Bah, humbug!

'tis the season, and all that.

Always seemed a bit odd. There are many people in one's life, friends, relatives, and it is nice to get them gifts, presents, to help out.

Always seemed odd that one delayed doing so until a specific date such as birthday or Christmas, or worse, one gets credit to get something for a date and paying for it and interest later rather than waiting until you can afford to give gifts.

I try to give gifts when I can, and when I think of something, and when people need it and I can afford to be generous. Though, to be honest, I get to give the gift of a car mechanic when someone's car breaks down, or to buy something that has broken or been stolen, or to pay for someone's petrol when they come to visit, or any number of things I am randomly called to pay for almost every bloody day. And to say "no" is to be made to feel bad and mean. I bet this blog post is seen as "mean" which proves my point.

So maybe the whole Christmas thing makes sense, when someone demands money I can say "see what Santa brings" [in 8 months time] or some such, rather than reaching for my wallet yet again. I may have to try that next time.

Happy winter solstice for tomorrow, everyone.

Update: I nearly forgot, and thanks for the comment on my post, the other side of this can be worse.

I was thinking of getting a new roomba for my "man cave", but when I mentioned it several people said "wait and see what Santa brings". I foresee three scenarios...
  1. Nobody gets a a roomba, so I delayed buying one for no good reason, inconveniencing myself for the sake of "Christmas".
  2. Someone gets me one, but way cheaper / inferior model than I would have gotten, but I feel obliged to accept it, use it, and never actually get the model I would have bought, forever annoyed by some lack of feature until one day it breaks in many years time
  3. Someone gets me one, the expensive one that I would have got myself, or possibly one more expensive than I would have got. This would be great, but would be an expensive gift that I need to some how have reciprocated. What is worse, is if it is way more than I could afford, and I would feel compelled to spend more than I can afford getting that person a gift at the next opportunity.
All of these mean delaying getting something I want to get, one way or another! Alternatively, I get one anyway, and end up embarrassing me or someone else if they do get me one too. Worse, more than one person gets me one!

I am with Sheldon on this. The only gifts that really work in such a scenario are the unexpected gift that you would never have thought of or realised was possible, where the cost is not known or not relevant somehow. I was impressed that Sandra was got a signed copy of a script for her birthday and only wish I had thought of that. I once got someone a radiation counter! But still, why not get such gifts when you can, rather then delay them to some specific date?


  1. I hate it because I don't want people to feel guilty for not buying me things.

    I have a reasonable income.. if I need or want something, normally I just go out and buy it. So when someone who earns says 'what do you want for christmas?' often I feel like the social convention is forcing them to buy something they can't afford and I don't want.

  2. Don't bother with a Roomba, the Botvac is better. It's got a laser scanner in it to map the room and will clean the room far more efficiently and quickly. The newest version is a member of the IoT, too.

    1. That's reason enough not to buy it right there, even if it gets the job done better. Something I can manage locally, sure; something that needs to talk to the outside world, and on which I can never patch the software, no thanks!

      (Quite happy with my 7-series Roomba.)

    2. Only the top of the range botvac has the built in wireless. I have the Neato Signature Pro (the cheaper and older version of the botvac).
      I know people who have both and both models are very good but each have their own advantages. The Neato due to its laser scanner is far less prone to getting stuck under furniture which is just the 'wrong height'. The Neato also has a magnetic strip to stop the cleaner going where you don't want it which might be better or worse than the Roomba system depending on circumstance.

  3. If you do get a roomba please do a blog post on it, I had a cheapo robot vac years ago and it was pretty rubbish. However I'm interested to know if the more expensive ones are actually worthwhile because I hate hoovering.

  4. We all get around this by setting a spending limit and getting each other non-serious / non-major gifts, just simple things line wine, nibbles or chocolates etc. However I'm still obliged to splash out on something for the wife, lest she murder me :) , but she does at least tell me what she wants and well ahead of time so that I can camp out for a sale.

    Otherwise Christmas Day for us is mostly about family being together again for the day because we're usually split up all over the country / world.

  5. It is an opportunity - go shopping for something to give but while there get the things you really want. Yesterday I visited a bookstore, got 2 books for presents and ummmm 2, no make that 3 umm plus one on order for myself. (I can't stand electronic "books" - how the **** can you pass along a really good book to someone else

  6. Replies
    1. Loads of small fun things as it happens. Apparently one present is still pending... No whisky (phew), no socks (ok), but some fun things.


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