Gifts That Keep On Giving

Watching this commercial, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales going on in the U.S., it made me wonder about what gift giving has become compared to our parents or grandparents. It reminds me of the saying, “When I was your age, things were __________.”

As in this Elton John piece, Your Song, where he writes:

“It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money, but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live.”

What were the thoughts of our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and ancestors when they were giving gifts? Did holidays always equate to giving someone, something? For some reason, I feel we have lost a bit of the magic that comes with the act of giving a gift.

I was watching a TV show recently where the boyfriend interviewed said he did not want to do anything fancy when proposing as each following year, more would be expected.

There are other instances where women are upset at the size of their engagement ring because it is not of a particular size or loved ones receiving the “wrong” gift and putting on a fake smile to please the other.

But what is gift giving anyway? What is the point of gifting someone? As this commercial shares, depending on our intentions, it can be a life-altering moment. Something humble or grand, yet meaningful. It doesn’t have to be big, doesn’t have to be glamorous, doesn’t have to be the latest, but to be from the heart.

I remember laughing when my mom said to me one year near her birthday, “If you are planning to buy me something for my birthday, ask me. Let me know what you are thinking and I’ll let you know if I want it. There is only so much space in our house and the last thing I need is something I can’t use or want.” Hilarious! And love how straight up she can be. Gangster.

But it got me thinking — that’s true. We have so much stuff in our lives, so much stuff outside of our lives, and find ourselves getting stuff to figure out how to use the stuff we have too much of. I’m not saying we have to all go completely monk-style, but believe there is a need to reevaluate.

They say a consumer has the dollar power to shift what and how things are created, but perhaps we can also include why we decide to give — is it for our benefit to feel good about ourselves or is it about creating, giving, enhancing happiness in the life of another. Gifting, after all, is another language of love.


(Video via John Lewis & Partners YouTube page)