Friday, October 10, 2008

Gift Censoring; or, You'll Poke Your Eye Out!

Every kid knows the story; they want a pony, a My Buddy, or an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time, but their parents instead get them socks and sweaters (or maybe Legos if they're lucky). Their parents are gift censoring. Makes sense for kids. Not as much for adults.

I'm a nerd. I like video games. I maintain a wishlist on Amazon that is mostly video games, movies, and books. Yet when my birthday rolled around last year, I received zero video games from my parents, Annie, or Annie's parents (I only received one other gift, from Brian and Jay, that was a Gamestop gift card. Hello, Worms 2!). I didn't expect Annie to get me a video game, but I expected at least one game from the collective parents (note: I really liked their gifts, but this post is about censoring. If you read this, parents or in-laws, please take no offense! I love you!).

Annie normally acts as a sort of gift czar for me, so for Christmas, she tried to get more video games bought for me (I love this girl). I also changed the priority of all the games on my Amazon wishlist to "highest" and everything else to "medium" or less. I made out pretty good, but my parents still didn't get me any video games. When I asked them about it (in the most diplomatic way possible, as the gifts they did get me were awesome), they said that they didn't think I should really be spending my time playing games so they didn't get me any.

It is obvious that you can't dictate what gifts people buy you (though some people try). Even if you provide a large detailed wish list, some people will go off the list to add their unique spin to their gift, and that's encouraged. But outright avoiding a type of item from someone's wants? It can be annoying!

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