Commentary: Bring on the gifts!

The Miami HeraldDecember 5, 2008 

Why do we give gifts during the holiday season?

We do it for a reason that is as timeless as humanity itself: women. Women have an overpowering biological need to mark pretty much every occasion, including sunset, by wrapping a gift and giving it to somebody, along with a card.

Why do women do this? We put that question to some leading psychologists, who responded: "We think maybe they're insane."

We would not go as far as leading psychologists. But it is a fact that as the holiday season approaches, women are overpowered by the biological urge to buy bulk quantities of gifts, often without any clear idea whom a specific gift is for.

Men do not do this. A man buys a gift only when he sees a clear and present need, such as he remembers that his wedding anniversary was last week. Otherwise, when a man is in a store, he is looking for practical items. If he happens to pass by, say, a little ceramic statuette of two little smiley-face turtles with "BEST" painted on one shell and "FRIENDS" painted on the other, he is not going to give it a second glance, because he can't imagine anybody having any use for such a thing except as an emergency substitute for a clay pigeon.

No, a man is going to keep right on walking past the friendship turtles. If he buys something for somebody – his wife, for example – it is going to be something he believes she actually needs, such as an extension cord. Maybe, if he is feeling especially romantic, he will get her the 20-footer.

Check out Dave Barry's Annual Gift Guide: here.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service