Jun 20, 2023

What gifts do we value?

 I remember this incident from a couple of years back. I had recently joined a startup and we were playing Secret Santa during Christmas time. I was the Santa to a Marketing team member and I had no clue what his interests were. I enquired with a couple of his teammates but didn't get much info that could help me choose the right gift. I went ahead and bought a book related to Marketing. When the gift opening day arrived on Zoom, I realized that this person doesn't read any books. It was a "bulb-u" moment for me!🙂

I'm terrible at selecting the right material gifts, especially if I don't know the interests of someone.

My criteria for gift selection are oriented toward utility:

A gift has to be useful and not merely sit on a showcase or inside a locker.

A gift shouldn't be given for the sake of formality.

A gift should have a longer lifetime value.

If we know a person's interests, material gifts are easy to select, order, and ship to anywhere in the world in today's digital age.

There are also many valuable and thoughtful gifts that we can consider gifting:

  • Home cooked meal
  • Homemade goodies (Spice mixes, sweet treats, baked goods)
  • Handmade products (bookmarks, painted coasters, embroidered cushion covers)
  • Handwritten letters / inspirational quotes in the form of posters
  • Offer one hour of uninterrupted and undistracted listening
  • Gift an hour to relax and unwind while you take care of the receiver's duties or work (childcare, elderly care, running errands)
  • Discussion, advice, or suggestions on a topic of interest
  • Watch the receiver's favorite movie or a web series together (though it might belong to a different genre than your liking)
  • Sending prayers, positive energies, or healing vibrations to the receiver

It goes without saying that the receiver should value such gifts as well.

We can help our children to appreciate the value of such gifts - both giving and receiving them. It helps them to start appreciating people and the effort and thought they have put in, rather than just focusing on the monetary aspects.

A few observations of concern especially noticed during birthday parties -

Insisting and demanding return gifts

Showing signs of disappointment when return gifts don't meet their expectations

Deciding on the value of a friend based on the gift he/she gives

Deciding on the worth of an event based on the gift he/she receives

It is up to us as parents to help kids rise above the material valuation they start to learn from a young age. The only way to do that is to change our values and be role models to them in what we value and appreciate in relationships.

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