I love any gift. You bring a salad when 30+ people are gathering at my place? That is a gift from heaven. You wrap me a chocolate bar for Christmas (preferably fruits & nuts, or dark chocolate...) This means you were thinking about me when you bought this gift, because you took the time to find out what chocolates I like or love.
Does this sound strange? (Well, I do live in South Africa…)
So why do I also believe, Gifts can be a terrible thing?
Every year at Christmas, I get extremely excited. I hobble around in shopping malls attempting to two-step and ramba and samba on the ‘Deck the halls with ...’ or ‘Santa Baby’ and other Christmas tunes, even falling over my own prosthesis in the process, I cause fatty smooshing stains at shop windows for pushing my nose flat against all the windows to ‘absorb’ the decoration ideas; I decorate my own christmas tree and lounge at home (sometimes even a month or so in advance) and drive everyone around me crazy for coming up with wayward ideas to celebrate and share gifts; and oh, why don’t we do...xyz this year?!
(Also still trying to find the perfect eggnogg adjusted recipe for Africa temperatures and tastes, my previous atempts sent everyone immediately to bed LoL. And then myself, too!)
Someday, once I’m a real grown-up, I even might experience an European or American Christmas full of snow and all the possible coloured lights and decorations you can even think of.
In the meantime, lo-ong before any event, I start drawing up ideas of whom should be on my annual gift lists and what to give them. That does not necessarily mean my list is perfect, however. The list seems to be an ever, ongoing process.
Some of the standard dilemmas I encounter, is; we seem to be socially conditioned and expected to hand out gifts. Gift-giving has become a serious commercial activity, and we all, seem to buy into this.
We especially, seem to be expected to hand out gifts to everyone around us. We also seem to hand out gifts we think, ‘belongs’ to women, and gifts we think ‘belong’ to men. And then, obviously, more expensive also seems to be the norm (expensive equals apparently, better?)
Personally, I am getting a bit tired of all these expectations.
And when we don’t have ideas we give crappy gifts - for example, please let this one [3 years in a row…] never be repeated: I do not want oven gloves for christmas or even my birthday! (What are you trying to tell me – as a woman I belong in the kitchen? Have you ever put any thought into, who I actually am or trying to do?)
In this regard, I seriously want to make a recommendation – get to know the person before you simply buy random gifts. Even expensive gifts, could be not-so-ok.
A good gift does not necessarily equal expensive. Sometimes a simple delicious bar of soap in the person’s favourite flavour which says ‘I was thinking of you’, is better than an expensive gift which relates nothing to the person at all.
I repeat, gifts can be a terrible thing.
Might I make a suggestion….?
Just take some time selecting the gift for each person. Make it personal and think of the person you buy it for! It really does not have to be expensive.
(But I still would like you to wrap all my gifts nicely, colourful with a bow!)