UNITED STATES—Christmas is literally upon us and if you haven’t finished up that last minute shopping it’s either do or die at this point America. So this brings me to the question of the hour: is it better to give or to receive? Of course most people are going to say it’s better to give, even though behind closed doors they’re all about getting, getting, getting, but never giving. That is indeed something that annoys me so, because people put on a façade or front to appear more generous in front of others than they actually are.

Christmas has ALWAYS been one of my favorite holidays; coming in a close second is Thanksgiving. However, with Christmas I guess in some sort of weird fashion I get the opportunity to show people how I truly feel by giving them a gift or a token (in some situations, tokens) for all that they do. I’m a giver at heart; I always have been since I was a kid. Whenever, we would get money to do Christmas shopping from my mom, I would always buy for everyone else before I even purchased anything for myself.

Now that I’m an adult, a bit older, a bit wiser, the same logic applies, but I’ve started to come to the realization that it’s ok if I don’t buy a gift for every single person in my family. Why? 1) It creates unnecessary stress 2) Why buy for those who don’t appreciate or buy gifts for others. Now stop one second before any of you go barking and listen to my point. The holiday season is all about giving, but at the same time you have people who will indeed take advantage of your generosity by refusing to return the favor or pay it forward.

Look, I’m never expecting to get a gift or gifts come Christmas; I don’t expect it, and considering that I have a job, I have the ability to buy my own stuff. However, you have those people who JUST EXPECT you to go above and beyond for them or their kids and without a thought don’t ever consider purchasing you a gift or let alone your kids a gift. I understand times are tight for some people, but I find that hard to believe when you’re taking lavish trips to Las Vegas or other parts of the country unknown.

I’m no idiot, I can see what is transpiring; you’re looking forward to others buying gifts because that means you can save or utilize your money to do something else. Well, 2017 is the year of change for me people. I’ve cut the trend of going above and beyond or overboard. Why? People don’t appreciate it, and instead of going broke and being stressed for ungrateful people, it’s one gift and one gift only. No more excessive buying, because I’m looking to buy a new house and that is a major expense; one that very few people understand or even fathom America. I have to be slightly a bit selfish, in terms of not overdoing what people have come to expect me to do.

This isn’t so much about less being more; it’s about putting a bit more emphasis on the gift. Giving people something they need versus something they want. You sometimes have to psyche people out to change their way of thinking and their expectations. Christmas is a holiday where you should spread the joy and the wealth for those who can do it, and like I tell those who have a tight budget, it’s not always about getting something, sometimes the best gift a person can receive is a thank you. Yeah, those 2 words go a long way America.