Sep 12, 2007

Customary gifting practices

Having been brought up in a traditional background, I have attended quite a number of family functions and weddings. Elders in the family usually took the responsibilities of picking up gifts before attending any such events. The kind of gifts vary with different occasions. For a wedding, if the bride or groom was a very close relative of the family, the gift typically would be a gold pendant or a ring. In case if it was for a distant relative, the gift would be a silver lamp or kumkum storage box. If the gift was for a friend, it would either be a display item or just plain cash.

Now that I have grown up to be someone who can no longer outsource the gift buying responsibility, I decided to buy a gift for my cousin's wedding recently. After marriage, my cousin would fly off to US. So any bulk gift would just be lying idle in her house in India. Based on my criteria that the gift should be useful as well as usable while they are living abroad, I bought a pair of Titan watches for the bride and the groom. On the day of wedding, after presenting the gift to the newly wed, I was sitting relaxed in the marriage hall. My other relatives came to me one by one and started enquiring about the gift that I had presented. When I said that the gift box has a pair of watches, they were shocked. "A gift of either gold or silver would be the appropriate gift for such occasions", was the blunt response from everyone. I couldn't convince them that gifts ought to be usable and not meant for storing in lockers.

In another situation, I had to buy a gift for my friend's wedding. I knew that she didn't know to cook and so I bought her a set of cookery books which I felt were very useful based on my experience. Again, another cousin put down this idea that books are not good gifts for weddings and she argued that items which has a good look are the best gifts.

Giving gift vouchers is a better idea as it gives the person ability to buy what he/she wants. But amidst the bustling crowd during the wedding, the small vouchers are bound to get lost. I hate the idea of gifting cash since I feel as though we are paying for the food that we have during the event.

Due to lack of space, most of my wedding gifts that are display items are lying stacked in a cardboard box. Sometimes, I wonder why this gifting is needed in the first place.

This post was triggered by a very nice advertisement of Cadbury's celebrations that I happened to watch recently. A display item getting exchanged from one family to another and finally gets landed up in the same house from where it originated! Simply hilarious. A pack of chocolates is indeed a better gift. I would prefer even more if it was a pack of Dairy Milk chocolates. Anyone listening?

Blog Archive

All contents copyrighted by Anuradha Sridharan, 2023. Don't copy without giving credits. Powered by Blogger.