Don’t grinch at gifts this Christmas


Julia Hananel

With growing anticipation, junior Sean Lynch excitedly tore open the wrapping paper of a rectangular Christmas gift, expecting to discover the Xbox he had been hinting about to his parents all winter. Upon opening the gift, he uncovered a pair of boots, and his expectations were crushed.

Everyone yearns for that one perfect gift, and when that special moment arrives, their heart starts racing, their palms get sweaty and the excitement begins to build up inside of them. In the moment, it will go one of two ways: either what lies beneath the wrapping paper is that perfect present or it’s something completely different from what’s expected.

Gift giving and receiving is an important part of the holiday season, whichever holiday is celebrated. But for every successful gift, there is an unwanted, lame gift creating disappointment and fostering grudges.

There are the overused gift ideas that are a common issue with desperate parents struggling to come up with ideas for their picky children. These presents usually consist of the same item year after year, highlighting the lack of imagination amongst friends and family members. If you get socks from the same aunt every year, this might be a cycle you’re stuck in.

It’s important to enter the holiday seasons with reasonable expectations. No one is going to buy you a car, but you’ll proabably get more than coal. The only time the holidays become an issue is when you want more that you’re likely to get or begin with a terrible attitude in the first place.

Additionally, you have the one random present that is not really a present but more of a hidden agenda.
“Last Christmas I sat there patiently waiting for my present with all these thoughts running through my mind,” senior Nour Oubenali said. “After five minutes, my mom told me to close my eyes and she walks out with an actual cooked chicken.”

Oubenali had been a vegetarian for seven months, and her mom gave her chicken because she refused to believe she was a vegetarian and wanted her to go back to eating meat.

“My mom was serious about it, so I went into the kitchen and ate a bag of carrots,” Oubenali said.
And then, of course, there are the thoughtless gifts sent from far away relatives who don’t quite know what someone your age would want.

In sophomore Kiley Ring’s case, her relatives didn’t even bother to learn her name correctly.
“I got gifts from my great aunt addressed to ‘Kyle’ for eight years,” Ring said, “and they were usually weird clothes from Justice that had rainbows or peace signs on them.”

It’s difficult for family to figure out a gift for you if they live far away or have minimal roles in your life.

On the other hand, some family members choose to accept the fact that buying clothes for their younger relatives is hopeless and go for the universal safety present: a gift card.

“Personally, I hate getting iTunes gift cards as gifts,” sophomore Justin LaFontaine said. “It shows how little thought they put into the gift.”

Some dedicated gift givers scoff at gift cards but some enjoy receiving them. If it’s a substantial amount to a frequented restaurant or clothing store then it’s quite a useful gift.

One of the most common obstacles in gift-giving is when someone outgrowing phases and interests, consequently being stuck with a useless present.

Junior Erin Jacobs experienced this gift giving detriment when she went through a basketball phase several years ago.

“I got this basketball themed poster thing for the wall in my room,” Jacobs said. “I got tired of basketball about a week later, so I was just stuck with this thing on my wall.”

Whether it is the same gift year after year, or a present that shows no indivuality, there are alaways presents that know how to damper the Christmas spirit.

Overall, bad gifts are an inevitable part of the holidays, so it is better to just accept them graciously, and remember that you’ll have a funny story to tell next holiday season.

If you are in need of an awesome or unique Christmas, look at the gift giving guide of page 14 of this issue for ideas.