Holiday grab bags bring unnecessary stress to participants

Lauren Hansen, Editor-In-Chief

I’m not sure how common grab bags are for other people, but in my family, they are a Christmas tradition. This is my first year with the adults and I’ve been stressing about what to get for months.

The event itself has its own causes for confusion. I can never keep up with the rules because they change slightly every year. How many gifts should people pick? Should they be allowed to choose the gift they brought? Do we wait until everyone has picked and traded to open presents?

That doesn’t even take into consideration the nightmare of actually purchasing the items.

Buying gifts on a limited budget is stressful enough when it’s for my parents and siblings, people I know well or at least well enough to find something they won’t hate.

Trying to find something that anyone from 18 to 80 could enjoy? Talk about the ultimate needle in a haystack.

I’ve watched the occasion for years and I’ve seen some of the best and worse purchases that my family has made and the results could less than satisfactory.

Games are usually well received, though I can no longer recall the name, there was a game that my parents used to play that everyone wanted a few years back. Other times, my sisters and I would enjoy games like joking hazards that one of my older siblings would receive, but my primary concern isn’t that I’ll get a gift that I’ll actually like, it’s the opposite.

Imagine I put all this effort into finding something I believe most people will like, only to get stuck with something I despise.

I remember one year my aunt was unfortunate enough as to receive poo-pourri spray I had never heard of it until it ended up in the grab bag. It’s a spry that you squirt into the toilet before going to the bathroom to prevent smells. It was hilarious to everyone except my aunt and caused a great sigh of relief from those who nearly picked it. Getting the worst gift in the pile would be just my luck.

Sometimes it really is better to give than to receive especially when what is received makes a person regret showing up.