I recall as a child that whenever I got a gift, it was like there was a certain set of rituals that happened beforehand. These usually comprised of my mother making a big fuss about me not looking in her closet, then her walking around telling me how much I was going to like my gift.
Thirty years later, not much has changed, only the actors in the play. Now, usually about two to three weeks before my birthday, my wife will start telling me how much I am going to like my present. Only problem is that now I am a little less enthused by the prospect of getting something. It is not that I do not like the gifts, I have just never been a good gift recipient.
Don’t get me wrong… I love getting gifts, but where the problem lies in not in the getting, but in the response to gifts.Â People like to hover when they give you a present, so this creates a feeling of being on display.Â You almost need to choreograph your responses with them in mind, even if you know you are going to like the gift, you need to make sure that you express your like in such a way that it is taken well.
The three items on my list as favorite things to get are, in no particular order: Clothes (Excepting underwear.), Tools and Giftcards or Books.Â These win a smile from me every time.Â There are some sub-categories that are exceptions…Â If you buy me a tie, chances are I may use it to string up your cat or dog.Â If you buy me underwear… what can I say, just don’t.Â But the rest are great.
Now…Â While the emotions presented when a gift is given are real, you have to be careful.Â To much excitement, even if genuine, can cause the person giving the gift to become skeptical, thinking that you are trying to make them feel good.Â To little emotion makes the person think you did or do not like the gift given.Â The tell-tale signs of a person not being sure about the gift they have given you or the response you give is a very common comment, that should almost be included on every greeting card.Â “If you do not like it, you can take it back and exchange it.”
Next to your doctor telling you “You have cancer!” or your wife saying “Honey, I’m pregnant.” or your kid saying, “Dad, I’m gay and having an affair with your boss.”Â These can be some of the worst words to hear from a person.Â It immediately puts you on the defensive and you now have to tread carefully with everything else you say.Â It sorta reminds me of this conversation that my wife and I had years ago.Â A woman can dress beautifully, and when she asks you how she looks, you have to be very careful… because no matter how you answer, she will take it apart and question anything that sounds like it may leave part of her attire or makeup in question.
Back to the gifts…Â Like I said, I enjoy getting gifts, that has never been a problem.Â However I enjoy giving gifts more than getting them.Â There is something uniquely rewarding to the soul when you give something to someone.Â I really do not pay attention to how they feel about it.Â If they like it, great, if not, then there are several options that they know they have, and I let them worry about that.Â Knowing myself and my own take on receiving gifts, I try not to do to others that which bothers me when people give me gifts.Â I would like to think I have done pretty good.
For those of you who have given me gifts in the past, rest assured that whatever it was, and whomever it was from, I liked it.Â Rarely will I not like something that is given to me, there are two reasons for that, and these are things we should all keep in mind.Â 1.Â If a person takes the time and interest to buy you a gift, then that in itself is a gift.Â That the person would take time to look for something for you says volumes about the person and their relationship with you.Â That by itself is worth more that the gift.Â 2. Giving is the ultimate sign of friendship, whether is it an item, or the gift of ones company.Â Sometimes the best thing you can give a person is your time, to sit and talk or enjoy each other’s company.
In all, the gift is not the important part, it is the friendship of the people in your life.Â They are the true gifts… everything else is just icing for the cake.