What, pray tell, is the Random Bag of Fun?

How do you feel about gifts during the holidays? Odds are, not so good. Have you ever asked yourself why? Gift-giving is supposed to bring great joy, and gift-getting shouldn't be such a shabby event either. But somewhere along the way, somewhere between the last-minute rushes to elbow those insane soccer moms all vying for the same vibrating fuzzy doll, or sometime after searching for weeks for the perfect gift for a loved one you now realize you know nothing about, it hit you.

This sucks.

Why does it suck? Because, for the most part, this holiday season is religious, and moreover, it's mostly Christian. And what is the one thing Christians do better than anyone else in the world?


Okay, maybe that's a cheap shot, but don't be offended if you're Christian and don't believe this, because really I say such things to poke fun not at you, but at Mom.

If you're my Mom, of course I didn't mean you, Mom! Some other Mom!

Nevertheless, instead of the warm, fuzzy, hot-cocoa-television-special glory of love, sharing, and joy, it remains true that the gifting season, more than anything, makes you feel guilty.

You feel guilty when you don't know what gift to get someone.
You feel guilty when you give them something they probably don't want.
You feel guilty when they give you something you don't want and you have to pretend you like it.
You feel guilty when you fail to get something for someone who gave you something.
You feel guilty when you get something for someone who felt guilty for not getting you anything.

Gift-giving has been tainted by guilt!

Instead, the Random Bag of Fun solves all that and brings fun back to the holidays (after all, "fun" is in the name!). When you go shopping this year, buy as much silly, cheap crap as you can find. Anything you find within your budget and which you might like to get yourself is fair game. I usually stick to gifts from $10-$20 but I make occasional exceptions when something simply must go in the bag. I like to get about 20 presents if I can. Toys! Books! Games! Puzzles! Miniature Zen Rock Gardens! If it's educational, even better! Buy them all, wrap them up, and stick them in the bag.

Then, on the holiday day of your choice (sadly, my traditional gift-giving day must follow my family's tradition of December 25), everyone you meet who you know, no matter how obscurely or informally, gets to pick from the Random Bag.

People love it. You'll love it. You'll seek people out, hope to meet people you didn't expect. You'll run into people you haven't talked to for years and BAM you have a present for them! And most important, no one feels guilty!

They don't feel guilty for not getting you anything, because you didn't specifically think of them, either. You don't feel guilty for not getting the perfect thing for them, because it's random. They don't have to fake liking it, because it's random. You never feel guilty for forgetting someone, because everyone gets something (until you run out, tough luck).

Try it! I've been doing it for over 10 years and it has saved the holidays for me. Now I love buying presents and spending money. And an otherwise miserable holiday season is saved!

Now, you can return to the Agnostica homepage and sign up to participate the annual global Random Bag. But don't let that stop you from filling your own Random Bag.