Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Misgivings

So this year the GF's family has included significant others in their Secret Santa, and the name I unluckily plucked is a sister's boyfriend. I've met this guy like 3 times in my life, we're not total chums or anything. Since we're perpetually dirt-poor and struggling with zero extra dollars, I decided I would make ALL my Xmas gifts. I happily began planning 3 little pieces of art for this guy to hang on his office/guitar room wall. I will be painting 3 wooden Ikea frames and placing in each a mixed media (mostly paper) collage based on a song from each of his 3 favourite bands. They're all going to be a basic black and greyscale colour scheme, and they will all be things I know I would hang on my own wall.
The Sister heard that I got her boyfriend's name and that I planned on making something instead of buying it. She subsequently offered to Help Us Out with our presents, out of the goodness of her heart, meaning she would like to take us to Wal-Mart and have us pick something out and she will buy it, and we get to write our names on the tag. My GF said "Yes Please" and I said a respectful "Thanks but No Thanks."
In a nutshell, Sister is mad that I won't accept her charity and get her boyfriend "what he really wants" for Xmas, and says that he will be ANGERED if he gets a gift that he hates. She says I should just do what she wants and let her buy it for me, since he's spent so much money on his Secret Santa it would be insulting to give him something that I didn't spend anything on, especially since I know what he wants and what he would be happy with.
*cough*    Let's break down my thoughts in list form:
  1. I don't care what HE spent, there's never a Minimum Spending Amount in family Secret Santas, especially when most of the participants are POOR.
  2. I'm not four years old, therefore just pointing at a gift and writing my name on the tag doesn't mean the present is from me.
  3. My homemade gifts have always been good enough for all my friends and family, why wouldn't they be good enough for this guy?
  4. If I was going to spend my scant pennies on a gift, why the hell would this guy be on the top of my priority list? I have family too.
  5. EVERYONE ELSE in this family has told me they would LOVE a homemade gift, they are more special and personalized than a bottle of Jack Daniels.
  6. It's not like I'm giving him a page ripped out of a colouring book or a Paint-By-Number. My crafts take HOURS of planning and crafting.
  7. I did spend money on these materials at one time, so it's not exactly free.
  8. Ouch, my feelings as an artist...

I've been surveying several people in my social and professional circles on this matter and I've been given several good suggestions:
  • "He doesn't deserve all that effort if he's just going to pout about it, just give him a card. Here's some construction paper."  --My Boss
  • "Tell them to Get Stuffed."  --My Boss' Mother
  • "Find a big cardboard box and wrap it nicely. Inside there will be nothing but a note taped to the bottom saying "This is what you get, because this is what you deserve", and underneath will be a picture of my penis."  -- My Brother

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