Woman claims we should start normalizing practical gifts, and she makes some strong points
Practical gifts for Christmas are underrated. There, I said it.
Sure, it’s great to receive fun clothes and knickknacks and whatnot, but have you ever felt the pure bliss of unwrapping something truly useful? Something that you might have even kept hovering in the amazon cart forever, but could never find a proper excuse to pull the trigger? That’s an emotional combination of excitement, relief and yes, joy, that simply can’t be beat.
And yet, many gift givers still feel the pressure to buy super sentimental or clever—not to mention expensive—items during the holidays, even when the recipient has asked otherwise.
While the intention is surely to show their loved one how much they mean to them, proceeding to choose indulgence over senseability could be a form of disrespect, and lose sight on what the meaning behind gift giving is in the first place.
This could especially be said of parents with adult or teenage children, argues a woman named Katie (@jaii.bee).
In a video posted to her TikTok, Katie offered a “reminder” that if parents ask their teen/adult kid what they’d like for Christmas (of their birthday) and their kids suggests they help pay for a bill, offer some gas or grocery money, or replenish some facial cleanser, and they reject the request by saying “that’s not a gift,” that they’re in the wrong.
Katie then doubled down on her point by saying that if parents feel this way, they’re actually buying a gift for themselves, not their children.
“And that is not how gifts are supposed to work,” she stated.
She also stressed that it’s almost impossible to enjoy “something nice” when the basic necessities can’t be taken care of. And that honestly, no adult would ask their parents for this stuff unless they absolutely needed to. If parents are able to do both, then great. But otherwise, just get them what they asked for.
Lastly, Katie asserted that “if you give someone cash as a gift and they don’t use it in the way you want them to, that has nothing to do with you.” Once that person has the cash in hand, it’s theirs to do with as they see fit.
“Maybe it’s a little controversial,” she concluded, “but if someone is specifically asking you for something and you can get them that thing and you choose not to, you’re bad at giving gifts.”
Katie is apparently not alone in her stance. Several folks commented in support of practical gifts, including many whose favorite gifts ever received were everyday items. Others poked fun at the logic—or lack thereof—behind certain novelty gifts.
Here’s a small sampling:
“My mom bought me tires for my car and I literally sobbed. Best gift ever. Peace, safety, and a weight off my back. This is sooo true!”
“Parents be like, ‘cash isn’t a personal enough gift!’ And then get you some generic wall art.’
“My dad fills our freezer with meat every Christmas. My favorite gift.”
“I asked my 22-year-old what she wanted. She said food and cat litter and gas and shoes for work. She will get all of that for Christmas.”
“For 17 years I’ve been bought decor as gifts, not a single piece has ever been on display in my house because I don’t do decor.”
May this story serve as a gentle PSA to not succumb to the siren song of Christmas-time consumerism. Don’t buy kitschy things just to buy them, especially when something like a bill being paid for or groceries being taken care of can really, truly make someone light up for the holidays. Perhaps there is no gift more personal than exactly what a person asked for.
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