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Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I was curious to know how many presents I would have bought for my immediate family if I lived to be 90 years old. I am guessing that I, personally, started buying gifts when I was 19 years old (before that my parents would have done it on my behalf). So, I am taking 5 family members (my parents, my sister, my husband and my daughter) with each of them receiving 2 presents a year (birthdays and Christmas) over a 71 year period. That is a total of 710 presents. I was hoping for a far more dramatic number like 3254 to be exact, so now I have no idea what the point of this blog is.
Let’s look at how much this would have cost me. Let’s say on average I have spent R200 per present (for my daughter this amount will be more) so that, in total, comes to R142 000...Aha! There’s the dramatic number I was looking for. So in other words, if I want to have a comfortable retirement I need to stop spending so much money on presents.
Unfortunately, I find it very difficult not to spend a lot of money on gifts. I love to spoil the people I love and the things I want to buy them always seem to cost a lot of money. This, however, is not my fault. I had come up with what I thought to be an ingenious plan the other day and shared it with my husband. “What if all over the world there was an immediate decrease in the cost of everything, for example, what if everything was cut down by 50%, all our problems would be solved.” My husband then replied (shattering my clever plan), “But what about salaries?” So there went the master plan – salaries would also be cut down by 50% and then we would all still be struggling but with far less money. Anyway, it was worth a try – I won’t bore you further with my brilliant idea of how to bring bartering back.
The point of my delightful story is that presents cost money – even if you make something it will cost you money, yes, it won’t be nearly as much (unless you make jewelry) but then you have to factor in the time to make all these gifts. The ideal situation would be if you then discover that you are great at making gifts and you start selling them and then make lots of money.
My goodness! I am really not staying on topic at all. It always amazes me that while I write something with a certain topic in mind I sometimes find myself writing something completely different. What I really wanted to say was that gift giving to me is something I enjoy and if the total was 3254 I would be thrilled because it meant that I had had people to love in my life and people who love me. What I also just realised is that the amount of presents you give is probably the same amount that you get (not that this is the point at all). This blog has not turned out the way I wanted it to but anyway, I guess I am a least delivering on my promise to share with you my thoughts as they are “write now”. If you have continued to read this far, I greatly appreciate you sticking through this very random blog on presents.

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