Do you enjoy gift giving? I do. Actually, I absolutely love to give gifts and it’s not because I’m a super generous person. No, I actually derive pleasure just thinking about what will “wow” the other person. I make beaded jewelry, so I love to give my friends and family something I made. I spend a great deal of time coming up with the design and choosing beads. I’ll spend time considering which colors the recipient would like and the type of jewelry they wear. I will also spend time in wrapping the gift. For me the presentation is just as important as the gift itself.The feelings I get from making the gift and then seeing the other person’s reaction are just incredible. When I know that the other person was “wowed” by my gift it makes me feel great. My gifts are not necessarily something I make or buy but sometimes I do something for someone such as babysitting for my friend so she can take break.
I recently read an article in the New York times that suggested that not allowing someone to give you a gift is bad for the relationship. According Ellen Langer, a Harvard Psychology professor, you are doing a disservice by not giving them the gift of giving. For thousands of years the social value of gift giving has been important throughout human history. Some cultures have engaged in the potlatch, a ceremony that celebrated extreme giving. The family within a clan or village had more prestige not based on how much they had but how much they gave away. American culture has turned gift giving extremely commercial and with a bad economy many people opt out of gift giving. I think that you don’t need to spend a lot to still give great gifts. Sometimes just helping someone by giving time to relax or being with loved ones is a great gift that doesn’t have to cost anything.
So next time when you’re having a bad day, make someone else’s day and your bad day may not turn out to be so bad.