The Gift of Giving

In the early months of my parents’ relationship, my mum met my dad’s mother. She took her a gift. It was nothing fancy but a goodwill gesture that implied something along the lines of ‘I come in peace’. My grandmother received it awkwardly, unwrapped it, left the room and came back with a box of something she’d pulled from the cupboard wrapped in the very same paper.

Honestly. Families are weird.

Admittedly, there are more factors at play here than simply etiquette, Mum’s future mother-in-law had a general dislike for anyone who dated my father. So perhaps this is a bad example to begin with but it is a neat segue into gifting.

Finding the perfect item for someone is THE BEST THING EVER! I get so much joy from this it may even be one of my favourite things. Being in a position to give is a privilege I will never take for granted. With Christmas looming, I thought I’d share my gifting philosophy – at times it’s a little unconventional.

Working in retail for many years of my life, it fascinated me how people would like something more if it was the right price, or rather, the amount they’d mentally assigned to spend on the giftee. There’s obviously logic here and I’m also governed by what I can afford, but if my gift is cheaper than expected I try to resist the inclination to add to my present. Especially if it’s purely for the sake of matching my budget. Next year, I might find just what I want to a little more than budget and I reckon it all evens out. Social expectation has us in fear of appearing mean when it really is the thought that counts.

I switch on my gifting-radar and leave it on all year. Much like the police are tuned into suspicious behaviour and writers think about plotlines on the way to the store, I’m constantly on the lookout for gift ideas. I start thinking about Christmas in January and birthdays months in advance, this is especially important for people I consider difficult to buy for. It also takes the stress out of it financially because my gift-buying is more evenly distributed through the year and it removes that last minute panic because I buy it when I see it.

I have a present drawer. This sounds more organised than it actually is. I really should label stuff when I put it in because a few times a year I find myself rummaging through it, trying to remember who I bought what.

The gift of time. Offering to baby sit or making yourself available for an afternoon of room-painting can be welcome help for the right people. For those arty-crafty-creative types, taking the time to make gifts is rewarding and personal.

The common card. It’s the simplest way to let people know you’re thinking of them. A thoughtful, simple, beautiful, delightful or humorous card that appeals to the receiver’s sensibilities can be the perfect gift in itself.

The important thing is, give because you want to and expect nothing in return.

Gifts are unconditional.

nanopoblano2015darkClick on the link to visit the team of Tiny Peppers. It’s Rarasaur’s version of NaBloPoMo and it’s called Nano Poblano.  Or, as I’ve been calling it lately Nano Problano.

We’re blogging every day in the month of November! I think I’m actually getting the hang of this.


6 thoughts on “The Gift of Giving

  1. Why do you not have a like button? Sometimes people like your words but don’t have anything sufficient to add. I usually do have something to add but not always. LOL Anyway, I give gifts much the way that you have described. I am grateful for this Nano Poblano blog find. You are definitely one I will continue to follow when it’s over. 🙂

    • Thank you very much! I just hope I’ll be as vigilant after November is over. Sorry about the like button, I often forget to tick that box! Look forward to reading your words too. I’m struggling to keep up with the Nano Poblano awesomeness 😀

  2. Apparently I am one of those difficult to buy for people. Even when I’m asked what I’d like, I stump myself.
    What we do here is I occasionally randomly declare Happy Mr. Fairweather days and maybe write out a card or produce a present I thought he’d like. We object to being told to do nice stuff for each other because it’s Valentines day or whatever. So we do this instead. Not often enough though, so thanks for the reminder

    • Random gifts are the best! I’m anti-Valentines Day (that’s another story), but fond of celebrating birthdays and Christmas. Having said that, I don’t believe in giving presents for the sake of it. You know, where you can’t find anything right so you just get something ‘that’ll do’. I’d rather wait and when you do give present later, often they’re quite well received because they’ve usually long forgotten. 😀

  3. I like your gift giving process. It is hard to think of what to get for some people. I’ve told myself every year that I should shop all year round, but I have trouble holding it back, and have to go ahead and give it to whoever I got it for…then there’s all the last minute shopping I have to do. I just can’t get organized. 🙂

  4. I don’t mean to imply I’ve completed my shopping by the first of December! Some people ARE hard to buy for and all the forward planning in the world won’t help! Sometimes too, forward planning can backfire when the giftee buys the present themselves before you have a chance to give it to them. 😀

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