With the festive season all set to peak, the time has come to take a call on the vexed subject of gifts.
Whosoever invented this obnoxious tradition of giving gifts on Christmas Day, New Year or marriages for that matter must have been a first-degree sadist.
I don’t mind Santa Claus. He is a great guy, shining bright in his red suit and his trademark cap. All that “Ho Ho Ho” stuff is still bearable because it brings good cheer to the festive atmosphere. Add a couple of beakers full of the warm south, as our friend, the poet John Keats said, to bring the double warm cheer.
The only problem with Dear Santa is that he does not bring his own gifts. That is indeed sad.
There was a time when one thought, “Dear Santa, is coming around in his one horse sleigh”, with a bagful of gifts. One had to hang a sock so that Santa would fill it up.
Those were the days of great expectations. The night before Christmas, there were many prayers for a toy train, chocolates, or cars. If trains were not possible, at least a helicopter would do the trick. Such prayers were rarely answered. The odd sweet, a few non-descript toys were stuffed and disappointment reigned.
Then as we grew, we realised that Santa was a myth and it was the parent who stuffed the sock. Now I understand what the parents felt when this gift thing cropped up. I sincerely apologise to them for using words which wouldn’t pass muster to describe my feelings for those ordinary gifts.
Now I am at the same crossroads where my parents scratched their heads to come up with ideas. Being a bachelor, I only had to think of buying gifts for a couple of kids and a few friends. But they did stretch the grey cells.
There were a couple of weddings to attend too. I searched the glitzy cards to spot those magic words “No Presents Please”. One had, one didn’t, drat. Damn. Lucky for me, there are sites that Create Custom Photo Gifts which went down a treat.
Let me tell you that at these great moments in life, friends are of no help at all, I’m afraid.
I don’t grudge them. Surely, their minds must also be saturated with a surfeit of gift posers. A visit to a gift shop is of no use. They try their level best to blow a hole in your pocket. Never ever ask them to suggest for the safety of your purse or wallet. If they do suggest things, then their prices do not match the product. Avoid them at all costs.
I do however like shopping for custom gifts online. One of my friends who lives in Australia recently sent me some face socks made in australia. They are such a fantastic pair and even have my face printed on them.
Nonetheless, after much pondering, self-pity and suicidal thoughts, there was a flash and the grey cells clicked. The answer was simple – sisters. Yes, I have not one but two siblings. They provide solid support in times of need. And I was in the midst of a big one.
They are susceptible to emotional blackmail and a good sob story. But they don’t spare an advantageous situation too. After much haggling and coaxing, a viable solution was reached. If they bought the presents then I had to gift them a mobile phone each, it looks like I’ll also be buying some customized foto handyhülle for them too! They took it in writing too to avoid any future misunderstandings and loss of memory on my part.
Some sisters can be expensive. But my work will be done and there are a few months to go for their birthdays. So…!