I know how that sounds, so let me explain.
Every present I get is crap I don’t need, never wanted or that doesn’t fit.
If I need or want something, I go out and buy it. Because I’m an adult, not a child.
If there is something that I want but don’t have, then I probably don’t need it, so am happy to do without.
Worst of all is the barely-concealed disappointment on the face of every adult I give a present to each Christmas.
Nearly as bad is when someone asks what I want for Christmas. Unless you’re willing to kidnap my perfect partner and trap her in a cake or you’ve invented Smurfs, you’re going to disappoint me.
Around this time of year so many of us go mental stressing about what to get for whom, and how much it’s going to cost.
Opening presents on Christmas morning as a child provided some of my best memories.
However, opening them as an adult means waking up way before I want to, and inventing uses for stuff I never wanted.
“A cookbook? Wonderful! Because they don’t have recipes for cupcakes on the internet. And although I’ve never baked, who knows?”
It’s the date when you officially turn into an adult, and when you often get some of your best presents. Meaning that after 21, the presents only get worse. So what’s the point of getting any?
You might be thinking that this is unfair for people who don’t have any children, who then have to buy presents for those who do. Well bad luck.
Without kids, you have much more disposable income and a social life. Stop whingeing and be thankful.
There’s even some logic behind the “no more presents” theory.
Studies have proven once and again that money can buy you happiness, on three basic levels.
The lowest is level one and is achieved by spending money on things for yourself.
Level two is a medium level of happiness and is reached by using your money for experiences. Such as travelling, going to a comedy show, or going to a comedy show.
Level two is also proves why turning up to share in the experience of your family Christmas, is more important than the gifts you bring.
Your presence is more important than the presents.
However, my extended family is yet to be convinced of this. Then they have the audacity to be disappointed with the Penguin paperback classics which I distribute.
So what if your child is zero and can’t read? I’m assuming they’re going to learn, or have you given up on them already?
Level three is the highest level of happiness your money can achieve, and it is only attained by spending it on someone else.
That’s right, money can buy you happiness – but only if you spend it on anyone but yourself. (I’m not making this up.)
If you need to buy an adult something, make a donation to a charity on their behalf, or give them an experience like a cooking class, comedy show or – if you don’t like them – skydiving.
Just don’t forget that if you truly want to be happy this Christmas, it’s not about what you get for Christmas. It’s much more about what you give.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian. His debut comedy book about life on a FIFO mining site ‘Mining My Own Business’ is available now.