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For the conventional gift-giving winter holidays:

Displaying poll results.
I give as good as I get
  2358 votes / 20%
I give, but not as good as I get
  2402 votes / 20%
I get, but not as good as I give
  2415 votes / 20%
I have an anti-presents policy
  2669 votes / 22%
I don't recognize these conventional holidays
  1803 votes / 15%
11647 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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For the conventional gift-giving winter holidays:

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 15, 2011 @04:39PM (#38388146)

    Christmas, followed shortly by Valentine's Day, is nothing short of an embarrassment to the modern person.

    Why? They are forced to realize how little they know or care (or in reverse, are known or cared about) about other people. This "spirit of Christmas" and "romantic Valentine's Day" stuff should happen all the time and not just on two designated days of the year.

    • by Anrego (830717) * on Thursday December 15, 2011 @05:04PM (#38388562)

      Maybe the modern person who needs to make some lifestyle changes (or was unlucky enough to be dealt a shitty hand in life)...

      I bought a fake palm tree decorated in Christmas lights for my mother as a joke and set it up in her living room while she was at work. It wasn't some cheapie either.. very well made and nice looking. I knew she would like it.. and she did. I can see the enjoyment she gets out of it.. and it'll probably be a family fixture for the next several years.

      To me that kind of stuff is what the season is about. If people would get over how evil consumerism is and learn to relax a bit and enjoy themselves, I think we'd be a lot happier.

      • by sammyF70 (1154563)
        Tim Minchin said it best : [] :)
      • by mdarksbane (587589) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:35AM (#38397956)

        I think people get very caught up in the "expectation" of giving.

        Giving a good gift to someone is always a joy. Getting them something because you're supposed to get them something is much less of one.

        It's different in different families, too. My family never gave things too expensively, but there was a lot of hand-made stuff or trying to find the perfect gift. I go to my wife's family, and you can hardly see the tree for all of the boxes... half of which will end up getting returned, because grandma has some odd ideas of what young women like to wear.

        And at first it felt kind of shallow, and consumerist... and then I watched her grandmother's face, and realized that this was the only way she knew or could think of to try to connect and show that she cared about her granddaughter. Which is sad... but very honest...

        Which is the point of it all. To show someone that you care about them, and see that make them happy. However it ends up happening...

        • by magarity (164372)

          I think people get very caught up in the "expectation" of giving.

          It's the 99% of people who get caught up in the expectation of getting that ruin holidays.

        • My grandma always gave socks to her grandkids every Christmas - it became a bit of a running gag (and still is) among us. She's been gone since 2005 and we would all like to get another pair from her.
        • by xaxa (988988)

          I feel obliged to give my parents, siblings and grandma gifts at Christmas. Friends get gifts at any point in the year -- usually shortly after I've seen something I think they'd like, often while I'm on holiday. Closer friends get something at their birthday. If I see stuff I think my family might like I buy it and save it until Christmas, otherwise I'll be stuck thinking of something come December.

          None of my family manage this though. Earlier my grandma was asking me what I "wanted" -- I'm 25, if ther

    • by splodus (655932)

      If it happened every day it wouldn't be special.

      We make all our gifts, the making is part of the celebration. Not many friends and family make gifts for us, but all realise we do not want expensive things and get us stuff that they think we'll enjoy (we particularly like things that are second hand, and appreciate that they will have taken some finding).

      Sounding a bit like a hippie, but really it is the thought that counts, and thinking extra hard about people once or twice a year makes everyone feel better

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      eh, romance is an optional behavior. All people don't need to be involved in it.
    • by Cloud K (125581) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:56AM (#38396254)

      Showing people that we care about each other should happen all the time, that's true.

      Don't know about the gift-giving thing. There are ways to show that you care that don't involve how much money you throw at someone (and sometimes even if you do care about them a great deal, some are difficult to buy things for). To me, some nice words and a bit of time together are worth hundreds of the "things" we exchange.

    • It's not a matter of not knowing people - the main problem is that we're so rich that we don't actually need anything. And we're so busy in life that we don't actually have time for most presents either.

      Then the only thing that is left are the real "gifts", i.e. stuff you don't really need, but which are nice to get. And that's just difficult to find. It's a thin line between giving something nice, and giving something useless.

      Personally, I don't need any presents. Give me 50 euro, and I'll spend it in the

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      I have instituted a policy of charity for Christmas.
      I will donate money in someone's name to the charity of their choice, and I only ask for the same.

      It removes a lot of the stress of Christmas shopping.

