Who doesn’t like gifts? Even the ones who are shy to admit it, they also love it when they are given a gift. They might say, “Oh no, no, you didn’t have to do this! I can’t accept it…” But internally, their heart opens up into a thousand petals of joy just like a blooming red rose.
Giving a gift is the best way to show someone what they mean to you. It is a two-way street that makes a giver and receiver both happy.
The love we feel for someone is intangible, but a gift can give it a form. I love giving gifts, it helps me express my love and gratitude for someone. I know there are many people out there who are just like me– we thoroughly enjoy the process of finding something our gift receiver would like, then the process of gift wrapping it, attaching a note to it and then watching the joy on their face as we give them our gift. But is that all that a gift can do? Give two people happiness? My answer is no! Hence this post.
A gift has the power to reveal a lot about you and the kind of relationship you have with the other person. Not all gifts are good gifts, right?
Remember the horrible show piece that someone once gave you on your birthday? There was no use for it, you can’t throw it because the person visits you often and to top it all off, it’s just distasteful. What does it reveal about your relationship? Firstly, that the gift was merely a formality. Secondly, your choice doesn’t match with this person. Lastly, your relationship with them is not so intimate that they’ll spend their time to look for something meaningful to make you happy.
Ah, this breaks my heart but I have to tell you that all the gifts that we have ever received or given, they all have a reason attached to it as to why we picked up that particular thing. And the intention is all that matters. You know it.
Your intention determines whether it is a good gift or a bad gift.
When we gift something because of the following reasons, then it doesn’t matter what it is because it is a good gift:
- I don’t like to see this person sad, this gift should make their day
- They are so dear to me and I’d like them to remember me always, this gift would be a memento
- I remember my dear one say that they wanted something like this, oh, the smile they’ll have on their face when I gift them this thing
- I hope their special occasion becomes even more special and they feel happy to receive this gift
- This thing reminds me of my friend, I should gift her/him this
If you have ever received a gift because of one of the reasons stated above or some other good reason which I may have left out, then it doesn’t matter what the gift was because you cherish it anyway.
I remember once a friend sent me a box of donuts because he thought I’d like them. He didn’t know that I don’t have a sweet tooth, he just got it because he tried it, he liked it, and he thought I might like it too.
I loved the gesture because it made me feel loved. That was the first time in my life I didn’t mind eating something so sweet. I especially loved it because it wasn’t my Birthday, Anniversary, Diwali, he wasn’t returning from a vacation, etc. There was just no reason for him to give me a gift that day, and so, it made my ordinary day that little more special.
However, gifts have one other layer. We sometimes use it as a bribe and sometimes we use it to get something better in return. What we basically do is disguise our selfish motive with a beautiful gift. We misuse the opportunity to open up our heart and make someone happy, instead, we try to oblige the other person. Such gifts are what I call bad gifts; no matter how expensive, how beautiful, how exclusive, they are all bad gifts. And you know what they do? They break your heart instead of making you feel happy receiving them.
If you have any of the following intentions in mind before buying a gift then it is a bad gift:
- I got you something because I know then you would have to give me something too
- I made sure this gift is good enough but I am hoping you will give me something better
- I am not removing the price tag and I’ll act ignorant so you know how much you mean to me and also remember that when you buy me a gift
- I got something last year on my birthday, I got no use for it, so instead of buying something new and wasting my money, I’ll just give you this thing because you are not that important to me as much as I show you. Also, money matters more to me
- I want a favor from you in the future, here, take this expensive gift – it shall motivate you in the future to help me
- I didn’t want to waste my time thinking about a good gift for you, but the occasion demands that I must give you something so here it is, take money
One time, someone gave me money in the envelope as a gift for some occasion. I said “thank you”, but it wasn’t enough for them. They had abused the power of gift earlier as well, so I wasn’t particularly excited to receive money from them either. That person asked me to open the envelope and check if the money was enough. And I realized that the purpose of that envelope was to make their ego happy and not me.
My point is that gifts really reveal a lot, so next time before you buy something, ask yourself, why? Upon some self-reflection, I realized that sometimes even I have given gifts out of formality which I won’t ever do again. Hope you won’t do it too. Because gifts should only be given when you genuinely want to make the other person happy and that’s the beauty of it. It should always be a token of love, appreciation, thankfulness, and admiration.
You know how some people say that their friendship or relationship doesn’t require the exchange of gifts, well, I’d say a lot of times these people are either lying or they are lazy, but it’s true; there are friendships where they gift love, time, support, compliments, encouragement, and they don’t need any other gifts to be given. These people are oblivious to the fact that they are already exchanging the best gifts one can give to another.
My favorite gift is a handwritten letter. What’s yours?