Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The truth about gifts and other things

What can we say about gifts? Plenty. Especially following the biggest giving season of the year. Whether you got what you wanted, got what you hated or got nothing at all, chances are you have something to say about gifts. Well, here's my say. . .

First, let's discuss the purpose of gifts. In my opinion, there are several purposes, but any gift given without ulterior motives attached should be given for the purpose of bringing someone else joy. Keeping this in mind, gifts should be given to help make the receiver's life easier, provide them with something they need that they otherwise would not have, make them feel special.

Somewhere along the way, people started predetemining gifts, prescribing what gifts should be given when and which gifts were taboo, but I think the best gifts are those that show you that the other person knows you, knows your life, appreciates you and cares about you. The best gifts are gifts that will be used or cherished or both. This seems like a tall order to fill, but really, it isn't. People will tell you what they want or need if you care enough to listen and pay attention.

For example, I told my ex repeatedly that I did not particularly like or use jewelry and that if he was determined to get it for me, I really preferred silver and yet at nearly every gift giving occasion, I received jewelry and it was typically gold. It was nice that he remembered the occasion, but it always hurt that he never seemed to take my preferences into consideration when choosing gifts for me. And with small children who had broken jewelry in the past, it really only got used after he left when I sold it to support my kids. On the other hand, I received the gift of a mug last Christmas that I used daily until its mysterious disappearance which I noticed and mourned. This year, I received a mug from my daughter which I love twice as much because it was from her and because it filled that need that she had listened to me talk about and cared enough to remember.

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