Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Countdown fact #2

Fact # 2:     In Portugal, the traditional Christmas meal (consoada) is eaten in the early hours of Christmas Day. Burning in the hearth is the Yule log (fogueira da consoada). The ashes and charred remains of the Yule log are saved; later in the year, they are burned with pine cones during Portugal's thunderstorm season. It is believed that no thunderbolt will strike where the Yule log smoke has traveled.

So here is my Christmas craziness question for the season: If you were discussing the holidays with someone of an 'important' status to you. Perhaps a family member or a friend whom you don't see too often, and you state that this year you are not exchanging Christmas/holiday gifts to the extended list of people you usually do. This can be for a slew of reasons.....maybe you're trying to save money, or perhaps you simply do not need any extra clutter in your home.

In response the person says to you: "oh well, we don't send out gifts because we expect anything in return." And doesn't really listen to your decision not to swap gifts. Perhaps you stress that money is tight and you can not afford to send to everyone you wish to. Perhaps you simply are just trying to sever this ritual which has become less of a desire to do and more of an obligation. At the end of the discussion it is understood no gifts will be swapped.

Then a week or so later you get a knock at your front door and FedEx speeding off and you *know* you haven't ordered anything on-line, to expect delivery. So you bring the package inside and check the shipping information. And lo and behold, this package is from the person which you had the 'no gift exchange' conversation with. What do you do? What do you do?

Do you graciously keep the gift and open it on Christmas morning? Do you send them a gift in return and *oh my!* surprise! It's the same thing which they had sent you? Or do you send the gift back to them unopened with a note saying 'thank you but you know what my wishes were'?

What do you do???


  1. Oh that is a tough one!! I would graciously accept the gift and send them a thank you note for thinking of you. You had adamantly stated what your views on gift giving were going to be. The fact that they went ahead and bought something for you anyway is on them, perhaps they still wanted you to have something even if you weren't doing a present swap.

  2. You are very diplomatic.............God I love that. It's just hysterical some of the gifts that had been sent in the past. If it wasn't last year, it was the eyar before: we all got pajamas. *However* moms fit fine, Ida's were a little big, and mine were sized 2XL. Not that I am a twig...but how the heck would they think me a 2XL? The pants, I couldn't even cinch...they were THAT big.

    Another time we got bath baskets, with neck pillows. The neck pillows were sized for children necks. Yes, it is the thought that counts....but it would be better for them to put the money to something charitable in our name if they felt they must do something for us.

    Oh yeah, for several years it was 5lb boxes of Mrs. Sea's chocolates. Ok, yummy...but for diabetics? Really? REALLY?!?!?