  • Done (Score:5, Informative)

    by 2names (531755) on Thursday December 15, 2011 @04:49PM (#38388294)
    I'm done with all these made up holidays. I'm done buying shit for days that are meaningless or based on some magical bullshit from two thousand years ago.
    • Re:Done (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cupantae (1304123) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (llienoram)> on Thursday December 15, 2011 @07:25PM (#38390970)

      Well, I celebrate a secular mid-winter holiday, because that is the time of year when it's most appropriate to be with friends and family and treat yourself. The winter is tough, so we stay together, warm and happy. I don't buy stuff because I'm loyal to the day; I'm loyal to the people I love, and we enjoy the tradition.

      But because I'm not the kind of atheist who shoves my (lack of) beliefs down throats, I call it Christmas.

      • Here, here. I'm an atheist who celebrates Christmas for what it is, a mid-winter solstice party (that happens to be taken over from bunch of god-botherers by another lot). It's a great time to hunker down and enjoy being your nearest and dearest; it's the major social part of the cycle of the seasons.

        That said, Christmas in the southern hemisphere is unnatural. After spending Dec 25th in very sunny Australia, found ourselves in autumnal New Zealand. Late May was grey, overcast and cold, and whilst wander

        • I know that christmas decorations are going up earlier and earlier. However surley May would be too early, even for the Kiwis.
      • by Tom (822)

        But because I'm not the kind of atheist who shoves my (lack of) beliefs down throats, I call it Christmas.

        It's got nothing to do with shoving unless you go out of your way to bring your message to others even if they don't want it.

        Calling it something to yourself that it isn't is conformism. At least admit it, it's nothing evil. We are all conformists. If we weren't then society wouldn't work. We just differ in which 5% of our lives we decide to not conform.

      • Same here. My OH and myself are Odinists (it is more of a spiritual thing, we believe in the values taught by Odinism and observe the pagan/norse holidays more than actually physically believing in Gods) and though we celebrate Yule on the day of winter solstice we still refer to the whole thing as Christmas, and join in with our friends' festivities regardless of what they call them.
      • Your logic is sound. Gift-giving isn't really about Christmas. Most cultures, regardless of their beliefs, have a big holiday on which they exchange gifts. We humans seem to need a once-a-year tradition that focuses on families getting together and sharing gifts. Unlike you, I actually do believe the story of God being born in a manger. But that's still just an excuse to celebrate.
    • by Avarist (2453728)
      Christmas didn't exist two thousand years ago, no one claimed it to be magical except Disney movies and lastly: politeness, civilization and gifts are also 'made up' yet they aren't as bad as you seem to think of all 'made up' things.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        Nope, it was a winter celebration 2000 years ago..but religious LOVE to shove there crap into other peoples lives, so now is Christmas.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by reason (39714)

      For me, Christmas is about families getting together, friends and workmates taking time to let each other know they are appreciated, and strangers making an effort to be more generous to each other. It's about celebrating good times with good food and thoughtful gifts, and sharing that celebrative spirit with those in your community through decorations, carols, or simple wishes of "merry Christmas".

      It's the one festival that most people in my community celebrate at the same time, Christian & atheist ali

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      All holidays are made up. If you're too cool for culture, then every day is the same as every other. We as a society have picked a couple days a year to be generous and thankful on. You don't have to go along with it, of course, but don't act like you're better than other people for it.

    • by Zeromous (668365)

      The Solstice is next Wednesday I believe, so why not just celebrate our celestial position in our orbit around the Sun?

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      It's not some magical bullshit from two thousand years ago. Modern Christmas is a holiday that's only 80 years old [].

    • by Kristian T. (3958)

      You obviously have no kids.

  • ...out of the year, then you're gonna die sad and lonely.

  • Nearly-Equal Votes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mistiry (1845474) on Thursday December 15, 2011 @05:19PM (#38388830)

    This is the first time I've seen poll results so even distributed amongst the available options.

    To me, that's pretty interesting, as the options range from basically "I'm a cheapskate" to "I enjoy spending my money on loved ones" to "I am Scrooge".

    • by macshit (157376)

      I think it's a bit unfair to say the answers all reflect attitudes about money. Buying good (will be liked) gifts for a lot of people simultaneously on a regular schedule can be very difficult and stressful, even if one is completely willing to splash out large sums to do it.

      There are various ways to deal with this, and deciding "no, I'm gonna focus on more personal holidays like birthdays and stick to other holiday activities at christmas" seems a perfectly reasonable method [caveat: if you don't have ki

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      I didn't take first option as "I'm a cheapskate", but rather that if one has a better than average year financially the gifts for others will be better (as opposed to just hoarding the extra money to one's self). That's not a bad thing.
    • by Tom (822)

      Not everyone who ignores xmas is a Scrooge. That figure is pure propaganda.

