December 5, 2006

It's Christmas Charlie Brown

Christmas time is drawing near, and here at The Inside Dope, we're trying to get in the spirit of things.

Here's a few topics as to where you fall on Christmas related stuff.

First of all, are you the type who tries every way possible to find out what presents you're getting BEFORE Christmas? When you were a kid, did you shake the packages and try to peak or look for hidden presents before the big day?

OR.... are you the type who enjoys the suspense of not knowing and the surprise of opening presents on Christmas morning and would actually be mad if someone spilled the beans and let you know what you were getting?

I'm firmly in the latter camp, one Christmas in my younger years even going so far as to not open all my presents at once. I opened maybe 3 or 4 presents on Christmas morning, and then left the rest. For about a week, I'd get up each morning and open one more. It was pretty cool to have a surprise to look forward to every morning, and it made Christmas last until New Years.

These days I get up and open my mail to see what "presents" readers have left.
Not quite the same as Christmas morning, but sort of. I never know what I'll get, and sometimes it's something I really like.

Which are you? A snooper, or someone who loves a surprise?

And where do you stand on blinking Christmas lights? For or against? (I hate 'em)


Next, when you receive a gift that maybe isn't your cup of tea, maybe the wrong color, doesn't quite fit, or whatever, are you the type that fakes like you love it and then just tosses it in a closet (or "re-gifts" it to someone else or waits for your next yard sale), or do you tactfully tell the giver that it's not quite right and make an attempt to exchange it for something you'll actually use and enjoy?

Of course, this depends on who's doing the giving, but let's assume for this argument that the person is someone close to you. ( I mean, you probably wouldn't tell your boss his gift sucked ass.)

I much prefer that people tell me if a gift isn't right. The whole idea is to give them pleasure or make them happy after all, so it's useless for them to hold on to something that doesn't. If they don't speak up, I've not only not made them happy, but the money is utterly wasted, as is the time and effort put into getting it.

Luckily, it hasn't happened often, but I've had people tell me much much later that something didn't fit or it turned out to be something they never really used and it annoys the hell out of me. Why didn't they say so at the time? I would have gladly exchanged it or gotten them something else. I wouldn't take it as any insult. I want them to be happy, so why should I be disappointed if it's not exactly what they wanted? And I'd much rather spend the money on something they'd enjoy than have it be essentially wasted.

That said, I myself have oooooed and ahhhed and expressed great gratitude for gifts that I wasn't 100% thrilled about and ended up rarely wearing or using. So I know it's tough to essentially reject a gift. But keep in mind we're talking about loved ones here.

So again, do you act like you love everything you're given and are you reluctant to let the giver know you don't like something or you'd rather have something else? Or do you gently tell people if something isn't right for you?

It's a dicey situation and I'm curious as to how readers handle it.

Are you going to be in a festive and happy holiday mood this year? Or has the hectic running around, the financial strain, potential family situations, and the general stress and pressures of the season made it very difficult for you this year? Will you be happy when it's over?

And finally, and perhaps most important. Do you believe Santa Claus is real?

As long as there's a child somewhere who believes he is, I do too.


At 12/06/2006 1:02 AM, Blogger Sean Carter said...

well all the topics you have discussed are really important. as a kid i always looked for the bigger presents under the tree. and with all sorts of discussion coming up about the existance of santa i believe in the age old story. unless and until it is harming why bother about santa so the end of the day he is not harmful!i believe in him too.

At 12/06/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Gifts that don't fit? I think everyone understands that sizes vary and sometimes an XXL in one brand is not an XXL in another. I guess I've been lucky enough to never have gotten an article of clothing I din't like. But, I have gotten some that don't fit. I usually say I really like the item and I'll see if I can find one that will fit or something similar to it.

I also hate blinking lights.

As for Santa being real? Yes, I believe. Santa is a symbol of all that is good about the season... the sharing of good times with people you love, the giving of gifts (no matter how big or small) to the people you care about, the importance of your religious beliefs, and above all, being with your family. (Yes, there may be an uncle, cousin, or some relative you don't really like, but the ones you do make up for that.) Yes... I believe in Santa!

While I don't always agree with you Dope, you certainly make me think. For that I say, Merry Christmas.

At 12/06/2006 8:44 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You're a valued contribitor here along with many others.

And of course, it's not about agreeing with me, but rather being able to debate and defend positions, views, and opinions in a rational and somewhat interesting manner and providing some insight and information for readers. And yes, making people think. You do so consistently and so you're always welcome no matter if you happen to agree with me or not.

If anyone agreed with me about everything all the time, I'd be pretty suspicious. It's the differences that make things interesting in people as in much of everything.

Some accuse me of not allowing disagreement here, but it's not that of course. It's that I don't like rank stupidity and lack of thought.

This is not some playground to throw out whatever crap springs into your head. I just don't tolerate pure BS, in other words.

Provoking some thought is part of the goal around here, although I haven't been as successful in attracting intelligent discussion as I'd hoped. But you and some others have kept me from losing all hope. Maybe someday the unserious and petty will move along and people who are able to think and actually have a little experience with it will have a place to knock things around. You don't have to be an egghead to join in by any means, but unserious jerks don't cut it.

So thanks again BH, and all the other great people who still add their thoughtful comments here, and the best to you and yours this holiday season.


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