Monday, November 16, 2009

Even the dog gets better treatment.....

I came across an article in Time magazine entitled, "Spendthrift Spouses Could Hurt Holiday Shopping" that looked kind of interesting:

What might be the driving factor that lowers holiday retail sales and stalls a much-anticipated economic recovery? Stingy spouses with children. According to a new survey from America's Research Group, a retail-consulting firm, 50.1% of parents plan on cutting back on gifts to each other this year. That figure is up from 44.4% last year, a surprising jump considering that the U.S. was in the depths of the financial crisis during the previous holiday season. "Parents want to maintain gift-spending levels for their kids, so they are showing more willingness to trim on each other," says Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of America's Research Group.


But here is what caught my eye:

Even the pooch may be getting better treatment than Pops. In a separate Consumer Reports survey, 22% of women who expected to reduce their holiday spending said they would be cutting back on gifts for their spouse. Only 14% said they would cut back on gifts for their pets. Ruff.


Great, so a dog is more likely than a husband to get a gift at Christmas? The article doesn't say but I wonder if husbands would dare give a gift to a dog rather than to their wife? If I was a guy and Fido received a gift and I got none, I would be really pissed. Would you?

43 Comments:

Blogger Jack said...

It depends on the gift.

8:51 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

It's time for husbands to take back the checkbook, cut up the credit cards, and cancel the ATM cards.

9:29 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Michael said...

Last year wife spends $100 on hubby and $10 on fluffy.

This year wife spends $90 on hubby and $10 on fully.

Oh the impending social chaos.

9:37 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

i got dog treats last year. what does that mean?

9:50 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger Memphis Steve said...

Yeah, I'd be pisssed. But after years of seeing how jubilant women are at the sight of men being castrated at karate tournaments and in various movies I've come to realize that this is how it's always been.

11:50 PM, November 16, 2009  
Blogger KG2V said...

I interpret what they said slightly differently - they said "cut back", not eliminate

We usually get our cats (and when we had a dog, him too) a Christmas gift - they cost on the order of $5 each

Now, my wife and I will spend 100-150 on each other. We've both agreed to cut back to the $50 or so range - so, yep, my gift is being cut back (then again, so is her's), but the pets? They'll still get their $5 gifts - no cutback

Are they getting treated better than I am, because MY gift is getting cut, and their's are not? I don't think so, in my case anyway

7:09 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger fred said...

I find myself amused so often by reading your anti-women posts. Males have a true champion in you, though I imagine ardent feminists wonder why you seem so often to neglect their side of various issues.

Were I more gifted, I would try to puzzle out what your Defense Of Males tells us about you.

7:47 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

fred wrote: "I find myself amused so often by reading your anti-women posts."

I find myself amused that you confuse pro-male with anti-woman.

What anti-woman post are you referring to fred? What is up with you that you confuse the two?

Trey

9:29 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:29 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger HMT said...

hmm a fantastic display of holiday statistics in a Time fluff piece. I won't be planning my financial future based on the "data" in the article.

I'm sure many of the surveyed women don't own pets, therefor 0% reduction from $0.

No data on men who are cutting back so we have no idea that Pops is getting screwed any worse than Mom.

I can tell you what my wife is getting for Christmas... Nothing, the same thing I'm getting. That's not a reduction tho, it's the same thing we get each other every year. Love, Family, Food. That's a holiday.

9:56 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I need to start on the wife's gifts. I am sure she wants the new Star Trek movie, but I would love to be able to afford a little jewelry for her.

If I had the bucks I KNOW what I would get her. Some beautiful diamond necklace, something extravagent but subtle enough that she could wear it most days, but it would be brilliant, beautiful, and precious so she would always know how I view her.

Hmmm, how do I put that into something more substantial than a card?

Trey

10:00 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Professor Hale said...

The cat's christmas gift is getting to play in the boxes the other gifts came in.

11:06 AM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Anne B. said...

I've kept cats all my life, and it never occurred to me to buy any of them a gift. How would they tell that something was a gift? Would they even care? (Though I think Professor Hale has the right idea.)

My husband is pretty hard to shop for - he's not interested in clothes, and he knows more about computer-related stuff than I do, so I have scant idea what he thinks is good and what he thinks is crap. What he really likes are my almond-honey cheesecakes, so on special occasions, I bake him one of those: they are always well received.

1:25 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger mikelee.home said...

Christmas gifts are a horrible tradition. The economic downturn is a good excuse for people who want to escape it to make a break for it.

I don't give to or accept Christmas gifts from adults. I haven't for years. I do give stuff to kids, though it's pernicious. Kids shouldn't be dragged into adult rebellions against social pressure.

I do give spontaneous gifts to friends and loved ones whenever I see something I think they'd really like. Most people don't do this--they can't afford it because they blew their wads on Christmas crap. It's far more satisfying than running around to stores with a list and desperately trying to find something that's not completely impersonal.

I do catch a lot of crap for this attitude, which makes me even more intransigent. I have a standard response when some Christmas-gift-monger won't let go of my ankle: I don't want to ruin the tradition for you if you like it, but it makes me miserable. I won't go into my reasons because I don't want to ruin your fun.

