Christmas gift giving is a beautiful tradition. However, the tradition of gift giving is thousands of years old. We hear or read of accounts of gift giving in ancient times also. People visiting dignitaries and kings carried appropriate gifts, while the dignitaries and kings also gave gifts to people on important or religious occasions.
In fact, when Christ was born he is supposed to be brought gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense by the Magi (incidentally, the English word ‘magic’ is derived from it) or three Wise Men or three Kings from the East.
What points we should bear in mind while selecting and giving Christmas gifts?
Here are my ten suggestions:
1. Go about it in an Organized Way: Christmas shopping is not for the last moment. You could buy future gift items all the year round, especially when there is some sale. Likewise, prepare your list of persons whom to give Christmas gifts and what items to give well in advance. Keep some margin for last minute additions, especially for reciprocal gifts.
2. Make Your Budget and Try not to Exceed it: In the spirit of Christmas one may be tempted to buy and give expensive gifts. On the other hand one should not be miser also. Try to keep a balance. If you give unique and personalized gifts even less costly things will be appreciated much.
3. Gift Wrapping and Presenting: Always gift-wrap your presents nicely. Don’t give without gift wrapping. Worse still, don’t wrap into an already used gift paper. Try to remove or erase the price tag/sticker. While presenting give with a smile!
4. Give Gifts in the Appropriate Price Range: While there is no price limit on gifts, one should not give too cheap or too costly gifts. Such gifts become a matter of embarrassment rather than joy because people think of reciprocity also. It is a good idea to give symbolic gifts of flowers, personalized or hand-made gifts to wealthy persons, as your costly gifts may seem cheap to them!
5. Don’t Reveal the Gift before Time: Always keep an element of surprise in your gifts. Don’t reveal before hand what you intend to give. Similarly, don’t take the gift recipient with you to buy gift for him/her, except in case of family, especially children who would not be satisfied with any other thing than what they really want. Taking a person with you for buying gift may also cause embarrassment if the person chooses a gift of higher price than you had intended to buy.
6. Keep in the Mind the Future of Gift Giving Tradition: Before giving Christmas gifts also think whether you are going to keep this tradition with the recipients in the future also. For example, if you are giving gifts to your colleagues in your old office where you no longer work, consider whether you would continue relationship with them.
7. Try to Find out What Gifts are Expected: In case of your family and friends try to find out what they might be expecting from you or what their secret wishes are. Don’t ask them directly.
8. Reciprocal and Last Minute Additions Gifts: Even if it is a reciprocal gift or a gift to a person who was not included in your original list, don’t let the recipient know this and feel unimportant.
9. Give Intangible Gifts also: The costliest gift given with an unsmiling face is worthless. The costliest gift given with a feeling of animosity is worthless. The costliest gift without love is worthless. A gift is a statement of love and a promise of continued love. Keep your promise.
10. Give to Needy and Poor also: Set aside a portion of your budget for the needy and poor whom you may not know. Make their Christmas bright. Also don’t forget utility persons-your driver, postman, plumber, gardener, office boy, waiter, etc.
I would highly recommend that you read, if already read re-read, the all time favorite and classical short story “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. This is about how a poor couple sacrifices their dearest possession for giving the best gift to each other.
On gift giving, there is a beautiful Indian story also. Once upon a time, there was a poor farmer who grew a beautiful lotus flower in his pond when there was drought in the region. He thought that he would get a good price for it. While he was taking it to the market for selling the riches man of the region approached him and asked the price. Simultaneously, the king of the region also arrived and he also wanted to buy the flower. Both of them competed with each other and offered higher and higher price. The farmer asked them why they wanted the flower so desperately. They told him that Lord Buddha was in the town and they wanted to offer the flower to him. The farmer thought that if they were offering such huge sums for a flower for offering to Lord Buddha, he must really be God. He told the buyers that he no longer wanted to sell the flower. He went and offered the flower at the feet of Lord Buddha!
LIVE THE LIFE BEAUTIFUL!
TODAY, TOMORROW, FOREVER!
The author is working in the field of happiness, health, and success. He is an expert Yoga and Naturopathy practitioner/guru and self-help and motivational writer. He is also a literary writer.