      I don't need an official holiday to buy people I love something. I don't need an official holiday as an excuse to visit my family. Most importantly: I do these things when I feel like it and not because some date in the calendar is staring at me.

      I hate xmas because it's dishonest. It's a forced celebration of love, and we all know that neither celebration nor love can be forced, and if they are, they are faked.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      To me, that's pretty interesting, as the options range from basically "I'm a cheapskate" to "I enjoy spending my money on loved ones" to "I am Scrooge".

      I suspect many in the "get more than they give" category have elderly debt-free relatives that give of their money like an early cut of the inheritance each year, while those with kids tend to give more than they get - as least in money value. I try to stay break-even with my peers because it'd be awkward otherwise, so I think this is just as much a demographics issue as a personal characteristic.

    • by tepples (727027)
      Jesus never asked anybody to celebrate Christmas. The only holiday Jesus ever instituted was the "remembrance", which is closest to modern Good Friday. In fact, I've asked a couple Christians what they think about Dickens's A Christmas Carol, and they consider it a tragedy of sorts: four fallen angels taking Scrooge from bad (not generous) to bad (generous, but celebrating Natalis Invicti).
    • by Jon Abbott (723)

      Agreed, I was also surprised to see such equal distribution among votes... and I've been here a while.

  • I have an anti-junk policy. I try to make sure they know not to get me anything, and if they want to do something for me to take me out to dinner or something like that.

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      you should not consider a present that someone thought you'd like or find useful as junk. it is the thought that counts. Moreover, If you're a slashdot geek, you should be able to make something useful out of the seemingly useless.
      • by mosb1000 (710161)

        I don't know what to say. I know it's rude to get rid of a present someone got you. But I have everything I want. I have a very low junk threshold. That's why I prefer not to receive gifts, and I try to make sure anyone who might want to get me something knows I feel that way.

      • you should not consider a present that someone thought you'd like or find useful as junk.

        Where did the "should not" come from? Who told you that?

        I don't care about things that I don't care about. I don't care what their intentions were. If their gift is garbage, then I won't care enough to keep it around.

  • Bachelor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AbRASiON (589899) * on Thursday December 15, 2011 @05:48PM (#38389328) Journal

    Sorry, I'm in my 30's and a nerd with a job. For me, I'm living christmas every day of my life, if I want something, I just order it (yes I'm responsible with my money) - I have all the gadgets and toys I could ever want! (250$ on a second HP Microserver last week [] (I really recommend it for a good little file server and torrent grabber) plus 300$ last night on some speakers for the PC, Battlefield 3 deserves to be played with the right sound levels!

    As an Aussie, xmas is just about enjoying a BBQ with family and drinking a few beers, that's it for me.

    • As an Aussie, xmas is just about enjoying a BBQ with family and drinking a few beers, that's it for me. â(TM)¥

      As an Aussie, isn't that how you basically celebrate every holiday?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PaKL (1236442)

        As an Aussie, xmas is just about enjoying a BBQ with family and drinking a few beers, that's it for me. â(TM)¥

        As an Aussie, isn't that how you basically celebrate every holiday?

        Indeed! Also most weekends.

    • Re:Bachelor (Score:5, Interesting)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Friday December 16, 2011 @03:05AM (#38394684)

      Yep. I was mentioning that to my friends yesterday.

      "Remember when at Christmas people could actually afford stuff that you couldn't afford? No wonder Christmas was awesome. If I got 4-5 things I couldn't afford this year it would be like receiving $200k in gifts."

      I mean, if I want something and it's $50... I buy it, now, I don't wait 3 months hoping someone will buy it for me. That leaves a problem for my Christmas list every year where they have to get me something that I can't have Amazon prime deliver to me in 2 days. So in that regard "Christmas List" is a contradiction for me. If I can think of it and will put it on a list, then I'll just buy it. So my Christmas List is admittedly obnoxious and I really don't care if someone doesn't get me something as a result but it's essentially "Something I would like, that won't just clutter up my apartment and isn't something I would necessarily think of, because if I had thought of it, and I did want it, I would have bought it."

      If I were to make a real Christmas list of stuff I didn't buy because I'm not sure it's worth it but still kind of want there wouldn't be a single item under $300 on it.

      • by arth1 (260657)

        I fully concur. In fact, putting something on a list just increases the risk that I won't get something - something I otherwise could just have bought myself. The well-meaning givers are actually depriving me of things.
        This is why I really like gifts handmade by the giver. That hand draw card I got for my birthday was worth far more to me than all the presents.