If that doesn't shake them off, it's both barrels on the misery, waste, economic distortion, exclusion, pettiness, debt, and warping of childrens' characters.

1:33 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Define "gifts".

Most of the working men in my life, father especially, are thrifty beyond means, which has only increased as they age.

No more crap, is pretty much what they want every b-day, and holiday.

If they need something practical throughout the year (tool, socks, fishing gear, etc.), they get it then, or on-sale at the end of the season.

So no, I doubt some men much care if there's something more than the one or two obligatory gifts under the tree for them to unwrap. (don't even get me started on the waste of wrapping, from a man who will pull out a key, carefully unwrap, and then fold up the paper so it can be used again...)

The box of milkbones wrapped for Fido under the tree? Well, since the dog was dad's anyway, and the wrapped gift was more to include the pet in the opening festivities, especially if they could "smell" the food treat through the wrappings ... no, I doubt many guys are "jealous" of the dog.

Should be said though, that the "gifts" for the ladies and children aren't all that splashy and wasteful either. Cheap perfume or slippers/robe for mom, say (dad is happy to make due from last year since the slippers haven't worn out, and he doesn't wear a robe...) The fun is often for the men in letting the kids "decide" what she would like, off of the pre-set list of things she needs. (which is done for practicality purposes in many households -- not because mom is a queen with a list, but more because she's going to get a gift but it makes sense that it's something needed that would otherwise be bought.)


So no, only if it's really all about commercial things do you want to do a gender count of equality on the Christmas gifts it seems to me.

But I do get -- under certain circumstances, if indeed it IS all about the material things -- how a guy could be pissed to be shortchanged. Still, most men aren't like that, and tend to lean on the thrifty, practical side enjoying what their family opens, I think. The men I know at least.

PS. Sometimes too, the "male" gifts are the ones they get to share with the kids -- ie/fun toys to put together and play with together = trains, car tracks, doll furniture, outdoors stuff, etc.

Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays in advance, all!

4:01 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

"I do catch a lot of crap for this attitude, which makes me even more intransigent. I have a standard response when some Christmas-gift-monger won't let go of my ankle: I don't want to ruin the tradition for you if you like it, but it makes me miserable. I won't go into my reasons because I don't want to ruin your fun."

People are very touchy about "social convention," especially when it involves other people's money. Sounds like the crap I catch because I didn't buy a wedding present when I flew across the country and took time off work to attend the wedding. If I had driven across town I might feel differently, but given the burden on me to just get there I thought it would be tacky for a couple to resent me because they didn't get a shiny thing.

I got so much "but Emily Post says you HAVE to buy them a present!" When I asked them how much time and expenditure was enough, the nags switched to "well they are paying for your meal and entertainment so you should get them something."

I countered with "I didn't ask to be entertained and I honestly don't fancy an overchoreographed party - I just wanted to see my friend get married."

Not to mention this couple already lived together for a year and thus the natural "presents are to outfit their house" argument didn't hold any water.

4:49 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Mark Sicignano said...

A wife is important, but a dog... a dog is a man's best friend! You always put the dog first. ;-)

I'm not about to upset my best friend and run the risk of having it bite the hand that feeds it. ;-)

5:41 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

In the words of Rodney Carrington:

im gettin married to my pickup truck
it doesn't leave me when im down on my luck
it doesn't shop at fancy stores or have a lawyer
or want a divorce
it doesn't care if I stay out late
it doesn't bitch about the money i make
we'll be together till the end
it won't sleep with my best friend
im gonna get down on one knee
and ask my truck if it'll marry me

i'll never drive another car
we'll honeymoon at the titty bar
we're gonna have the time of our life
the exhaust pipes are tighter than my Ex-wife
you think im crazy, but listen to this
i can bring home a hooker and it won't get pissed no
wedding ring won't cost me a buck
when I get married to my pickup
pickup truck

7:34 PM, November 17, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Jack, et al.
RE: How About....

It depends on the gift. -- Jack

....matching choke-chain 'neck-ties'?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[If you can't laugh at yourself, you're taking yourself entirely too seriously.]

3:16 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: DADvocate
RE: Pick-Up Trucks vs. Beer

What was that comparison I saw years ago about why beer is better than a woman?

I remember one of the items in the list....

You can share a beer with your friend. -- Here's the Complete List

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[If my husband would ever meet a woman on the street who looked like the women in his paintings, he would fall over in a dead faint. -- Mrs. Pablo Picasso]

3:24 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger EvilDave said...

Last year the dog died.
That does not bode well for me this Christmas

3:31 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger rhhardin said...

Pet toys are for the amusement of the pet owner. It keeps their interest in playing with the dog up to what they remember it used to be.

The old frisbee works just fine to the dog's thinking, but the new one is okay too.

4:45 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger ic said...

The 22% of women do not have a dog. The 14% of women do not have a husband.

Besides, I would rather not give any gifts than give cheaper gifts that will be tossed away as soon as the season is over.

5:07 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Cha-cha-change! said...

Most guys don't require gifts at every turn just because they're drawing breath.

For me, the greatest gift is the looks on the faces, the excitement, of the little ones and my dear, beloved wife as they open the things I've gotten them.

