Christmas to you and yours Kevin

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This entry was posted on December 24, 2014 by in Et alia and tagged .
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