        Unfortunately, not all people are creative and can give you unique gifts that you can't buy yourself. So what can they give you? A letter would

  • I never really ask for much for Christmas, partly because I don't really need anything. I asked my girlfriend to get me a book if she couldn't think of anything else to get me (even told her what book to get, it's actually the same thing I did last year). I'm getting her a really nice necklace worth a couple $100. Her reaction when she opens the box will be much better than anything she could get me anyway.
  • by aus_jackd (1141789) on Thursday December 15, 2011 @07:26PM (#38390978)
    We don't give presents during the winter, there being no holidays of note. But we do give each other presents on Christmas, after we get back from the beach.
    • by Zaldarr (2469168)
      The southern hemisphere rocks sometimes.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      We don't give presents during the winter, there being no holidays of note.
      But we do give each other presents on Christmas, after we get back from the beach.

      Ah, the massive amount of BBQ-ed lamb chops with cold beer... starting at sunset - about 8 PM.

    • by sootman (158191)

      You don't celebrate the 4th of July down there in Australia or South America? Damn commies. :-(

  • Why not just say Christmas? It's not like /. is a Gov't and needs to tip-toe around any Christian idea/day/person/place/thing.
    • Because other holidays around this time of year also involve the exchanging of gifts, and the poll wants to know about all of them? This is one of the rare places where it actually makes sense to use a more generic term.

  • I give. For the sake of the children I give. I don't ask for or want anything in return. I was homeless as a child, I remember what that was like and I don't want my children to ever be in that place. But, as I reflect I can't shake the painful memories. Hate this so called holiday.
  • Insensitive clod, etc. I recognize the winter holidays but don't have any friends or family. I would like to give and receive, but alas, there's nobody here to enjoy it with. Maybe next year/decade/life.

    Happy Holidays.
    • by rubycodez (864176)
      donate to disaster victims? needy children? doctors without borders? habitat for humanity? toss a few canned goods into goodwill collection? pick up the trash in a public park or around a public building?
  • missing option (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pbjones (315127) on Thursday December 15, 2011 @10:44PM (#38393156)

    I give what I can, the missing option. I don't take note of the value of the gifts that I receive, that's not what giving is about.

  • I give more valuable presents to my nieces and nephew than I get from them, but I get more valuable presents from my parents than I give to them. In the former case it's because the kids don't have real jobs yet, and in the latter case it's because Dad's always had a better job than I have.

  • I call them minipocolypses, you insensitive clod!
  • Alternative (Score:4, Funny)

    by Zaldarr (2469168) on Friday December 16, 2011 @12:25AM (#38393848) Homepage
    As an ordained minister for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I celebrate "Holiday". A poorly defined date somewhere in the back end of December that involves food, the exchange of gifts and a whole lotta booze. Strippers are optional but recommended.
    • by rubycodez (864176)
      there can be strippers?? come to think of it, forget the food, exchange of gifts and booze. bring on the hot nubile skin.
      • by Zaldarr (2469168)
        Sure! Our heaven is a beer volcano and a stripper factory. Hell is much the same, except the beer is stale and the strippers have VD, so it's exactly like Vegas. For more information in an amusing video: [] and our site is [] May you be touched by His Noodly Appendage!
  • My wife and I give only to our grandchildren. They are 15, 4, and 3. We definitely do not expect them to give back to us (other than their love).

  • Some years I spend a lot and some years I spend only a little. Some years I get a lot and some years I get very little.

    I've come to the realization that all anybody ever wants for Christmas is to be remembered and not left out.
  • I'm not a penny pincher and don't keep accounts?

  • I mainly give as good as I get, on average, though it depends who it involves. I am still a youngin so any gift from my parents will inevitably be nicer than anything I get them, but I have younger brothers not yet in jobs so I try and spend lots on them. I like being generous, but it is still early stages in my career so there is only so much I can afford. Naturally, the other half usually gets the nicest gift.
  • It is about giving and I don't give a rats ass about getting.

  • I don't believe in this "politically correct" nonsense. I'm a Christian and don't really care what anyone thinks about it. Celebrate the holidays or this time of year however you want. I will.

    In that light, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  • by ATestR (1060586)

    When you have kids, most of the fun is the opportunity to give them gifts. Of course, as they get older, the gifts (toys) get more expensive, and that's not so fun.

  • My mom started a tradition when I was five. She gave us all receipts with a card that said, "Spend this much on yourself and tell yourself it came from your mother".

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine


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