I really hate holiday ads. Really, really hate. Well, except for the one with the Hershey’s Kisses as bells. That one always makes me smile for some reason.
The worst offenders are the car commercials. Have any of your ever actually given/received a car for a holiday?
But reality has little effect on ads. In the commercials, we see a woman (because most holiday ads show men giving women gifts) waking up on Christmas morn to a new car in the driveway. It’s always festooned with a bow, presumably so her little brain can tell it’s a gift. She marvels at it, then hugs her honey tightly.
Instead of smacking the hell out of him for doing any of this without consulting her. And for acting like he just gave her a car, rather than five years’ of car payments and a lower savings account balance.
Here’s the sad truth: People with pooled finances buy their own gifts. The money that goes toward your holiday presents is money out of a mutual budget. Even if you’ve set money aside for shopping, that’s money that would otherwise be in savings – in your mutual savings. It’s still your money.
And, yes, that’s a hugely pessimistic way of looking at things. I’m also one of those annoying people who hate jewelry commercials. Why? Either you’re encouraging a man to give something horribly overpriced, or you’re encouraging him to give a really, really mass-produced piece that everyone knows is a $99 deal, thereby showing her how very little thought went into the gift.
Man, now my attitude is even depressing me.
On the other hand, there’s a different way of looking at this. It could be a good impetus for couples to lower their gift giving budgets. We all know intellectually that gifts come out of common funds. But if we’re actively aware of it, we’re more likely to set lower spending limits. After all, just how many things do you want to buy yourself?
Does this kind of thing bother you? How do you set spending limits for your spouse or partner?