Returning To Something Meaningful

Gifts are starting to feel more like gifts with numerous people searching for etiquette on not having to give, things are certainly changing...

Gifts really do feel more like gifts right now and this is a trend that will continue to ramp up as time goes by. Gone are the days of filler gifts and the worry over what to do about duplicates. Instead one will find numerous web searchers for going DIY or wriggling out of giving altogether. Yes, you're chances of receiving anything has gotten a whole lot slimmer and giving... well the price of being social is really starting to frighten people.

As this much linked report shows hiding probably isn't the best idea. Not even surrounded by chocolate, the net and numerous Chanel 2.55's. Non. Simply giving $5. will make you insanely happier and so will gift shopping for others. This is because, according to the study, spending money on experiences generates better, longer lasting feelings compared to recreational shopping on thine own self.

This has generated many conversations about a possible shift in our society. Namely a return to something meaningful and budgeting a very important area of life... you're social one. The major antidote, in the gift realm, seems to be a back story. Can you give one? Can you find one? This of course is going to make for a tad more work in the searching department but in the end it seems so worthwhile.

A television program that really demonstrated this concept was one that cleaned up messy rooms. The host, who would always force people to hold a huge yard sale, asked the homeowners right on the spot about each item... "what's the story about this ________? Can you even remember?". If they couldn't come up with an answer quick the item was just clutter and moved to either the sale spot, donation area or garbage. In most cases when the item was a cherished gift it's entire set of circumstances were immediately recalled, saving it from the dreaded 86 pile.

A few helpful questions when giving:

  • Will this gift fill a real need? This is where listening and knowing a person will really pay off. Working on getting to know people will lead to meaningful giving down the road and less of a chance of spending money needlessly on gifts that just end up being returned or unwanted.

  • Has this gift got a story behind it? Is it made by a designer you love or will it benefit free trade? Is it green? Is it an antique with a unique history? Is it a family heirloom or something you created? Will it have a built in provenance worth sharing with the recipient? Something as little and inexpensive as an Aloe vera plant can fit the bill because it has such a back story.

  • Has the cheap become expensive? This is one of my most favorite sayings and questions to ask on a regular basis. Everything is about choices today and making ones that lead to isolation can have profoundly negative effects, especially now in a time of stress. A simple laugh with a few buddies can have major reverberations that are felt fondly for days or even weeks. One thing those who lived through the Great Depression would always say to me was, "at least we had each other!". Stocking up on cards in order to say thank you or remembering loved ones birthdays might be some of the best money spent. Searching for ways not to have to give could be momentarily frugal but counter productive later on down the road in far reaching and unexpected ways.
  • Could this shopping trip be more meaningful? Every once in a while it can be a refreshing idea to sit down and take a hard look at shopping habits. Are they really in your best interest and balanced? How much time is spent on things you covet (but do not necessarily need) compared to things meant to be given to others?


Also read:
- How To Be Social Without Going Broke


hampers said…
Gift giving really is already a part of our lives. Children can never get enough of receiving especially during occasion that they knew a gift is a must. But somehow, the trend has been changing - like parents were educating their children the essence of giving rather than giving and this attitude is healthy for me. At least the materialistic side has been set aside and the urgency of giving from the heart is at the forefront.

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