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Advice from Dear Webby
Others don't wrap gifts as nicely

Dear Webby,

The holidays are approaching fast and I am rushing around trying to find the appropriate gift for each of my friends, family and co-workers. I am always disappointed when I open my gifts and see little effort was made for mine.

Dear Webby,

What do you think about homemade gifts?

Dear Webby,

I spend hours wrapping gifts and my sister in law gives me her gift in a store bag. This really ticks me off.

Dear Webby,

I used to receive many more Christmas cards. I think it is a good way to keep in touch. I wonder if I should only send to the ones that send to me?

Signed: Harried shoppers, wrappers and mailers

Dear Harried shoppers, wrappers and mailers,

This is just a sampling of the emails I have been receiving. Calm down, take a deep breath and stop and smell the pine - even if it came from a can.

Please go to Webby's article about gifts from last year and re-read it.

It is very frustrating for perfectionists like us who try to find the perfect gift or card. Often it seems that others aren't spending the same effort. Or are they?

Maybe their tastes are just different than ours. Let's believe that they think you will enjoy their gift, and that it is given with much thought and love.

Some people are tuned into different ideas of gifts; some give what they think you need or want and some try to find something unique you never would have thought of buying for yourself. Let's assume that is what they are doing - mistaken though they may be.

Webby has to admit that when she receives a gift from someone close to her that is definitely "not her" it disappoints her that her family and close friends know so little about her and her likes and dislikes. But the fact that they went out and bought her something shows they care.

Some people have their taste in their feet (some "other people", not Webby's friends and family of course), but they still want to give you a gift.

Accept it gracefully - well, maybe not the Victoria Secret size 2 and you're a 22. Unless it's your husband who is wishfully thinking, then throw it at him or smile and give it to Charity. Giving a rooster clock to someone who has a modern home is ill advised too. (OK, Webby get off the eggnog).

You have two choices. If you enjoy the shopping keep doing it and know that they appreciate your thoughtfulness. (I am assuming they think your taste to be as perfect as you do).

If, however, it is a chore that takes too much of your time and energy and makes you lose the holiday spirit get all the women a candle and the men shaving cream.

Regarding homemade gifts. Are you trying to alienate all of Webby's readers? There is, in my humble opinion, "homemade" and then there is homemade.

Homemade cookies and candies? Yes, yes. I have neither the time nor talent to make them myself. A crocheted coaster that looks like a bubble bee?, No, no (unless of course you collect bumble bees).

One of you wrote that the office gift was to be a twenty-dollar value. One person always brings six small cookies for each of her coworkers. Assuming she can afford it, that's a no-no too.

Next June, (yes June), have a talk and decide about gift giving at the office. If it is hard on anyone, why not make it a white elephant gift? Do not hurt anyone's feelings - it is after all about Peace and Joy and all that good stuff.

The wrappings? Well, Webby is wrapping challenged. She once went to a shower and a friend looked at the pile of presents and said I know which one Webby brought and they all laughed. I laughed too, so I can understand your sister in law.

One family member always wraps beautifully and I hate to destroy the package by opening it. I try to make up for my lack of wrapping skill by what's inside - not only the gift but also in my heart.

To the Card writers - Many traditions have gone by the wayside for one reason or another. It is sad but understandable. Webby always enjoy her cards, especially those from someone she hasn't seen in a long while.

Many people send cards only to those they will not see over the holidays. Some friends call at holiday time just to keep in touch in lieu of a card. I think that's great. If you're too busy, try calling the beginning of January when things slow down to wish them a Happy New Year.

If you can afford it and enjoy writing cards by all means continue, but don't think it's a slight if you don't get one back. Give them a call - Maybe they are ill, can't see well enough to write or lost your address. Since you have a computer maybe you can email them a greeting.

Lighten up my dear little elves and enjoy the journey to Christmas.

Christmas is only one day. It's the "journey" that gets us there.

Again, read last years article, have a little wassail and a rousing chorus of Jingle Bells.

Bah Humbug!


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