I am not going to buy a single Christmas gift this year

@scheng1 (24801)
Singapore
December 18, 2015 11:45pm CST
In countries where gift-giving in Christmas is a norm, it is quite easy to plan for Christmas gift-giving. However, in Singapore context, when you have a minority who celebrates Christmas, and the rest do not celebrate Christmas, the big question of to buy or not to buy any gift is a cause of headache. A few years ago, my cousin was new to a company. He did not know that nobody in that company gave Christmas gift. In the end, he was the only one who went to the office to give out the gifts. Guess what happened next? Everyone boycotted him for weeks. He had successfully made everyone embarrassed. He got a talking to by his boss who told him to respect the culture and practices of the company. In my current company, about 1 in 10 persons gives Christmas gifts, so it is hard to budget an amount for buying gifts, since you do not know who will give, and who will not. In the end, I make a decision not to buy anything, and make it known to others. If they want to buy gifts, they can give to those who celebrate Christmas.
8 people like this
8 responses
@youless (91494)
• Guangzhou, China
19 Dec 15
Here we don't often exchange gifts in Christmas. After all, it is not our offical festival. We will just celebrate it by going out to have a good meal and then go to see the beautiful Christmas tree and take photos. Since I have a child, so I will still buy a Christmas gift for him. And I will give him secretly as if Santa Claus gives him
3 people like this
@scheng1 (24801)
• Singapore
19 Dec 15
haha, I hope he is smart enough to know that the gift comes from you instead. Perhaps a few years later, he will ask you to bring him to Finland and Norway. That will break the finance of your family! These two countries are very expensive.
2 people like this
@youless (91494)
• Guangzhou, China
19 Dec 15
@scheng1 In the past my son believed that the gift was from Santa Claus. As time goes by, I don't really feel so sure. But I still want him to have such a beautiful hope
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (35672)
• United States
19 Dec 15
@youless that is a good father to keep your son thinking their is a Santa for him.
1 person likes this
@Rohvannyn (3118)
• United States
19 Dec 15
Makes sense to me! It's a good idea to check out a company's culture and style before doing something like that.
3 people like this
@scheng1 (24801)
• Singapore
20 Dec 15
Yes, especially in the context of Singapore where many family owned businesses exist, and the culture of the business tends to follow the beliefs of the owners. In the case when the owners are into Buddhism or Taoism, Christmas celebration is definitely out.
• Philippines
19 Dec 15
well, the reason is that I don't have the budget to even buy simple gifts, i don't wanna lookcheap either. I felt that it's too old for me, or simply the kids have grown up to be wanting more expensive gifts like mobile phones or ipod or something. every years things becomes so expensive, specially utilities, you may want to tighten that budget.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24801)
• Singapore
19 Dec 15
I do not bother about if others think that I am cheap or look cheap. My investment is successful, and that gives me a confident that exceeds the cutting words by others. I rather spend the money on myself than on others.
1 person likes this
@sallypup (27080)
• Moses Lake, Washington
20 Dec 15
@letranknight2015 I am not old fashioned. I do not understand why little kids have to have technological gadgets.
• Philippines
20 Dec 15
@sallypup It's what they see and what's the trend in their school. before it was just kiddie toys, but as they grow their demands grow, something i can't keep up anymore.
@Raine38 (9117)
• United States
20 Dec 15
I feel bad for the guy. He doesn't know! And granted that ignorance of the culture is no excuse, they should have cut him some slack. Instead of boycotting him, and for weeks even, why not let this instance slide and they talk to him and make him aware of the practices there. Then next time, if he did something like this again, then they can do something which they think is suitable for someone who do not know how to be flexible and respectful of the differences in cultures. He is a newcomer, he simply thought he is doing the right thing. I can relate to him not because I like gift giving like that, but I also travel and have worked in different countries with different cultures. And the adjustment is never easy, and having workmates like that is not going to help. I am sure that he got traumatized and will never try something like this again.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24801)
• Singapore
20 Dec 15
@Raine38 if I were his colleague, I would boycott him too. The way they see it is that he wanted to climb the corporate ladder by giving gifts to all the big bosses, so that they will increase his salary, and give him more bonus. The issue with Christmas gifts is often that the gifts to bosses are more expensive than the gifts to the receptionist or cleaner.
• Philippines
20 Dec 15
@raine38 i would be traumatized too and probably think of resigning. i hope your experiences in other countries and cultures were more forgiving @scheng1 but can you come up with a generic gift that will be appropriate to everyone - from big boss to cleaners? did they accept or return the gifts?
@Marcyaz (35672)
• United States
19 Dec 15
You would have thought someone would have mentioned to him that the company and employees did not do gift giving there. It was also their fault for not telling him.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24801)
• Singapore
20 Dec 15
They assume that he knows, or he should have the commonsense to ask. That company is a very traditional Chinese-family owned business, and they follow the Chinese festivals and prayers. In Asia, Christmas is not a big affair here.
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (35672)
• United States
20 Dec 15
@scheng1 I understand that Christmas is not a big deal in your country but maybe his last company did exchange gifts so he probably never even thought about it.
@marlina (73885)
• Canada
19 Dec 15
You made the right decision.
1 person likes this
@sallypup (27080)
• Moses Lake, Washington
20 Dec 15
It seems that most work places have folks who are favored over others. Those are the folks who are most likely to get gifts.
@jstory07 (66998)
• Roseburg, Oregon
19 Dec 15
You are ,making the right decision.