Gifting people on occasions is a social norm, people expect at least 1 gift (if not more) from every invite they send out..its normal, unless stated otherwise on the card invite.
1 in every 50 invites will you find a card that says “Your presence is our present”.. now that’s more like it. You know almost at once that either one side (if not both sides) of the family is very rich and they don’t really care for people’s gifts. Its more a status they are looking at. More the people invited, more successful the event. I avoid such functions, I hate such people, unless of course they are close family friends…well then you really can’t avoid making an appearance..at the dinner table and maybe a few seconds on the passing video camera sipping on your drink and smiling awkwardly.
What happens then for those functions that don’t mention that our presence is valued more than a gift..? It starts a circle of going from shop-to-shop to find a perfect gift, something not too small-not too big, something which fits our budget (considering we are Indians) which should not go above INR 1000. I mean how much food can we eat worth that…even if 5 members of the family go? 😀 ..and yes people think like that. Normal gifts for a wedding for example would be.. what? cups? bowls? dinner set? microwave set of special containers or something. I once gifted a wall rosary to a colleague of mine who got married. Now hows that for being different & unique? It was appreciated too 🙂
Buying gifts for birthdays & Anniversaries on the other hand are relatively easier, there is a wide choice. I remember for my sisters 21st birthday,
she was gifted a maximum number of flower vases. Not that she was in the florist business that she could use so many. For the couple of people who bought flowers, we used the vases to display them the next morning on the dining table 🙂
It was easier giving gifts when we’re younger. For most of my girl-friends (that would have to be understood as friends who are girls), I gave them teddies along with a personalized greeting card and they loved it. Of course now, it would be something that their children play with, pull out an eye or two..today’s children I tell you…! Little monsters they are 😉
What’s the best gift you’ve received on your birthday? or if you’re married..on your wedding day?
When it comes to me..my friends really do not know what to gift me coz I show no special love towards anything specific. Tho’ they are some friends who do take the trouble to notice the small things I do, say and show a little interest in (I love those kind of friends). I was once gifted a story book (yes! I love reading), another time a Parker pen (I love writing), on another occasion a compiled cd with my favorite songs ( I love
listening to music in my [dad’s] car). I love blogging now, so I guess a laptop would be an ideal gift no?
I am not so much into receiving gifts, flowers, cakes..the big celebrations. That’s why one will never find me home on my birthday, I’m either out of town, state or best country. A friend of mine once asked;
“Savio, what would you like on your birthday?”
now people rarely ask these kind of open ended questions..and she was quite surprised by the answer I gave her.
I replied “Say a prayer and that will be the best gift you can ever give me”
For me life isn’t so much about the material things, God has blessed with me a wonderful family, good friends and a healthy life. Isn’t that more than enough?
..though sometimes, cash makes a pretty good birthday gift too 🙂 you know just in case if people are in the giving spirit.. considering my birthday is in the 2nd week of January and everyone is still pretty much in the Christmas spirit 🙂 lol