I watched a Christmas episode of "The Big Bang Theory" on Christmas Eve when I came home from church and a nice cocktail party. This episode made me think of some things.
For instance, you should try to know about someones practices and beliefs because then you would know if it's appropriate to give them a gift of some kind. Especially if you consider this person a friend. The character Sheldon doesn't believe in giving gifts. I understand that the character Penny was doing a nice gestur, but she didn't know not to give Sheldon anything. Would it have been better if she knews this? In real life yes, but for the sake of the show and to make the episode better then no. You shouldn't assume they celebrate Christmas or give gifts for that matter. A lot of people celebrate Haunaka or Kwanza and it might not be in their customs to give gifts. Penny, after finding this out, then says she won't give it to him. But Sheldon replies by saying that he already seen the gift, so thus it must be given for which it was intended.
Now a question I bring to you is, with Sheldon and Penny being friends, wouldn't you think that they would know certain things about each because of said friendship? Sure they might not be best friends, but you would at least think that they would know some stuff about them and not just the obvious stuff. Another question I bring to you is, is it Sheldon's fault that he never told her to not worry about getting him a gift no matter what the cost because of his belief in not giving gifts? The same can be said for Sheldon as he doesn't understand Penny and he gets a bunch of gifts. Something to think about.
A second thing from the episode that got me thinking was that Penny didn't go out her way to get Sheldon a gift that cost any money. Penny is a waitress and Leornard Nimoy who is famous for playing Spock in the original "Strek Trek" series dined at the restaurant she works at. So Penny took the napkin Nimoy used to wipe his face with and got him to sign it and put "live long and prosper" on it as well. Penny knew full well that Sheldon is Trekkie and would love this gift. Penny gives Sheldon the napkin wrapped up. Sheldon is not aware about what is so special about the napkin. Sheldon thinks it's just a napkin. But Penny tells Sheldon to turn it over and sees that was used and sign by Leonard Nimoy. This to him is a great gift as he almost cries.
Is the best gift of all getting something that cost nothing give? Or is it better to give a gift that cost money? Penny did know that Sheldon is a Trekkie and thus gave it to him because of knowing this. Or was the reaction she got from him and what followed made giving it too him that much more special?
Finally, as you see in the minisode I linked to at the end of this post, Sheldon brought out all those gifts because earlier in the episode Sheldon feels obligated to buy a gift after Penny says she got him a gift. Sheldon can't decide what to get to Penny and what size to get her of a gift. So basically he bought multiple sizes of related items.
Does it necessarily matter that Sheldon needed get Penny a gift in return? He felt obligated because of the fact Penny get him one. But on Penny's part, it was the thought that counted as we obviously. Now does it matter the cost or the size of the gift? You don't need to spend a whole lot or anything to feel as if you have given some which equaled the value of the one you are receiving. Sheldon planned to have multiple presents ready for Penny so he could give her a present equal in value to the one she gave him. Was this really necessary? My mom and stepdad didn't want anything for Christmas and they gave out some gifts. Just because you give does not mean someone else has to return the favour and give you a gift back. As I said, it's the thought that counts. That's what Penny was going for and it showed by Sheldon's intitial reaction.
"Big Bang Theory" - Sheldon's Greatest Christmas - Minisode