Sheldon: You bought me a present?
Sheldon: Why would you do such a thing?
Penny: I don’t know, because it’s Christmas.
Sheldon: No Penny, I know you’re thinking you’re being generous but the foundation of gift giving is reciprocity. You haven’t given me a gift, you’ve given me an obligation.
Penny: Honey, it’s okay, you don’t have to give me anything in return.
Sheldon: Of course I do. The essence of the custom is that I now have to out and purchase for you a gift of commensurate value and representing the same perceived level of friendship as the gift you’ve give me. Gosh, no wonder suicide rates skyrocket this time of year.
- Get a card in the mail to the other person right away, or
- Add the person to your mailing list for next year.
- You’re at the mall and someone from a kiosk shoves something in your face and begins asking you questions. You respond – even though you’re rather they not do that – saying, “No thanks” when in reality you’re not thankful.
- You get mailing labels in the mail and you respond to these “gifts” by sending the charitable organization money.
- You’re out for drinks with friends and have had enough and are ready to go home but you stick around to buy one more round because you don’t want to be seen as having several drinks and not paying for a round yourself.
But there’s good news in all this. Sheldon wasn’t 100% accurate in the skit. He said suicide rates skyrocket this time of year and that’s not true. According the NYU Lagone Medical Center, “The media often links suicides during this time of year to the ‘holiday blues.’ However, various studies have shown no relationship between depression and suicide, and the holiday season. In fact, researchers found that depression rates and suicides actually drop during the winter months and peak in the spring.”
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.