In Finland it seems to be a thing to make pacts to only gift kids on Christmas. That sucks. Well not with everyone, but many families make a deal: “only buying gifts for kids on Christmas”. Do you guys have this too?

On one hand, it’s a great deal. It’s very eco-friendly, to not get stuff and things that people don’t need, and you save money too. And time. And stress, because it’s really hard to shop for some people.

But there can be downsides too, like, for example, one (or all) of these things:

“I know we said no gifts, but I really wanted to get something”

Well isn’t that just fine and dandy! Did you want awkward situations and embarrassed people? Because this is how you get awkward situations and embarrassed people. If we make a pact to not get anything, why would you go and get something?! Is it simply to get a clearer conscience for not participating in the seasonal consumerism? And then participating anyway? What even?!

Let’s pick a lane and stay on it!

“I never get presents”

For some reason, many Finns think that presents and Christmas gifts are for the children, and making other adults happy is pointless. But there are people who love giving gifts, and receiving gifts, and surprises altogether, and they are the ones paying for this. Figuratively, since they’re not allowed to buy anything. And you, as an adult with manners, can’t really demand gifts either. “I never get anything and it would be nice to get at least one gift for once..” that’s just whiney and makes people feel bad.

But why is it wrong for you to want someone to think about you too? It’s not selfish or immature to wish for a present, really now.

“I have to spend a fortune on gifts for other people’s kids and I never get anything”

Not everyone in your family has kids. Not everyone in the world wants kids. If the deal is that you get gifts for the kids but not for the adults, people without kids kinda get the short end of the stick here. She or he might have to buy tens of presents for the toddlers and offsprings of the extended family, but they get nothing in return. To be completely honest, the joy of giving doesn’t make up for the spending of time and money, and it can get annoying that you only get to give and not get.

“I’d love to give gifts, but I can’t because of the pact”

The pact is cool only if everyone agrees that it’s cool. For some people the joy of Christmas is in the giving, and they don’t think it’s a pain in the butt to find the perfect gift for everyone. Some of us are good with coming up new and fancy ideas on gifts, or find the joy in gifting to others something that they can’t afford or “waste” money on. And to not be allowed to give anything to anyone, that’s a bummer.

Even worse, what if you already knitted woolen socks for every single person in the family, or did something equally time consuming, and after that itäs decided that no one gives or gets anyone anything!

This indeed can be a pickle, a dill-emma for sure! Pun intended, naturally.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.


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