Sociologists will an analyze anything people do, no matter how taken-for-granted the activity. ( I suppose that’s why I like it so much–always trying to look at things a new way). For the season, here is an except about from the famous “Middletown” study. Theodore Caplow, and a team of researchers, studied people in Muncie, Indiana (1979) about their gift giving, and they came up with nine unwritten rules for gift giving.
1) The Tree Rule. Married couples with children of any age should put up Christmas trees in their home. Unmarried persons with no living children should not put up Christmas trees. Unmarried parents (widowed, divorced or adoptive) may put up trees but are not required to do so.
2) The Wrapping Rule. Christmas gifts must be wrapped before they are presented.
3) The Decoration Rule. Any room where Christmas gifts are distributed should be decorated by affixing Christmas emblems to the walls, the ceiling, or the furniture.
4) The Gathering Rule. Christmas gifts should be distributed at [Read more…]