May 12, 2008


Pretty ribbons, colorful packaging, glitter and above all the element of surprise! Who doesn't like receiving gifts?! But over the years, this simple act has gotten more complicated. Enter registries and American-style celebrations and the whole picture gets fuzzy.

It took me quite sometime to get used to the concept of gift registries and gift cards, I mean isn't that the same as giving cash? You spent an extra five minutes reading through a list and adding to cart, other than that I didn't initially see the point of registries. But I guess, one might take satisfaction in the fact that he/she picked out a nice little gift that the host is sure to appreciate, after all they selected it for their registry! So, I made peace with registries and religiously picked out gifts and added them to cart on several occasions.

But, over the years, this whole process has become more of a mechanical task than a loving investment of time to create a gift for a dear one. There was a time when I would spend hours together to put together a gift for friends waiting for the moment when their faces would suffuse with expressions of delight! Over time, I stopped doing that for various reasons including the fact that the gifts I received didn't reflect what I felt when I made gifts for people. I didn't expect friends to spend hours together (Crazy! Who does that nowadays, right?) putting together a gift for me, but emails with variations of "Many many happy...", "Heyyyy, happy birthday! Enjoy" got tiring after a while. Once I stopped doing the creative-gift-thingie, things got a bit boring for me. I became one of those people who would drop in on a birthday party with a greeting card or just send ecards or spend five minutes wishing them over the phone. The fun part was gone. I began to group all these occasions as "get-togethers" rather than his birthday, her anniversary and so on...

Then there are those events that don't seem likely ever to happen to me :p Like, leaving Lex. While leaving behind a home is no fun, getting gifts makes that process lighter and more memorable. I have no problem with that but I think it's about time we have a gift-giving day for people who don't leave, you know what I mean? "Gee, you are nice and always there for us in the same town, so here's something cute for you!" - that sorta gift.

So, it's not like I have a constructive suggestion for "how to bring the fun back into gift giving" except the "for-staying-back" gift idea. Until then, it's registries and gift cards and the occasional no-efforts-spared WHOA gift - I still do that for k, which reminds me his b'day is coming up and I have not a thing planned! So much for the big talk!


SK said...

totally with you!
Plus, i dont think it makes sense to spend hours on gift ideas for people who are not really close. All those bday parties, i mean how many are we really close to?

But spending time to select, make a gift for spouse is definitely worthwhile! But not to others imho. :--)

Anonymous said...

Hey,I also love giving personalized gifts. Once I gave my hubby a box full of 26 small items, one each for A to Z. E.g a=award (best friend,hubby); b=balloon, c=cake---needless to say he loved it.

ibh said...

I love giving gifts..I just love to share PERIOD. I remember,(hey Rs, Havent you written something on similar lines?) anyways coming back to point, I remember my colleagues buying stuff from wal-mart everything from chocolate to dress to everything and go back to india to share it with people. Be it close kith and kin or otherwise...

but my take would be on, buy meaningful gifts- I spentalmost one month goin through list of people whom i need to buy goifts for and what needs to be bought. I selected,hand-picked what not of all the gifts that i brought back to india...

anyways , and for spouse though! i wouldnt even wanna start talking about it :)

PH said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the thoughtful gift you had given me last year for my bday!

RS said...

sk - :) Still haven't decided on what to do for k...waiting for inspiration to strike :)

anon - That's a neat idea!

ibh - Yeah, I remember writing about gifts and gifting before too :) It's nice to have friends who put in the time to select a meaningful gift for least once in a while :)

ph - Hmm...trying to remember what it was! Gosh! My memory loss is becoming as bad as k's!

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