Saturday, November 8, 2014

Yes, But Only If You Do It MY Way??????

So, one of the reasons I have been working on gifts is obviously that Christmas is coming, and in the past one of my favorite parts of the holidays is a girl's Secret Santa exchange.  We get assigned names, have two get-togethers where we bring gifts for our person, and then on the second night, the person tries to guess.  Many of these ladies are good friends, and I love either making things I think they will like or finding little things to buy them.  All fun, right?

Think again.

A few years ago, one of the ladies had suggested that we try exchanging things we already had.  I thought this sounded fine in theory, but when it came down to it, I didn't think it actually worked, and rather than giving someone something that I didn't want, I made gifts for my person because it was someone I really wanted to do something special for.  I think most of us shared my view, and we went back to just using the $15 spending limit last year.

The email went out last week to see who wanted to participate, who was interested in hosting, and whether we wanted to do dinner.  The person who had suggested the re-gifting thing said "we'd strayed far from" re-gifting in the last couple years and that she'd socialize but couldn't bring herself to participate in the giving or receiving of gifts.  While I can understand (and fully support) efforts to minimize "stuff," have the manners to not dump on something you were just invited to do.  Seriously--a simple "I'll socialize but count me out on the gift exchange" would have done.  Another person did exactly that--all good.  Tonight there was ANOTHER response saying another person would only participate in the exchange if the gifts were re-gifting or homemade.  Is it just me, or is it really rude to tell someone you'll only participate in something they've invited you to if they do it your way?  If you want to set the rules, host your own damn party. 

I know--this sort of thing has actually become pretty standard behavior as of late.  The two prior holidays on Ravelry, I created a Holiday Basket Dash for the Stashdown group, using holiday songs to come up with TWENTY-SIX different categories.  Twenty-six.  Last year, I actually received a complaint from one of the members saying there weren't enough choices.  TWENTY-SIX CATEGORIES, including one SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO incredibly restrictive as "make your favorite pattern."  As I couldn't ever bring myself to say anything other than "make your own damn list then," I never responded.  And I don't miss moderating, because from the moment I created the Cold Sheeping thread, I was inundated with requests for exemptions and complaints that this or that shouldn't count against the sheep and on and on and on and on.  FOR YEARS.  Part of me always wanted to ask "If you didn't like it, why did you join???????????" but of course, I didn't.  The main thing was always to have fun and make it a fun place, but stepping away from that has made knitting a more fun place for ME.

Has anyone else been running in to problems like this? 


bittenbyknittin said...

In a previous lifetime, I played tennis in a local parks program in which each week we met on a particular night, at a particular set of courts that were reserved for our use, and played one of the other players who had signed up. If a player could not make the "play date", that player and her competition could arrange to play at a later date wherever they could find a free court. After a while, several of the other players could not meet on the intended night at all, which made me want to scream, THEN WHY DID YOU SIGN UP?!? I could have been nasty and forced them to forfeit instead of rescheduling, but instead I quit playing. I guess I showed them!

Amy at love made my home said...

I can understand that people might sign up to something and then realise that it isn't, for whatever reason, for them. In which case, simply say "I've changed my mind" or in your case with the gift and socialising thing just say as you suggested "I'm not gifting this year, I hope no one minds, I would love to come and socialise though" perhaps the first person you mentioned felt they had to explain themselves and it didn't come across as they might have (I hope!) intended. I hope that you will still have a good time regardless! xx

Mereknits said...

Really people are so rude. I know we all have enough stuff, but it is fun to spread a bit of Christmas cheer making something or buying a little something. Oh well, they are all Scrooge's.

kayT said...

Since about half the people I know think a gift card is a thoughtful gift, I guess the world has left me behind. My husband and I stopped doing Christmas gifts for family and friends years ago and donate to charities instead. It's a lot more rewarding to me to shop for one of the Salvation Army's Angels (children) than to participate in the exchange of money which is all the gift card thing is! Hope you have enough people left in your group to have a fun time.