A different take on the office gift-exchange
After three years as a stay-at-home mom, I have returned to an actual office job. I am glad for many of the perks this affords, such as enjoying a hot coffee without having to reheat it 17 times, not having to wipe someone else’s butt (only sometimes metaphorically), or not having to referee constant disagreements between my children. However, one thing I did not miss from the corporate environment is the pointless gift exchanges that often occur between coworkers.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with the giving of gifts between friends who happen to be coworkers; one that is born of the employee’s free will. No, I am criticizing the forced exchanges that happen between all coworkers for a dictated amount, usually to be exchanged at the department Christmas party.
In past years our group has participated in a re-gift exchange, where each person was asked to bring something from home that they no longer use. Unfortunately, many were left with useless, dirty or even broken gifts and, understandably, felt cheated by the process. This year a few suggested we exchange gift cards of a set value to guarantee a useable gift. My argument: what is the point? I give you a $10 gift certificate in order to receive a $10 gift certificate. Does this truly represent the holiday spirit?
Instead, we chose to contact the Children’s Aid Society to be paired with a family who could use the help. We raised enough money to buy all the items on the family’s wish list and, I must say, everyone seemed to feel this was more in line with the spirit of Christmas.
This year, consider putting your money towards a worthy cause instead of wasting it on someone who already has everything. This decision could be an excellent opportunity to teach your children about the essence of giving.