Neighborhoods

The Buying Game

by

It’s that time of year. Ugh!






Simi Tolani

Age: 18

Resides:: Union Square

Occupation: Student

How much do you plan to spend on gifts?
Normally, I’d buy at least 10 gifts. But this year, I’m only getting four, about $80.
And my parents don’t like getting gifts from their kids because it’s like they’re getting
their own money back.

What’s the worst gift you ever got? I got soaps once. They were in the shape of little animals.

The worst you ever gave? One time me and my friend split on a gift for our friend, a sweater. But everyone told her it was horrible, ugly.








Janet Caracciolo

Age: 27

Resides:: Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Occupation: Student

How much do you plan to spend on gifts? Probably about $100.

What’s the worst gift you ever got? A self-help book from someone I didn’t really know.
I didn’t need the book. I was in a good place.
I exchanged it for a CD.

The worst you ever gave? My father used to
collect trains and once I got him this gizmo for the trains and he hated it. He stopped collecting trains because he had a bad association with it. I had no idea. It opened up a Pandora’s box.





Michael Malone

Age: 30

Resides:: Long Island City, Queens

Occupation: Printer

How much do you plan to spend on gifts? Well, my family, we made a pact this year not to spend too much. We’re all in the same economic boat. So about $200.

What’s the worst gift you ever got? One time,
in the mid ’80s, I got this, sort of, dress shirt. Really horrible. It was really ’80s. And even then, that trend was kind of over. I wore it once a few years later as a kind of joke.

The worst you ever gave? One year I wasn’t
doing so well, and my girlfriend, she had one of those game consoles, so I got her a game. What she really wanted was a ring. It ended the relationship.






Jessica Lucaj

Age: 18

Resides:: Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Occupation: Student

How much do you plan to spend on gifts? A little more than $300.

What’s the worst gift you ever got? I got this really ugly necklace from my boyfriend this year. But he also got me a stereo. Another time, my parents gave my brother some money to buy me a present and he got me Silly Putty. He kept the rest of the money for himself.

The worst you ever gave? When I was a kid I used to buy my mom this cheap perfume.






Kaz Sakuma

Age: 31

Resides:: Upper
West Side
Occupation:
Photographer

How much do you plan to spend on gifts? Between like $300 and $400.

What’s the worst gift you ever got? I got a golf ball from my uncle last year. And I don’t even play golf.

The worst you ever gave? When I was 10 I
gave my girlfriend a Christmas tape, with Christmas songs. It was pretty corny.










Stella Kakoun

Age: 39

Resides:: Queens

Occupation: Hairstylist

How much do you plan to spend on gifts? Me and my husband, we get gifts for each other every day for a few weeks,
instead of just on one day. So far, we spent about $3000 to $4000.

What’s the worst gift you ever got? Probably a 45. One of those records. That’s how old I am.

The worst you ever gave? I always give
good gifts.






Rich Goldman

Age: 32

Resides:: East Side

Occupation: TV producer

How much do you plan to spend on gifts? About $500. But I’m not
going to be here, I’m going scuba diving
with my friends.

What’s the worst gift you ever got? A gym bag. It was the wrong kind of gym bag. People who know will understand what I mean.

The worst you ever gave? A self-made card.










Gaius Charles

Age: 46

Resides:: Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Occupation: Graphic artist

How much do you plan to spend on gifts? I’ve
already spent over $1500. I have kids with expensive tastes. But I like this holiday. I spend it with family in my home in the Poconos.

What’s the worst gift you ever got? A shirt with the sleeves too short. I wore it once.

The worst gift you ever gave? A shirt with the sleeves too short.