There definitely should be more brown paper parcels tied up with string!
Obviously most gifts are left wrapped until the big day. However, when I was carrying one bag upstairs I saw a gift bag which was unsealed and the contents. And er...it was the gift back we gave this person last year! This person has a bit of a track record with presents when really we want to say: No Really you SHOULDN'T have. Really. This person has been known to give us used mugs, fresh with coffee and lipstick stains, filled with dirty well used hankies and small soft toys that were once white and now a grubby grey, meaning they resemble a dead rodent. I kid you not. You can't make this stuff up. Last year due to the snow this particular person didn't manage to give me a birthday card, let alone a present and boy was I grateful! When I told Mum she asked me to vet the rest of the gifts. Because well, one year the gift bag had mice turds in it and my mum is borderline phobic when it comes to mice and rats. That wasn't the gift obviously - more like an optional extra. This year there was some horrors in one of the other gift bags. (unwashed, well used napkins anyone?!) We laughed as we always do - all the way to the bin.
But it does make me wish people wouldn't give gifts if they can't: afford to or be bothered to put some thought into it. I'd much rather they stuck a pound in the charity box, than gave me something like a used hankie and a dirty mug. Every year I'm sure we spend lots of time, effort and money into putting together presents for people - running ourselves ragged. Which they then open and think. Yeah, ok. Then they do one of the following: Take them to the charity shop, hide them in the cupboard or recycle them as gifts for other people; hoping they haven't given the gift back to the present giver! The person who gave us the presents above may have a hard time recycling this years present as it's one of the many bags I've made and it has a label with my name in it. Given I don't sell them if anyone is seen sporting that bag round the village it's a fair assumption it will be my bag regifted. Part of me thinks does this person deserve one of my bags if they are going to do this? But then how can I know what this sort of person would appreciate?
So that's my advent thought for the day and it probably makes me sound like an ungrateful cow. I assure you that I have lots of lovely well thought out gifts too!
I really should be making, but whilst I have a few things on the go I have nothing much to show at the moment.