Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Placebo Gift

Everything except the actual thing
  [vote for,

Gifts are nice. You might notice that a large chunk of the pleasure of giving and receiving actually occurs before delivery. At least this holds true for many grown up humans (children are another beast entirely). We like to plan gifts ("Oh, that would be perfect for so and so.") and we enjoy the anticipation of receiving. However, the actual rendering of the gift unto the giftee is kind of downer. All that vague giddy potential actualizes into a hunk of metal, a CD, a stick, or whatever is fashionable these days. Even if it's the right size, colour, or spin, the receiver is disappointed in some way. The giver may feel some relief in the ordeal coming to an end, but may also feel kind of empty. People are let down and the money is gone.

This idea is a gift that includes an optional request, a plan, discussion about the gift, and establishment of a delivery date and time -- but no actual expectation of fulfillment by either side. Net human happiness might increase, and resources can be diverted to the physical things that actually matter.

the porpoise, Dec 16 2014

http://en.wiktionar...except_after_C_rule [hippo, Dec 17 2014]


       Genius [+]
8th of 7, Dec 16 2014

       Is this "dating"?
bungston, Dec 16 2014

       No wrapping necessary. +
blissmiss, Dec 16 2014

       When we where kids my brother told me one night of a fabulous racing car which I might get as a present. I never got it, but I never dreamed of another car again.   

       In a way, it is baked - in the form of gift vouchers. But without the anticipation, the planning, all what makes a gift worth giving. I love this idea. The economical use of resources is an additional boon.   

       There is a short story by Wolfdietrich Schnurre in his collection "Als Vaters Bart noch rot war": Father and Frida decide to prepare the most luxurious and overwhelming easter chocolate egg for their son, Bruno, discuss all the details with him, and on easter sunday they go out in the woods to hide and search the egg - and never find it. On their way back Bruno, half asleep, overhears their conversation to find out that this fabulous egg never existed in the first place. Very sad, very moving, very resource-efficient.   

       Too bad I cannot give two buns. Take this placebo instead.
Toto Anders, Dec 16 2014

       This idea is distantly related to the white elephant gift exchange.
normzone, Dec 16 2014

       It's the thought that counts... (#)   

       Alternative title: "Zen Christmas" - 'giving' and 'not-giving' are fundamentally the same thing. Only by coming to this realisation can you acheive fulfillment.
hippo, Dec 17 2014

       'i' before 'e', except after 'c'.
DrBob, Dec 17 2014

       That's a silly rule - see link
hippo, Dec 17 2014

       Just giftwrap Schrodinger's box.
AusCan531, Dec 17 2014

       //That's a silly rule//

It's more of a guideline.
DrBob, Dec 17 2014

       //But supposing I actually wanted a giant mecha squirrel?//

I'd consider gifting a welding torch and a soldering iron. But I'd leave you to build it. Tools truly are the gifts that keep on giving.

LimpNotes, Dec 17 2014

       // Alternative title: "Zen Christmas" - 'giving' and 'not-giving' are fundamentally the same thing. Only by coming to this realisation can you acheive fulfillment. //   

       Zen Christmas?? I thought 'giving' and 'not-giving' was known as 'gift cards'. I realize I can achieve (sp) a decent amount of fulfillment from a $50 gift card.
Canuck, Dec 17 2014

       From giving one, or receiving one? If the former, I'll send you my address.   

       ''There is no gift''
pocmloc, Dec 17 2014

       I hate gift cards. They require no thought and they are a letdown when received. This idea is the exact opposite. [+]
scad mientist, Dec 17 2014

       I like gift cards to bookstores.
On a side note, all of the books sold in Canada have two prices on them, one for the US and one for the us. It's a pretty hefty difference and every so often our dollar will be on par or even of greater value than theirs and when that happens all of the bookstores refuse to accept American money.


       ^Ha! I used to grumble about that pricing difference for books until I moved to Oz. Some books here have that Us/Cdn pricing then add 40% for AUD. I tried to pay the Canadian price in Canadian currency once. Didn't work.
AusCan531, Dec 17 2014

       Well of course not, your money swirls down the drain counter clockwise.   

       [+] This is great. I've taken down all your addresses and you will be getting this in the mail from me soon! Merry Christmas and so on...
xandram, Dec 18 2014

       Thanks, I think I already got mine, xandram. Maybe it was great, too.
blissmiss, Dec 18 2014

       //There is a short story by Wolfdietrich Schnurre in his collection "Als Vaters Bart noch rot war"   

       That sounds like a beautiful story <hunting for English translation>.
the porpoise, Dec 20 2014

       I'll send you my handwritten copy as a gift, [porp]
pocmloc, Dec 20 2014

       Lightness that is heart warming, nice.   

       A Christmas day, evaporating gift box would make an additional touch. There until possibly not there.
wjt, Dec 22 2014

       I sort of play this game by asking myself which would be the best car used/new that I could purchase with the budget that I have...and then not purchasing it. No buyer's remorse!
Ling, Dec 22 2014

       //I'll send you my handwritten copy as a gift, [porp]   

       Oh, that's so kind! I can't wait to read it. Handwritten is a nice touch. I'll send you my address.
the porpoise, Dec 22 2014

       so tempted to now give someone a ten pound gift-wrapped box of dry ice about three days before Christmas...   

       ^Cool gift!
AusCan531, Dec 23 2014

       ^ ... that will last a lifetime; perhaps less if the window's left open.
FlyingToaster, Dec 23 2014


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