The cat is happy to be recognized as the supreme being and royal he believes himself to be. The bird is happy just to have a shoulder to crap on.

5:55 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger kentuckyliz said...

Christmas is a religious holiday. When the cats start going to Christmas Mass with me, they'll get presents.

Actually, last year, I engaged in cat psychotherapy through a Santa gift to a psycho cat. Lucy (my brother's cat) would out of the blue attack people.

Santa (me) got her a fuzzy mouse with an electronic squeak and on the package, Santa wrote this note: "Attack this, not people!"

It worked!

She attacks that mouse with a vengeance and doesn't attack people any more.

7:10 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Julie said...

My dog always gave me more love and consideration than my ex-husband. Not that the dog's gift was ever more expensive - a raw hide with a bow - but the dog deserved it more than the luxury items and expensive clothes my husband insisted on.

7:18 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Cut It said...

people, people, people...esp you KG2V:

This is not the time or place for you to be rational or to wax on about your own gifting philosophies. This is another soft ball opportunity thrown up for you to bash woman. Come on, you know they're such bitches.

Get with the program, people!

9:26 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger KG2V said...

Hehe ;)

I get the cats something 1x/year, so

I know what I'm getting SWMBO - there is a particular book she's had her eye on (The book on Arti), she said "I'm not going to have time to read it till Christmas anyway, so why not get it for me"

Like a lot of guys who are into "tech" stuff, I'm hard to buy for - I usually give SWMBO an exact list of what I want/need, with different price ranges, that way she can spend what she feels like spending (and the kids know what to get too)

Like I said - will the budget be lower this year than last? Yep. Will the cats still have a catnip mouse or similar in a stocking? Yep again.

9:41 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger John said...

I prefer no gifts at all. I just buy what I want when I need it.

9:47 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Addendum: When I inquired as to what I could get dad for the token gift this year, I was told, "a snow brush for the car", since they're not snowbirds anymore.

Ok. I can work with that; we have a nice selection further north where I'm at, and if he has the car garaged and won't expect to need a brush until then, I could even get a really nice one...

"Don't spend money on anything too fancy either. Just a car brush. Already has a scraper, he says."

Tis a gift to be simple, a gift to be free of crap, and all that.

9:52 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger B. Cook said...

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

It may be that a smaller percentage of women are going to cut back on gifts for their pets b/c a smaller percentage of women get their pets to begin with.

From that quote you can't tell which question was asked, and therefore, the stat is useless.

Bad writing.

9:54 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

My list is short, either the Mono Beatles box set or the bluray Neil Young archives will do quite nicely.

Trey

9:55 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger geowash01 said...

Helen, my wife and I both have a hard time now thinking of things to buy each other, but we do settle these sorts of questions when they come up the old fashioned way -- we ask what's wanted.

Frankly, buying for the pet is easier and my ego's not so fragile as to worry about it.

Bottom line: I'm a grown man, and I don't care. If I want something, I go get it.

11:46 AM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Fat Man said...

I have reached the age where I have more stuff than I know what to do with, but I could always save money. What really makes me happy is to have my wife not shop.

1:23 PM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Save your money to build your doomstead, instead of wasting more money on useless junk. For that $100, think how many cans of beans and bags of rice you could buy?

7:21 PM, November 18, 2009  
Blogger el polacko said...

i get pissed about this every valentine's day. it's flowers for HER..candy for HER.. diamonds for HER.."it's HER day". try asking what she got for HIM and all you get is a blank stare.

2:25 AM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Actually in Japan, they have a reverse Valentine's Day where the woman is supposed to get chocolate for their guy.

2:26 AM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger gprofessionals04 said...

Even i will be pissed off if my wife would do that to me. However, we both would love to buy something for our dog this Christmas by cutting something from our gift prices. We love our dog and he is equally important to us.
Bulldozers for Sale

5:42 AM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

Good sex is always a good gift to give and get.

Just saying.

11:32 AM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

(But not with the family pet -- forgot what thread I was on ...)

:-)

11:33 AM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Topher said...

"Actually in Japan, they have a reverse Valentine's Day where the woman is supposed to get chocolate for their guy."

Even putting aside that the real St V (if he even existed) was all about charity and platonic love to the forgotten, the true value of loving someone is the ability to give to an intimate equal - not wait listlessly for your partner to deliver you a material shower.

How Valentine's Day became some kind of day of obligation and entitlement to wives and girlfriends I've never understood. Now if only someone can give me some hints on how I can explain to my lady friend that I think the holiday has to go both ways...

2:29 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Dagny said...

The statistics are kinda misleading. They said women are more likely to CUT BACK ON SPENDING. Not eliminate. My family's pets always get gifts, but they're along the line of "here's a catnip toy and some kitty treats" -- not much to cut back on there.

3:06 PM, November 19, 2009  
Blogger Mel said...

spendthrift
  /ˈspɛndˌθrɪft/
–noun
1. a person who spends possessions or money extravagantly or wastefully; prodigal.
–adjective
2. wastefully extravagant; prodigal.

8:17 AM, November 20, 2009  

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