Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On Gift Giving




'Tis the season of gift giving and receiving.  I enjoy both, I think most of us do.  Truthfully, I like this best when it's at unexpected times.  Nonetheless, we all find ourselves giving gifts or receiving them at prescribed intervals.  It can be a little maddening on top of the enjoyment.

I've been refining my gift-giving philosophy.  Here are a few of my guidelines.  What are yours?
  • Am I giving from a place of joy?  If not, then something has to change. I have cut back deeply on obligation gifting in favor of  giving with more thought and heart.  
  • Am I in a gifting pattern that is no longer necessary? Some long-time friends and I made the agreement a few years ago to stop the annual Christmas gift exchange.  It had become a habit, but none of us needed the stuff.  Instead, we spend time together.
  • Can I make a gift this person would appreciate?  Or can I give something made locally?
  • Can I give an experience (rather than another thing)?
  • Is this something that I think the person will love?  (I try to avoid "generic" gifts when possible.  A tea suited to the person's tastes or personality is always an awesome gift!)
  • I'm learning that the wrapping and unwrapping of something is half the fun!  The Japanese understand this well.  I'm not a neat corner-folder-wrapper, but I am creative so I go with that.
On the flip side, there is a skill to receiving gifts, as well - and gently directing what you'll receive from those closest to you.
  • The Dear Hubby (DH) and I seldom exchange gifts for the big holidays.  Instead, we share little surprises throughout the year.  On the "big days" we favor spending time together in a special way. If one of us really wants a thing, we make a specific request.  This took me a bit to wrap my head around in our early days, but the DH and I are both much happier with a specific list!
  • I also give Mom a list.  Thank you, Mom, for all of your generosity.
  • I am appreciative of any gift I receive (even the odd ones!) and write a thank-you note.  There is grace in practicing gratitude.


I hope your holiday gifting and receiving season brings you joy.  Do you have tips to share?

4 comments:

Marilyn said...

Thanks, Stephanie! These tips are so well to remember and take to heart. Funny, but I hardly do much shopping anymore. I pick up little things throughout the year, but nothing extravagant. Already I can say I am about finished for this year. For me, I do love giving, but have a difficult time receiving. Something I am still trying to accept and learn from.

Linda @ Friendship Tea said...

Lovely post!

Angela McRae said...

What excellent tips! Especially agree with giving an "experience" rather than a "thing" if possible. But maybe it's because I'm at an age where I now have way too much stuff!

Amanda Wilson said...

Those are wonderful tips. I find that I have a great deal of not necissarily dislike, but certainly an unpleasant association with holidays that involve giving gifts, there is always an air of expectation. I love the art of spontaneous gift giving, it just feels so pure and good.