Too many gift-giving occasions: Frugal Dilemmas

May 06, 2011|By Liz F. Kay

I surrender.

It's only the beginning of May, and I'm already worn out by all the gift-giving required by modern society.

Maybe it's that I sent a relative flowers for her birthday and my inbox has subsequently been innundated with daily reminders that Mother's Day is approaching. Or maybe it's because I didn't realize that part of my responsibility as a spouse was making sure that my husband fulfilled his maternal obligations as well.

No, it's probably that I know I won't be delivering my own mother the present she's been wanting for years --- a grandchild.

But seriously: Why does the observance so many holidays require gift-giving?

In addition to Christmas or Hanukkah, if you celebrate either of those, you may also have Mother's Day and Father's Day. When you consider that everyone has a birthday, and families have anniversaries, weddings, births, graduations, religious rites of passage ... basically it all adds up to a lot of gift wrap.

I don't resent spending the money --- but it can be difficult to come up with a token of sincere affection at the whims of the calendar.
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