Giving and getting presents is a difficult thing. We asked a few people about their Christmas time and presents they get and receive…

I hate Christmas because of presents! I never have enough money to buy what I would really like to and I finish with some cheap deodorants and some crap. I always feel very guilty because I get some pocket money so theoretically I could save money for presents, but I always spend everything. Also sometimes I get presents which I don’t like and it is very difficult to pretend that you are happy if you get a T-shirt you will never wear. The worst thing is that all these grandpas and aunts had good intentions and spent money and they just didn’t know what people wear nowadays. It is not their fault, but it is very awkward.

Well, the worst thing is, I think, that you always want to be fair and divide your money evenly and buy everybody presents that have more or less the same value, because you feel people might get offended. I always save money for Christmas and then it usually looks like self-propelling machine. I buy a book for my mum, and then an album with art for my father. And then I think that it was twice more expensive, so I buy also some cosmetics for my mum and then I start thinking that she will get two things and my father only one thing… This comparing makes me insane. Also when I try to assess if some relatives will have some presents for me or not. It is very awkward if somebody comes with a family visit and has a present and I don’t have anything, but perhaps even worse when you give an adult a present and she or he doesn’t have a present for you! So, unfortunately, because I think people should not act this way, I tend to keep some additional presents, things that everybody would like – just in case. They can be funny mugs, decorative angels or even chocolates.

I love Christmas and presents because we have a tradition of self-made presents. We decided with our family that because we are a very big family it would be difficult to buy something for everybody so we make presents. For me, my brother and sister it is really good. We make jewellery from beads, paint frames or mugs. My parents find it more difficult. My mother likes knitting and she usually knits some winter caps for us. My father loves photography so he usually takes some funny photos of us and then he only puts them into frames. It is nice because we don’t have to spend hours in shops with crowds of people. I also think we are able to avoid the commercialism that is now associated with Christmas. We buy presents for birthdays. We often chip in and buy something really big. I got a laptop last year.

In our family parents buy presents and children invent presents. There is a kind of tradition that we get serious presents for Christmas, like new skis. We tend to think of some funny or sentimental presents for our parents. Once we bought them tickets for theatre and they were really happy. Or we made a collage of their nicest pictures with some appropriate comments. When I was younger, I would often make books with my own texts and drawings and they really loved it. I think it is natural this way and everybody is happy.

Improve your vocabulary!

crap – badziewie
pocket money – kieszonkowe
awkward – niezręczny
jewellery – biżuteria
beads – koraliki
frame – ramka
mug – kubek
knit – robić na drutach
chip in – składać się
evenly – równo
self-propelling – samonapę­dzający się
comparing – porównywanie
insane – szalony, obłąkany
invent – wymyślić