The HeArt of Gift-giving


The Christmas rush baffles a lot of people especially the mothers who are tasked to prepare gifts for everyone. When I say everyone, it means all the relatives, friends, acquaintances, workers, and anyone they’d be able to think about in the process. My sister and I finished our list early on. We had a longer list this year but I had fun preparing them.

I understand the dilemma of giving: if what you give represents how you value the person or is it the right gift you have chosen. Giving would mean wanting to give something that the receiver will like. At some point in time, we would have received gifts that would make you wonder if giving was really sincere. It is true that we should not equate the gift with the amount it costs, but closer ties would mean that they at least would have thought about what you like. I was quite impressed with my niece and nephews in how they save their allowances and buy their mother a birthday gift. At a young age, their gifts are much expensive than what we would normally give, but the price tags aside, I saw their heart in finding that perfect gift for their mother. The same is the case when they look for a gift for one of their siblings, pull in all their savings and buy something out of it.

This Christmas, I helped my mom think of gifts and did some Christmas shopping for her. It was a bit stressful because she insisted that the packaging or paper bag should contain the original product. Due to reuse, reduce, recycle campaign, my sister and I were saying that what is important is the content not the packaging and that our bags are well-kept and very much presentable. Our dad is on our side too on this note, plus a lot of people do the same. Our view is that if you want a neutral packaging, it is better to buy gift wrappers or gift bags and wrap the gifts yourself, put beautiful ribbons (which we also saved a lot in our drawers). Then our mom remarked that it is expensive to buy gift wrapping papers just to wrap those gifts (quite our point) thus the solution we presented. We do know some people who would go out their way to buy gift bags to put their presents inside. As I am tasked to buy some of the gifts, I followed my mom’s directive and asked for extra paper bags. Good thing that a couple of shops were more than willing to give me bags and gift cards.

Finding the perfect gift is not easy. There might not be a perfect gift. But I believe that if you like the person you would want to find the best gift you can get for them. I felt joy while picking up the gifts on our Christmas list. It is true that it’s the thought that counts but I think this doesn’t mean we could give just any gift we can find. If we follow this train of thought, the gift should be something meaningful or valuable to the person we would be giving this to. It should have been well thought of. The receiver will be able to appreciate the gift you prepared if it is from the heart.

a gift my sister recieved that she asked me to build
a gift my sister received that she asked me to build

It is but natural to find a nice gift for someone whom you really know, like knowing their interests, likes and needs. If you don’t know the person enough, it might be good to buy a neutral gift, something that is useful to that person. There’s also a consideration on the budget that we can allot for gifts, as the lists are quite long if we add all the immediate family, extended relatives, friends, people in the workplace, and people around us. I know a lot of people who have a really long list that you’d want to save up but also consider giving a nice gift. One of them is my grandma (she literally has an endless list of gifts to give). I’m amazed at her heart to give. The web of ties she has accumulated over the years is massive. Some people at her age would be the ones who should be receiving gifts, but she has practiced gift-giving for a long time now and is not giving up on it. At times we would worry at the level of stress she has to carry in thinking about everyone, but then I’d realize that’s how she is, she won’t stop caring for others. She really has a big heart and all that she reaches are touched with the idea of thinking about them in this special occasion. I’m glad though that my mom was happy with our suggestions and then finding some good buys in the mall to complete her gifts. She would in turn relay some ideas to help my grandmother.

There are a lot of affordable gifts and great gift ideas out there. I think the most important thing in finding a gift is the heart of giving. Give because you want to give. If you genuinely want to give someone a gift, you’d pour your heart into finding something special even if you’re unsure that the other person will like it. You can choose to be creative in giving gifts. In the process of searching for gifts, we found some really nice stores and gift options.20141204_145615
Explore your local department stores, toy stores, coffee shops, stores that you don’t usually go to, go to bazaars in your area, chances are you’ll be able to get something special. It is good to do your Christmas shopping early, as I’ve observed that some things have run out now that the holiday is just couple of days away.  It is helpful to schedule an early Christmas shopping to avoid the crowd and to pick out fresh selections for gifts.

I’m happy for the gifts I’ve received this year. Yes, we have already exchanged with our relatives even before Christmas arrives and have opened the gifts. Some have already plans for the holidays, so we distributed the gifts early on. Our tree is empty now but was filled with gifts a few weeks back. We got a new stash of coffee beans, two trays of apples and oranges(we decided to make some fruit shakes out of them), a bottle of sparkling juice and leche flan, chocolate cupcakes; I received a sketchpad, a travel journal, a book for writing, nanoblocks, baking set, some baked cookies, a bag and charmed necklace (which my sister and I exchanged-an unexpected find in a bazaar). I have read in William Ury’s Third Side about gift giving as one of the keys to make peace with people, it increases good will and rehabilitates or strengthens relationships. I guess my grandmother has observed this one for a long time now, that’s why has maintained connections.

Let this season be Merry!


2 thoughts on “The HeArt of Gift-giving

  1. I love the LEGO tree! I haven’t kept careful lists of what I bought for people this year, so I’m getting confused. Going to sort gifts out now! Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas, Sandi! It took quite long to put up that tree, as I’m not an expert, but it’s really nice to see the finished product 🙂 hope you get all those gifts sorted out soon!

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