Christmas and similar significant festivals are a fraught time for many people. Who do you spend the day with? What food should you bring to share, and does it have to be gluten-free, paleo, vegan, or keto-friendly? What do you do if Uncle Clive starts talking about politics, or Aunty Edith wants to debate the science behind immunisations?
And then there is the issue of gifts.
In the 1970s, sociologists in the United States found that gift giving at Christmas time was subject to strict unwritten rules that determined everything from who gives what to whom to how presents are wrapped. They even determined the symbolic meaning behind different kinds of gifts — signifying things such the status of your relationship or whether you were alienated from your spouse.
Read the rest over at Eureka Street.