From an article on MSN entitled "Holiday Gift Giving Ps & Qs. Problem : No Gift to GiveSometimes you’ll receive a gift from someone you weren’t expecting to give something to. If the individual is a neighbor or coworker, and you haven’t distributed gifts to others yet, be sure to include him or her when you’re doling out goodies. If it’s too late, whip up a batch of festive cookies or pick up some moderately priced, but nicely packaged, wine or coffee to give in return. Isn't that just perpetuating the problem? If you didn't get them anything, maybe it's because they didn't make it on to your list...because they aren't family or a close friend. I am so tired of Christmas meaning everyone I come in contact with gets a gift. Why am I spending money on people I don't actually hang around with? My usual response is to thank them graciously, tell them I am sorry that didn't get them anything and then drop it and hope they don't try again next Christmas. I hate being put on the spot like that. I think this type of mindless "I don't know you well enough to know what you like, but here...have a gift assortment of 'jelly's of the world'" serves anyone’s best interest. I will concede that last Christmas (my first Christmas in my new neighborhood) I was taken aback when several neighbors brought over cookies or lumpia or sausage balls. I had nothing to give. This year I will return the favor by cooking brownies or cupcakes or something and handing them out. It seems to be a tradition in this neighborhood, and that's OK. It was everyone in the cul-de-sac and now I understand that's just what they do. I don't have to play, but I like them and I love the friendliness of the neighborhood. The co-worker, kids dance teacher, kids friends parents, hairdresser, lawn-guy, cousins girlfriend, etc.. thing just irks me though.
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