Gift Giving: To gift or not to gift?

Holidays and birthdays bring the dilemma of gift giving.  There are two main schools of thought when it comes to gift giving: to gift or not to gift.

To Gift:

The tradition of gift giving goes back to ancient Rome.  It’s purpose is to do something thoughtful for someone you care about, whether it is for a birthday, holiday or special occasion.  It is an opportunity to show them you have taken the time to think of them.  If you take the time to thoughtfully pick out a gift, it can be very meaningful for the giver as well as the receiver.

Not to gift:

There has been a trend in recent years towards not giving gifts.  The problem with gifts is that sometimes the person is hard to buy for.  Maybe you have a picky teenager who doesn’t like what you pick out and would rather just have cash or gift cards.  You might be buying for parents or grandparents who have everything they need and want.  You may be looking for a way to reduce the stress you feel in having to pick out gifts.  Perhaps the cost of shipping makes gift giving impractical.

Although everyone has to do what works best for their individual situation, I am a advocate of gift giving.  Think back to the magic and wonder of receiving a gift as a child.  Do you remember when you received something special and how it made you feel?  Do you remember the excitement and surprise of unwrapping a present?  As we get older, the holidays lose a little bit of that magic, but I believe by thoughtful gift giving, you can keep some of that magic alive.

A great thoughtful gift will be remembered for years to come.  I know I remember not only the gift, but the giver as well.  I can still recall certain gifts that I received as a child as well as who gave them to me because the gift meant a lot to me.  Only rarely do I remember the money or gift cards I received.  I certainly appreciate those gifts, but they don’t stay with me like other gifts do.

I’m not trying to be a gift snob.  You certainly can’t make everyone happy all of the time and while you try your best, not every gift will make an impression on the receiver.  That’s ok.  It’s the thought that counts, right?

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