It is that time of year when I lift my hats off to the sales personal of just about every outlet or service centre in the region, especially if they can keep their cool. For what happens after Christmas when the lacy underwear was two sizes too small or the drill was the third received only just from different family members or the CDs are not needed, as one had already purchased them all over the i-Tune store? They are naturally given back to be either exchanged or returned. Often without the original packaging intact, as it had been ripped off in the excitement of hoping it will be finally an item you really wanted. Or the receipt is missing, as your gift giver threw it away or can’t find the right one. These are probably the easier cases to deal with.
I imagine the harder ones to know what to do with when you can or do not want them are those presents, which totally miss the mark. The gifts, which are given every year round, by the same person to the same person and they only, vary in colour, brand or size. The pair of socks, scarf, package of lacy hankies, box of chocolates or bubble bath items. The “quick gift” I call them. The feeling I need to give gift. My husband always wonders why on earth give bubble bath when every Tom, Dick and Harry can go buy his or her own now days. I find he has a point.
I know of an Internet side that actually sent out on Boxing Day an advertisement, encouraging you to sell off those presents that you do not want instead of mentioning their having missed their mark to the giver. Hence making money yourself and then buying something you can use with it. Not a bad idea actually if you cannot bring yourself to say it is an item you do not need, to the person whom gave it to you. Or there is the online exchange organization that says swap one gift for another, as long as you are prepared to pay for the postage it might require to do this. At least it might find it’s way to another who can use it.
What happens though when you get something that grates on you? As in you have said before this is not your taste or style and you still get given it? What happens when you feel hurt by the gift given because it seems so impersonal from the person you felt was close to you? What happens when you get nothing and where expecting something? How do you react to these situations? Such touchy questions to be asked let alone answer here.
Oh the joy of Christmas time, the time of love, giving, sharing and unselfishness or “Oh the headache of the aftermath of this generous season” could be more the slogan for many a person. Could there be a way to get around these typical, reoccurring stumbling blocks for so many gift givers and receivers – the unwanted, miscalculated, mismatched or unneeded gift(s)? I believe there is.
It requires you firstly to ask why you give in the first place. Is it to please, make you look important or show off. Is it to show appreciation and say thank you. Is it giving a part of yourself, in a way to show your love? May be, maybe not but you need to know why you are giving. That is the most important energy exchanged here and underlies all the following actions you will undertake. Seriously ask yourself what is your reason for giving. Find this out. Bore deeply until you have the answer then continue.
Secondly ask yourself would you like to get this item? Could you use it? If straight away the answer is no then do not give it. It will not be received well either. Give only what you yourself could appreciate or would have if you were of the age group, sex or type of person you are giving to. If you hate cooking you do not want Jamie Oliver’s latest quick dishes book nor do you want opera tickets if heavy metal is your thing, so do not give others gifts, which are against who they are.
Thirdly make sure the item is appropriate for the person getting it. You would not give an alcoholic a bottle of whisky or a person out of a job, amusement park tickets to a venue four hours away from their home to which they would first have to buy expensive train tickets to travel there. Missing the mark is just often plain laziness for not thinking before purchasing.
Fourthly not every gift must be used on the day given but it should be thought out. Gift vouchers can be personal items of giving time, energy and something another is missing or cannot do any more but you are capable of undertaking. Such as a set date for cleaning the windows of grandmas house, ready for springtime and her looking out from the winter garden onto her yard. Or babysitting your younger cousins, for the wedding anniversary of your Aunt and Uncle, so they can go out. Or taking a friends pet in for the holiday time when they are away so it doesn’t need to go to a kennel. These gifts are the ones, which make a whole event that extra special because you give your awareness of how important the person is to you. You give your time to them so they can have time for themselves!
Mostly remember if your gift contains money in an envelope put the reason for your giving it in a small message along with it. State that you maybe do not know the clothe taste, or desired perfume or required items wished for, hence the money should help in them getting exactly the right thing and that you would love to see this item when purchased. This shows you are interested in what is brought. It shows you want some “follow up” because you care!
A gift is something special. It can also be given without a reason. It can be given simply because you are loved and love. It can be a hug. It can be your listening. It can be your time. It can happen at any time. It can be for me simply the idea you have read my blog post here and have reflected upon what I have said. You have given me the gift of your presence, which is truly a present, to be treasured indeed.
As the year draws to an end and perhaps you are thinking of a New Years resolution please think on this: what about just promising yourself you will give yourself time to find out what you really need in the coming year and pledge to give yourself it as a “gift” to yourself simply because you can, within the new year!