The art of gifting
My mom has an aunt who likes to shower everyone with gifts on most occasions. She has a lot of events at her house, and then makes a big deal out of seating all the women in the family in a row and giving them a saree with arshna and kunkum. Sounds like fun right? Except that every single time she has given sarees to anyone except her own daughters or DIL, they are of such cheap quality that you positively cannot wear them. My mom religious thanks her everytime and then donates the saree to our help at home. I think even the help commented on the awful quality once.
My nag here is, why gift something that you know for sure is going to suck? And I am not taking personal styles or preferences here. Just the cheapness of the gift. I mean, if you have a budget of only 10Rs per person, then buy something nice in that 10 bucks. Don’t go and buy the cheapest quality thing you can find that no one is going to use. The lady takes pride in telling how she gave the entire extended family sarees. Only, now it is a standing joke in the family that when you get something from her, you can donate it even without opening the cover because you know it is going to suck.
Now, this auntie is having a house warming ceremony and my mom is attending. My mom was telling me that she purchased 2 sarees – for the aunt and her DIL. And knowing my mom, I know she puts a lot of effort into getting nice things when she gifts something. May not be the most expensive item, but it will definitely have something going for it. I was a little irritated that my mom has to go through with this when she all she gets in return everytime is something horrible. I wanted her to re-gift one of the aunt’s gifted sarees back to her. My mom replied that she would rather not give anything than give such cheap stuff.
My point exactly. No one holds a gun to your head and orders you to give gifts to everyone on every occasion. If fact you don’t have to give gifts at all!. And the big ones like weddings come once in a blue moon where even a simple bouquet will suffice. Actually, one of the better presents I received at my wedding was a beautiful poem written for us by one of my FIL’s close friends. It did not cost a cent, but it really touched us because it was so beautiful and we knew it was not a last minute stop at the mall to grab something on the way to the wedding.
Now gift giving has reached heights of laziness. You don’t have to think about the person at all. Just go to some generic store and buy a gift card and you are set! Somehow, gift cards seem very impersonal to me. But K disagrees and says that atleast they get whatever they want instead of being stuck with something they don’t like. And I feel that if I can’t figure out what a person would like as a gift, I probably don’t know them that well to begin with and should re-evaluate my relationship with them.
So what do you say? Gift cards or gifts? Or do you make sure you have return receipts anyways?
Entry filed under: Random Banter.