Sweet burdens of gift ideas

Updated: 2013-01-01 10:03

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

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Series of holidays at year's end put couples under pressure to come up with gift ideas

Christmas, New Year's Day, Spring Festival and Valentine's Day.

Ma Yuqiang counted the several holidays that would soon be coming in quick succession and shook his head with a sigh.

The 26-year-old owner of an online shop in Beijing then suddenly recalled his celebration on Dec 9 of the fifth anniversary of his first meeting with his girlfriend - yet another occasion for him to give gifts to a loved one.

"I've racked my brain to come up with some romantic surprises or find some different gifts, but my ideas for what to do for all of these occasions have completely dried up," he said.

"I don't have any ideas, really. These holidays are just too stressful. They're a real burden," he said, adding that he gave his girlfriend an iPad as a birthday gift earlier this year.

"I didn't want her to be disappointed. Maybe I could just celebrate all these holidays at once and bring together all of the gifts I'm going to give out for one big surprise."

Like Ma, many young people like to celebrate these special occasions in a big way, a tendency that has many of them feeling anxious about the approaching crowd of holidays.

One source of concern is the Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of Spring Festival. It falls on Feb 10 next year, a mere four days before Valentine's Day, a holiday that is becoming increasingly popular among young Chinese couples.

Rather than reasons for celebration, many young people are quickly beginning to see holidays as being "sweet burdens".

Men in particular tend to complain about how they have depleted their wallets and minds in attempts to give loved ones pleasant surprises.

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