Christmas obligation

My wife and I have just ordered our Christmas gift to each other. I told her I wanted a bandsaw fence and she told me to buy it, and she told me she wanted a needle threader and where I could get it. I also have a surprise for her, which I hope will delight her, and I have warned her against any surprises for me because I don't want any more useless gadgets or conversation starters or supposedly humorous books to fill the bin. The ornamental barometer of coloured bubbles floating in a glass column of liquid in 2008 was a valiant effort but a regrettable waste of money, and there are few things I dislike more than money being wasted on gifts I don't want!

The waste of Christmas gifts to meet silly obligations must be huge, and my guess is that half the gifts are not wanted, landfill within the week. Must be hundreds of millions of dollars.

And what's the point of a gift ordered by an adult? I mean, I'm happy to whip up a bandsaw fence as needed by clamping a straight edge to the bandsaw platform, and if I'd wanted a commercial fence I'd have bought it. So I tell my wife that's what I wanted to ensure that money is spent on something I'd buy if I wanted it more, to ensure that money is not spent on something I don't want at all.

Then, she tells me to order the bandsaw fence, and pay for it so it arrives before Christmas!

Sure, i appreciate and enjoy the giving of gifts to my children, more so when they were children, but my guess is that more money is spent on gifts for adults to meet unnecessary and unwelcome obligations that it is on children. Not only do most adults not want to buy this junk, we don't want to receive it.

Governments have campaigned successfully to change people's attitudes to such as littering and speeding, and they'd be doing Australia a favour if they campaigned to remove the obligation of adults exchanging gifts.

Do you believe there's a worthwhile purpose in adults exchanging Christmas gifts? Or should that go the way of the dowry?

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