Thoughts and Ramblings of a Gift Lover
The Gift of Giving Happiness
I have a confession to make: I love presents. I love the joy and the happiness they bring. Kindly excuse the sappy behaviour, but to witness someone’s face light up when they receive a gift is nothing short of amazing. For some, receiving presents may be more fun. But what if you end up getting something you cannot, in your wildest dreams, find a use for? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for handmade, sentimental gifts that show how much a person cares about you. But I'm honestly a sucker for beautiful AND functional gifts. The bottom line is: gift-giving requires thought, care and good observational skills. To get someone the perfect gift that will bring that perfect smile on their faces, you must know them inside and out. There are a hundred things to keep in mind. How much easier it would be to hear their thoughts and know exactly what they need?
The Many Personalities of Presents
I believe that gifts can be broadly categorized, and each has its own, unique personality. Hear me out.
- The I- know- you- inside- and- out- so- get- ready- to- cry gift: This right here, friends, is the real deal. It doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. It's the thought that counts. P.S If someone spends a good amount of time and effort to make you feel special, keep them close and don't let go.
- The I-don’t-know- you- but- this- is- safe gift: This is for someone who you might know but don't know-know, you know? You don't know their likes, dislikes, or interests. Maybe they are a colleague or a friend-of-a-friend. So what do you do? You go for a safe gift- a flower, an accessory or a bottle of wine. All safe bets.
- The Oops- I- forgot- so- here's- a- last-minute- cover- up- gift: This can happen when you forget to buy a gift or if it doesn't arrive on time. Either way, you need to make up and fast. And if it's for someone you're really close to? Start praying.
The Lockdown Woes
The past year has been difficult, to say the least. The lockdown may have given us Instagram reels (I can't stop scrolling), dalgona coffees (it's called pheti hui coffee, FYI) and dance challenges (that I never seem to get right). But it took so much from us. It kept us away from our homes, our families and friends- basically, our sanity. In the year we spent apart, we celebrated our birthdays and anniversaries without being surrounded by the most important people in our lives. (A special shoutout to April babies who had to celebrate their birthdays alone, twice in a row.) It made me think. Does it have to be that way? Not at all. Thanks to the *magic* of online shopping, you can send them a sweet reminder that says: I am thinking of you.
Allow me to share a personal anecdote. Receiving presents from my friends on my birthday in 2020 was hands down the highlight of my otherwise sad day. It told me that regardless of the geographical distance between us, they were with me. While I believe that it's definitely the thought that counts, what’s inside the box certainly adds to the joy.
Spiraling Thoughts and Important Realizations
With a lot of time on my hands and not much to do, I couldn't help but reflect on things. I’ll share three of the many realizations I had.
Firstly, keep in touch with your loved ones. Text them, call them, tell them you love them. At the risk of sounding too cliché, I’ll say, Distance DOES make the heart grow fonder.
Secondly, we need to keep in touch with mother nature too. The lockdown took humans off the streets and restored some balance- the skies were cleared, we could suddenly see fishes in once-filthy rivers. Coincidence? I think not. It reaffirmed the notion that we are the problem, and funnily enough, we are the solution too.
Thirdly and most importantly, we must find a way to combine the two.
Sending sweet little gifts, IMO, can be a great way to stay connected when you can't be together in person. (Loving from a distance is the new normal, after all.) But, can we not be more conscious with our gifts? Think of some of the most 'popular' (read: accessible) gift shop companies around the country. The big corporate houses make tall promises but don't deliver on a single one. What they have to offer is not only overpriced (and frankly uninspired) but also not-so-great for the planet. Can we not pick things that save two birds, no stones required? That was a rhetorical question. Of course, we can, and we must. Presents bring joy, but surely, not at the expense of others?
Return of the Lockdown Woes…
Now that I’ve made a case for why conscious gift-giving is a nice way to remember someone, let me also point out the biggest hiccup of online shopping: delivery delays. Imagine sending someone a very nicely packaged, thoughtful gift and it reaches them a day or two late. Now, it may not be the end of the world, but it certainly spoils the surprise. With the lockdown in place, delays are to be expected. What can one do to avoid delays? Plan. In. Advance. Waiting for the last minute is like inviting trouble. Believe me when I say this, been there done that. I would not advise it.
Gift Me Up
Gifts are an expression of love and care. Some may call it materialistic, but I believe otherwise. Here’s a thought. We all have wants and needs. Perhaps we can even afford to realize most of them. But when someone not only recognizes our wish but also fulfils it for us- it heightens our sense of gratification. It makes us feel cared for and strengthens our bond (Third step in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… Achieved!)
Be it a friend, a partner or a parent- send them sweet reminders that communicate your love for them. Like, a specially curated box of things that are not only beautiful but also useful? Yes, please. (All my friends reading this, please take note.)