We’ve heard the saying…. “There is more joy in giving than in receiving”. If you’re a kid (or when you yourself were a kid) this is utter nonsense, admit it. As adults though, well…let’s all agree that this is only partially true.
Sure, we enjoy watching our children light up and do their happy dance when they are presented with a box wrapped with shiny cartoon-themed paper and a huge bow to match. And that sweet moment when two lovers exchange anniversary gifts after enjoying an intimate candlelit dinner, each one happy to present the other with a box in representation of their growing love. Or your sweet old Aunt that comes to visit your home for the first time and she’s excited to bestow upon you a housewarming gift.
The givers are filled with delight for contributing to the receivers happiness. Blah, Blah, Blah! Don’t deny it, we all love being on the receiving end MORE. Deep down inside you feel loved just a little extra. Your insides emanate a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that someone else thought about YOU. You’re elated that someone else took out time from their busy schedules to think of you and scout for the perfect gift.
Or did they? Did they actually take out the time to find something that would suit the receiver? Or did they hurry through the isle to buy what I call a DEFAULT gift. You know what a default gift is…yes you do…we’re all guilty of it. Those CVS/Walgreens pre-packaged hand cream or spa kits, or those men’s cologne tester sets. You’re smiling because you’ve either bought these for someone or you yourself have received them. I think I have half a tube of citrus coconut scented cream in my desk draw from like two years ago. “But, but, it’s the thought that counts!”
Don’t get me wrong, these definitely can be great thoughtful gifts….IF you actually thought about it. Not if you realized last-minute that you forgot a gift, ran in to the nearest pharmacy and stuffed one of these in to a gift bag and picked up a card while you were at it and filled out the card while you were in the driver’s seat of your car between lights on your way to meet the person.
In my case, any one that truly knows me would NEVER get me flowers as a gift or even as a gesture. This is what I call a COPOUT gift. Plus, don’t gift me anything I need to nurture (nope, not even a cute little puppy). I have enough darn little living beings in my house to nurture.
And let’s be real, you knew in advance that you needed to get a gift. You had time to plan, to think it through, to Google some ideas. To ask around. To check the recipients likes on FB or IG. As for holidays and birthdays, these did NOT sneak up on you. They’re the same since the day you were born or from the moment you’ve known this person, or from the moment you received that invitation to the party you knew you should not go empty-handed to.
And if you really put some thought in to it, you’ll realize that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make that person feel special, to show them that you truly do pay attention, that you actually know them deep down. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just THOUGHT THROUGH.
Personally, I’m happy with a book, a scented candle, a new paint brush, a new nail polish color or lip pencil color I wouldn’t normally buy for myself, a book mark, a cute nail file, just about anything to keep my stuff organized, anything handmade, an inexpensive $8.00 bottle of Cabernet, or a handwritten note instead of a generic Hallmark card. Those closest to me must be delighted that all it takes is a couple of dollars to get a smile on my face. Don’t give me anything in the color pink then tell me it’s the thought that counts, because it means that you DIDN’T think about the gift OR me at all. I don’t do pink. Everyone knows that. I’m sure your recipient has a certain thing or things that they have been vocal about not liking as well.
How about you think back at one of your least favorite gifts and then make sure to not become that same type of giver. Make it simple, but make it count. That’s true thoughtfulness and at the same time joyful to both the giver and the receiver.
That kills two clichés at once.
— The Pretty Platform