Whose Birthday? #9

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Appropriate Christmas Gifts and Questionnaire

Appropriate Christmas Gifts

Surprise is a key element of gift giving. To avoid bad surprises, do not rely on mind reading. Instead, help your family members and friends select appropriate gifts - and also reveal some fascinating personal preferences. Ask each person in your gift exchange circle to fill out one of these questionnaires.

Consider drawing names so that each person gets one nice gift instead of a plethora of extravagance. Then give the balance of your gift budget to the truly needy.

Voluntary simplicity is not Scroogism. Gift giving IS appropriate, especially if it is not just habitual, not based on catalogue shopping and mall hopping. Add meaning to your giving by giving appropriate gifts. . . gifts based on information about the recipient, not what interests the giver or what the giver would like to receive.

Appropriate gifts can be promises of time and skills, such as "coupons" to be cashed in at the recipient's request, not the giver's convenience. Hand made gifts are especially nice, such as sewing, baking, woodworking, writing, painting, composing - all probably more difficult than shopping and more rewarding for giver and receiver.

Make a copy of the questionaire for each member of your gift-giving circle, or better yet, read the items aloud and have each person write responses by number on a blank sheet of paper. Use the back of the sheet too.

Appropriate Christmas Gifts Questionnaire

Name: Date:

1. Favorite comfort foods: __________________________

2. Favorite Beverages (white wine, goat's milk, 10K, etc.): _________________

3. If I won then lottery today the first three things I would do: ___________

4. My favorite activity on a rainy Sunday afternoon: ____________________

5. My hobbies, interests, collects, etc.: _____________________________

6. Favorite colors: __________________________________

7. Favorite reading material: __________________________________

8. Favorite simple pleasures: _______________________________

9. Pet peeves: ________________________________

10. I've always wanted to learn how to ____________________

11. Clothing sizes: _____________________________________

12. In the coming year I am facing the following challenge: _______________

13. If I had it to do over again, I would have become a ___________________

14. My dream vacation would be _________________________

15. The best thing about being me is __________________

16. Favorite movies: ______________________________________

17. Favorite type of music [circle one]: Classical, Sailor Chanteys, Funeral hymns, Rap, Gospel, Top 40, Jazz, Other: ____________________

18. If I were to join a CD/Tape Club, I would order the following artists/titles [circle one: CD / tape / album]: ________________________

19. The Christmas rituals I enjoy most are _________________________

20. Things I like but would seldom buy for myself: ___________________

21. Comments: ____________________________________


Kathleen Connolly, a Roman Catholic living in Orlando, Florida, is a former member of the Board of Directors of Alternatives and is an experienced workshop leader on voluntary simplicity. 

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This page last updated 20 Octoerb 2012

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