The Unintentional Mr. Grinch

I’ve been telling you for the past couple of weeks how much I love Christmas. Instead of rehashing, I’ll let you read my previous post containing my Random Christmas Thoughts. Go ahead. I can wait.

So after all that, why do I feel like Scrooge McGrinch now that Christmas gift-giving is over?

Because I love giving gifts. Ol’ Santa and I are bruthas from different muthas. I way overspend each year, because, hey, it’s only money, and I love to see the eye-lighting, the smile-spreading and everything else that goes with giving someone a nice gift, particularly something that catches someone by surprise.

This year, with the sagging economy and things being tough among certain of my friends, there was an understanding amongst many of us that gifts should be held to a minimum. Or even less if there were children involved, because it’s really for them anyway. I have a friend that is having a rough time right now moneywise; I told him no gift exchange between us this year. Use whatever he would spend on me to buy something extra for one of his grandkids. Many people I know commented that they weren’t even sending out cards this year. They can be costly and get tossed after a week or two, anyway.

So, in light of all that, I kept myself in check and went easy on the presents. Instead of going all-out, I held back in order to avoid any possible embarrassment. The few gifties I did buy were nothing extravagant. I did not make out cards for those who said they were passing them by this year.

Of course, I got screwed. While I was trying to keep things low-key, my friends and family were plying me with all sorts of gifts and cards that, while appreciated, of course, left me looking like a goof.

My ex and I historically haven’t made a big deal out of exchanging gifts, preferring instead to spoil the only fruit of our loins. When I asked her for a list of ideas this year, she gave me a few; she just got a Blu-Ray player, so a couple of DVD’s would be nice. She showed me a Christmas ornament in a catalog she liked. She asked me for a list that she could share with others, because certain of our friends and family would go to her for gifts ideas for me.

So I got her a couple of Blu-Ray discs and the ornament, and a video game I thought she’d enjoy, and she got me everything on my list! I probably spent $125 on her, and she got me $100 just in iTunes gift cards! Yes, yes, I’m a thoughtless male, but I’m generally not this bad.

Another friend I have is going through a tough time, and had indicated that she wasn’t even giving anyone a card this year. The past couple of years I’d given her family a card just because, but this year I respected what I thought were her wishes and kept my card to myself. Damn if she didn’t come up to me at a social event and hand me a box of chocolates because I’d given them cards in the past and they hadn’t given me one. Okay, the choccies were no doubt a regift, because everyone knows I don’t indulge, but they thought of me, and I didn’t even send them a damn card this year.

An online friend sent me a very nice Cleveland Browns blankie, despite her financial problems; I sent her a DVD. Late, even. *Sigh*

And don’t get me wrong, this has nothing to do with money or amounts spent or who got who what. But I kind of feel like I disappointed a few people, and that’s not the Christmas Spirit I want to leave with anyone.

I don’t know. Probably nobody cares but me. But I do care. It bothers me a lot.

How about you? Did you feel like Santa or Grinch this year?

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