Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sociological rules of Christmas gift giving II

Here are the remaining rules for gift giving. Make sure not to violate them!

5) Money is an appropriate gift from senior to junior family members, but an inappropriate gift from junior to senior kin, regardless of the relative affluence of the the parties.

6) Family gatherings at which gifts are distributed include a "traditional Christmas dinner."

7) The Gift Selection Rules. A Christmas gift should :
a) demonstrate the giver's familiarity with the receiver's preferences
b) surprise the receiver, either by expressing more affection--measured by the aesthetic or practical value of the gift--than the receiver might reasonably anticipate or more knowledge than the giver might reasonably be expected to have
c) be scaled in economic value to the emotional value of the relationship

8) The Scaling Rules. In terms of the value of gifts:
a) A spousal relationship should be more valuable than any other for both husband and wife, but the husband may set a higher value on it than the wife.
b) The parent-child relationship should be less valuable than a spousal relationship but more valuable than any other relationship. The parent may set a higher value on it than the child does.
c) The spouse of a married close relative should be valued as much as the linking relative
d) Parents with several children should value them equally

9) The Reciprocity Rule. Participants in this gift system should give at least one Christmas gift every year to their mothers, fathers, sons, daughters; to the current spouses of these persons; and to their own spouses.

There you go, how did you do?

Citation: The American Journal of Sociology, 89(6), May 1984.

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