Firstly, my apologies….. I know Christmas has just passed, but I am going talk about presents and gifts in this blog…. Though we do continue to give gifts for birthdays and other celebrations during the year.
Let's ask our self, why do we give gifts to people in the first place? What is the purpose for ‘gifting’?
So the question is… do you ‘gift’ people because it is something people do and you just follow the ritual? Or is it because we care and we want to give someone a thoughtful gift, as we want to show people that we care and love them, which indirectly strengthens the bonding and relationships.
Personally, I feel that gift-giving is a way to connect with that person, showing that you care and you have thought about them. It strengthens that bonding and relationships with that person. Also it gives me the joy for knowing that the gift is well received and appreciated.
However, sometimes (if fact most times) gift-giving can be challenging.
For example, when we go back to visit our relatives in our home country, Malaysia, we have to think about the gifts for all our relatives. In our subconscious minds, we never really think about why we have to get the gifts; however, it is our culture that we never go to someone else's place empty handed.
From my own experience, I feel joyful and excited with the thought of going back to visit our relatives in Singapore and Malaysian, yet I agonise over what gifts I should take back to most of the relatives as well as the cost of it. I believe many of you share this sentiment.
I am not saying gift-giving is not a good idea; in fact, gift-giving encourages connections with relatives and friends. It encourages us to think of them and to connect with them, and consider what they would really like and what they would need…. however, what do we get from them?
How do you know what gift to give?
Does the recipient really want what you are giving them? Do you give someone a gift thinking that they would like it or do you really know what they want?
Why is it important that when we gift someone?
Have you ever experienced someone spending a lot of money getting you something and it turned out it was not what you really wanted? Do you feel a little disappointed? And for the person giving, do you feel you wasted your time, effort and money getting something that they do not want?
So how do you get someone a gift that he or she really likes?
- Ask them directly
- Through day to day conversation, listen to what they say, or ask someone close to them to determine what he or she really likes.
Ask them directly
This is what I do now, if I am on my way back to see family in Malaysia. I will
- ring them up and ask them what they would like me to bring back for them
- explain to them the weight restrictions that I can carry, so it has to be within a certain size and weight
- allow them to tell me. I personally think that it is respecting the other person's wishes by getting something that they really want and need, as opposed to something that we think they may like or need.
By doing this, not only can we plan what we need to pack for the flight, but also we need not waste unnecessary money getting something for someone, hoping that they would like it.
On top of that, it gives us opportunity to search and compare prices, especially when we are tight on our budget, and we can get something that is value for money.
Through our day to day conversation
If you want to get something for someone you care about, but somehow are uncomfortable asking that person, make time to connect with them and listen to what they really need. For example, if it is an elderly relatives who would love to have some nice chocolate, or some nice facial cream etc but are too polite to ask you to get it for them, you may get the "hint" through the conversation.
You may indirectly tell them that you have come across a very nice facial or body cream that you really like, so would he or she be interested to try some if you brought some samples home? And listen to the response.
By making sure that you are getting the things that people need and want, not only you will save the time and money getting gifts, the receiver will be pleased with what they get. They will feel connected with you, knowing that you care and are concerned about them.
Happy gifting. Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.