What is it about most celebrations and festivals that stress people like myself? It is the monstrous task of buying presents for the other party. Now there are a few ways to do this depending on the party you want to buy the present for: E.g. If you can join a group of people who are contributing to a present, the best bet would be to join them. Contribute whatever you have to and be done with it – hopefully they will buy a gift voucher and present it to the lucky recipient. However this gets tricky when you care about the person you are trying to buy a present. I always like to give presents that mean something, presents that might be useful tp the receiver, presents that will remind the receiver who gave it to them. I do not believe in gifting stuff for the sake of doing so.
When I was in grade school, I remember my parents throwing me some amazing birthday parties and they invited my relatives for the first one in the series. The most gifts that I got from them that day were Cadbury chocolate bars – for a small kid that was huge but even then I recall that I preferred the picture book of Snow White and the 7 dwarves to the chocolates. I still have that book with me and remember the friend that gave it to me! As I grew older it didn’t make any sense to me when people gave me a 5 star bar for a present. Once an aunt presented to me the skirt of a complete outfit [which consisted of a skirt and matching top] while another cousin got the top! I mean what were these people thinking??? That we were stupid enough not to figure out what they had done or that this gesture would be appreciated? Basically I was stuck with a skirt without a matching top while my cousin had a top which didn’t go with anything else! To add to the weird items that have been given out as gifts – chopsticks (yes!!! omg I don’t even use those), straws(!!), pencils(! I would have been happy if I was 4)hand bags made with cat hair(??) and more..it really annoys me when people give stuff for the sake of doing so!
Weddings are even worse! Here you have 2 people starting a new life together and what to they end up with? Recycled gifts from another couples wedding like wall clocks, mugs,more mugs, vessels and sometimes these recycled gifts have not even been opened by the original receivers! There was a very funny incident when a friend of mine received a gift only to open it and find a card inside the gift addressed to the original recipients! I am sure the couple are thinking very highly of those who gifted this stuff to them in the first place! When people are trying to start a new life – just give them gift vouchers or cash and be done with it. The concept of bridal gift registries need to be introduced in our country. This way the newly weds can buy whatever they need to set up their house…We need to take a cue from the west and start telling people what we want and not feel like we are committing a crime by doing so. Please avoid the flower bouquets! I mean what exactly is the couple going to do with several 100 bouquets??
Here is the thing – if you want to give someone something make sure its good, useful and meaningful else just don’t gift. If you can take the pain to find what they would really want and then gift it to them nothing like it. Always keep in mind the personality and interests of the person that you are giving a gift to. Hand made gifts are not for every one just like the way a book on the economy of a country is not for everyone. People will never forget the bad gifts that they receive but might not really mind if they don’t receive any gifts! If you have to buy someone a gift and you are not sure what to get them make sure it can be exchanged!
Image Courtesy: www.everydaypeoplecartoons.com via Google