Saturday, October 05, 2013

Chrissie Pissie: a proposal

A thought I had at last year's Chrissie Pissie, and would like to bring up now in the lead up to the social season:

Can we shift the $15 surly santa presents away from 'gag gifts' towards 'stuff people would actually want in their house'.

Two reasons I can think of:
1. Less clutter in people's houses, more things they remember fondly. I really don't need more geek-themed coasters, cookie cutters or sound emitting devices in my life. I do however want cool coffee mugs, or some lovely tea, or a nice book, or a pot for a houseplant, or a cool kitchen gadget, etc.
2. More meaningful environmental impact. Each of those items takes energy, and water and resources to make. To then have them used once or twice is, in my books, not something that fits with the ethos of most of us.

I do however think that nerf guns/sports equipment that get used on the day and then handed to a child are an exception. But then, they'd get used more than once or twice, so they fit reason two.



Mousicles said...

I agree that we need less junk in our lives. I try to give gifts that I would use. (eg the light emitting tap fitting)

We could move to the draw a name out of a hat and shop specifically for that person. I like tea but there are some in the crowd that don't drink it. I was going to say that I have enough mugs but I really lusted after the periodic table mug last year.

But that would require much more organisation. And a knowledge of the person you are buying for. Or perhaps when we put our names into the hat we could also submit a list of suggestions. Personally I love fruity soaps.

It's a tough call. One persons junk is another's treasure. I still have a possessed tin of asparagus on my tv from a surly santa years and years ago. And yet some pressies get left at the party or go straight to the op shop.

Unless we create an organised system, there isn't much chance of buying something that everyone could use.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

DrQ floated this idea ages ago for exactly the same reasons, Krin, and got poo-pooed from some corners, so it got dropped. Mostly, I guess, because it sounded like a party-pooper idea, which you can definitely see it as if you want to, but I know it's not the spirit of the gesture.

Way back when (talking 20 years ago now) the pressies started off as some % jokey but a greater % thoughtful, and mostly SCA-themed. One problem was the use of $15 (or $10 back then) worth of chocolate, which I consider a cop-out on the thinking-of-a-gift front, which is how the "No Food Unless It's Rude" was instigated.

Slowly the jokey % became greater and more junky. But it never started out that way... I remember one year buying a really nice candlestick and candle as one gift, and another year, managed to find a damask napkin and a crown-shaped napkin ring to go with it. I always hoped to get something like that back!

I don't think that we can draw a name from a hat and buy for that person, though, because then that locks people in or out of the Surly Santa. Not everyone can RSVP in advance, and not everyone who says they can come, do turn up.

I'm quite happy to go backwards to a more thoughtful approach. DrQ also thought it would be nice for hand-made gifts to be included, although I would suggest that this might just make it harder in the pre-Xmas rush to finish other pressies for more personal gift-giving. I also don't think it would be terribly exciting to get a bottle of jam from Surly Santa, even though in a way that would be quite Surly ;-)