If the last few weeks have taught me anything, it is that I find I am kind of uncomfortable when people I don't know very well give me things. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful, just a bit uncomfortable.
Last week a couple of the ladies I work with at church threw me a baby shower and invited, well, all the ladies at church. It was a really nice affair with fancy snacks and decorations and a flower bedecked "throne" and everything. There were some people I knew rather well, and a few I have only ever passed in the hall and don't even know their names. It was nice to talk to people and I got some very awesome things for the little bug. At the end I was presented with a lovely list off who gave me what, and I realized I was stuck. Suddenly I am obligated to write thank you notes, and go to their showers (at least 3 of the guests are expecting soon themselves), and generally participate in the usual social customs that I have so scrupulously avoided for the last 6 years. Or I could move. I might do that instead. But I will probably look up addresses and buy cards. Although I still think a vocal thank you should be enough.
I hate the idea of giving gifts for the sake of doing what is expected. I always worry that I will get them something that they already have, or will hate, or will just take up room in a box or closet somewhere for the next 10 years. Babies are one of the exceptions, since it is really easy to know what a baby needs. But generally, gifts given just because the day demands it don't actually mean much too anyone. I don't get people gifts for birthdays or Christmas unless at some point in the year I see something an think "Oh wow, what'sherface will love this!" Then when you get something from me, its because I thought of you, and not because Santa Clause demands a yearly sacrifice. Luckily for me, my friends and family seem to be of a similar mind, because I don't seem to have made them mad at me with this system.
So this is me, sucked into a convention I will probably never be free of. And this is why none of you will ever get a Christmas card from me. It's not a snub if no one gets one!
(Also, Go me! That whole thing was typed one handed so as not to disrupt a snoring child)