While we’re on the joy of the season – and the solstice is past us so as far as I am concerned the good has left too – I have another thing to natter about.
The selection of gifts.
I have a viewpoint about gifts. I only give gifts for two reasons: because I want to express my gratitude to someone for our association, or, in contemporary terms, it’s a mandatory social obligation. Most of what follows is relevant to the former.
If I am going to express my gratitude for our association then I have to select a gift that conveys that. If I fail to do this, I have failed as an associate.
Giving money, either in the form of portraits of discorporate euro-american politicians or as plastic data tokens, is a major failure. It conveys that I am a mindless bit of slime mold and you are an odious bit of skunk cabbage. This is one of those things that are actually worse than doing nothing.
When I receive money, either in the form of portraits or plastic, I head for the nearest Salvation Army kettle or storefront to try and redeem some social worth from the failure.
It it’s a cheque the evil in me is stirred and I destroy the thing. Unless it’s a cheque with an expiration date and then I cash it and head for the Salvation Army.
Why the Salvation Army? They are a relgionist jihad after all? Because they don’t charge the sojers for coffee and donuts since the Great War. Which is more than I can say for either the Red Cross or the YMCA.
Next worst is giving me something that indicates rather loudly that you not only have no idea of who I am but have no interest in learning. If it’s particularly nasty I will find a way to secrete it in your domicile or office or motorcar so that you can worry that you are developing dementia. If not, off to the Salvation Army storefront. Or the GoodWill. Or the AER shop.
I expect the same behavior from those I associate with, or at least similar in terms of standards and idealism. After all, we are associates.
People you went to schule with or share a workplace with do not necessarily qualify as associates.
Nor do family. Necessarily.
Of course, mandatory social obligations are mandatory and as such may be satisfied in the least noxious or nauseating fashion possible shy of quarter dollars in a jar of rotted molasses (or sorghum – this is the Sowth after all.)
But don’t expect anything hand made. I am a theoretician for a good reason. Terminal Klutzism.