The difference between Present buying and giving

With Christmas passed by I have just given all of my new bits and bobs a home, whether I like it or not. There is such a pressure from society to buy presents for people and a culture of only buying a gift if we usually receive a gift.

A family member was told I wouldn’t be buying gifts this year (why anyone needs to pass on that information I don’t know) and so they decided to cross me off of their present buying list. However just before the big day I did go shopping and purchased small gifts for everyone including the said family member. So on Christmas Day they proceeded to tell me that they were awfully embarrassed that they hadn’t given a gift to me in return and the apology was quite long winded. I of course tried not to make a fuss in return because I don’t give to receive. The same as I hope people don’t buy me presents in the hope of an exchange!

This is what highlighted the difference between buying a present and giving a present. I have a lot of people I see regularly in my life who I often receive gifts from at Christmas. But there is a difference between the gifts in that some people really know me as an individual and give lovely gifts so suited to me and others give a gift because they had me on their list. I gratefully accept any gifts as it’s rude a to reject or act ungrateful. But the truth is sometimes I am ungrateful of the lack of thought someone puts into gifts! We shouldn’t feel a need to buy things just to wrap – a token gift. We should be totally fine with ourselves and others not investing money into unsuitable gifts. I would rather not give a gift than to give something that had no thought. A nice card with a handwritten message should be enough!

Giving a gift is a kind act of thought and love. When you give somebody a gift it’s because you want them to have it and it made you think of them or vice versa. Giving a gift can be priceless and often they are the best gifts. I personally love to give gifts that are forever lasting and keep on giving. Things that are unique, timeless and nonreturnable. Of course we can’t always do this for everyone we know because of time restrictions and that horrible pressure to make sure everyone receives equal sized and quantities of gifts.

For the next year I am going to think really carefully about the people in my life and what they like, what their personalities are like, what lifestyle they live and just get to know them better. So that for Christmas 2015 I can give really thoughtful gifts and do away with the buying presents just because I need to wrap them something. Boxes of chocolates will not be present on my shopping list!

I also have a habit of only shopping for people at Christmas and not making an effort for their birthdays. This is the wrong way! Christmas shouldn’t be about presents its not a celebration for our own existence like a birthday is. Maybe big changes are coming for the future…

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