I think it’s time to talk about the experience vs. things dichotomy.
If you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, here’s the cliff notes:
Forgot guns vs butter from the econ classroom, this is about vacations versus iPads. It’s about consumer goods from big box USA versus a rum fueled night at the beach in Cuba, or a stroll around the Eiffel Tower.
This article recently published on the site Quartz talks about how Christmas for adults is more like a chore. Instead of fulfilling its rich normative goals about togetherness and solidarity with the family it is more about receiving gifts.
Flanagian notes aptly that gainfully employed adults often buy the things that they want when they want them. This makes buying for them more aggravating than a Vodka-fueled night of Clue.
“Nevertheless, we partake in the grand charade every year. Unwanted gifts are exchanged, Academy Award-worthy shows of thanks are displayed,”
Instead of trying to navigate the byzantine layers of people’s desires to get gifts, the author exchanged goofy gifts with his sister to make the holiday about thinking “whats in the box”, with a goofy laugh, rather than a serious effort at intelligence gathering, which may or may not lead to happy results.