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Can gifts be too utilitarian?

Posted by: Martha Buns under Holidays Updated: December 28, 2011 - 11:04 AM


Lucy Van Pelt of Peanuts lamented getting a bunch of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes each year instead of what she really wanted: real estate. I was reminded that the perfect gift is clearly in the eye of the beholder when coworkers were comparing notes on their favorite gifts received this holiday season.


One woman was thrilled to finally get a stick blender and an old-fashioned covered cake pan. Another was happy to receive a Nordicware baking sheet. But I got the sense from another coworker's careful silence that she wouldn't have been as happy to receive such domestic offerings.

Personally, I think that while diamonds may be a girl's best friend, a Dyson or other cleaning marvel might not be far behind, but I understand some people are offended by getting cleaning products as gifts.

How about you? Is your idea of the perfect gift wrapped up in a small Tiffany's box or a big one from a home improvement store? Have you gotten any gifts that you felt crossed the line into too domestic or utilitarian?

Having just watched a 20-month-old's thrill as her mother unwrapped a half baking sheet (oooh, shiny!), apparently such choices can start at a young age.


McClatchy Tribune illustration


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