Gifts and the art of giving…

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.  People like to hover when they give you a present, so this creates a feeling of being on display.  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.  These win a smile from me every time.  There are some sub-categories that are exceptions…  If you buy me a tie, chances are I may use it to string up your cat or dog.  If you buy me underwear… what can I say, just don’t.  But the rest are great.

Now…  While the emotions presented when a gift is given are real, you have to be careful.  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.  To little emotion makes the person think you did or do not like the gift given.  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.  “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.”  These can be some of the worst words to hear from a person.  It immediately puts you on the defensive and you now have to tread carefully with everything else you say.  It sorta reminds me of this conversation that my wife and I had years ago.  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…  Like I said, I enjoy getting gifts, that has never been a problem.  However I enjoy giving gifts more than getting them.  There is something uniquely rewarding to the soul when you give something to someone.  I really do not pay attention to how they feel about it.  If they like it, great, if not, then there are several options that they know they have, and I let them worry about that.  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.  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.  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.  1.  If a person takes the time and interest to buy you a gift, then that in itself is a gift.  That the person would take time to look for something for you says volumes about the person and their relationship with you.  That by itself is worth more that the gift.  2. Giving is the ultimate sign of friendship, whether is it an item, or the gift of ones company.  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.  They are the true gifts… everything else is just icing for the cake.

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7 thoughts on “Gifts and the art of giving…”

  1. I’m thinking of getting an Xbox 360 as a gift for my boyfriend’s birthday. He got me started on Halo2 last year and we’re both anxious to try Halo3. We also enjoy Red vs. Blue but I’m way behind on it having only seen the first two seasons so far. 🙂 Maybe I can order a couple of seasons for him as a Christmas present.

  2. The price of RvB is actually pretty low… $20 a dvd. I have watched the entire series, and was pretty amused by the finalle. I was a little sad to see the series end. I am hoping that they have plans with the H3 engine as well. I keep telling people that once you start playing XBox, you are hooked… I know I am.

  3. Two of my son’s are gay…and it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life. That would have been that he read you’re homophobic derogatory blog that thinks being Gay is the “worst” thing that can happen to a person or thinks he has the right to tell jokes which violates a persons US Civil rights…that which you are guilty of, sir.
    Our masquerading as a respectful human who disemminates hateful rhetoric and slander against a class of individuals he feels should be scorned as the societies “worst”….now, the above would be the worst things my gay sons could have told me…the affair with my boss wouldn’t bother me either….perhaps it would result in some perks.

  4. Then what does it mean when a homosexual makes fun of other homosexuals? Is that person violating thier own civil rights? How about when I make fun of my own Jewish upbringing, or about my own “whiteness” or the fact that part of my life was spent in a backwater little hick town where I was made an example of in school for being a Jew? (I fully expect a diatribe on my violating the Civil Rights of Hicks, now.)

    There are a lot worse things being said out there than the items you keep flagging me on. If you are so worried about people violating the civil rights of a person being Gay, then more people like you are needed fighting groups like the westboro baptist church… if you are not familiar with them, go to No… that is not a site I have anything to do with. In fact I am writing a piece about them at the moment… and it is not complementary.

    I have known two people whose kids have “come out of the closet” to them, and one told me that it was, at the time, the worst thing he had to deal with at the time, and the other said that he was shocked and disappointed, but both got over it. You yourself cannot tell me that you took it completely “non-chalant” unless you had suspicions all along and were prepared for it, and even then, I doubt that anyone would not be a little shocked and disappointed but such news… I would not expect you or anyone else to stop loving your kids for such an announcement… though I am certain that it happens.

    I apologize that you were only able to base your comment on ten words out of this article. I do not apologize for the article.

  5. Why do you attack me and assume facts that are not evidenced in my writings? Don’t be so touchy. You made a derogatory reference about “gays” and you should have said it wasn’t your opinion, but was based on a gay person’s parents comment to you. That would have been different, a valid point, and I could see someone thinking that about the situation as it pertained to them.
    However, you cannot know how someone feels about anything and should not pretend you do, and should only base your comments on how you would feel, or at least cite the utterer of your information. I was so glad my kids came out because i love them unconditionally and a lot of those who do not end up victims of suicide. My only disappointment was that gays are discriminated against just for being gay, as you have demonstrated by your “worst” comment..and I don’t assume, but rather I know from your own words that you know that feeling just by the fact that you are Jewish, and the incident that was so hurtful to you as a child.
    I hope and pray that the words that hurt you so much as a child are no longer with you,but it seems otherwise, and that you understand that they were uttered by thoughtless and ignorant children who did not understand the ramifications of their actions. I hope you forgive them, and let this go……John

    P.S. Your apology is really no apology at all, and believe it or not, I read the whole article, but I thought I could base my comment on any part of your writings..I wasn’t aware the was a word limit. I just found that section more offensive than the rest. Geez…can’t anyone disagree with you without you trying to belittle or humiliate them, or trying to discount them by your denying or qualifying, after the fact, what you wrote in the first place? I forgot…you were raised (by your own words) and believe in children being embarassed, spanked, and humiliated. And that’s the way you try to reslove all you disagreements.
    I rest my case. Good Day, sir. I will no longer subject myself to your behavioral tendencies to attack, humiliate, or embarrass. As they say,”the acorn does not fall far from the tree.”

  6. No there is no word limit. I just feel that you are taking an entire article that I was written in the spirit of having fun, and took it the wrong way. As for your “Civil Rights” comment, I will await the Cease and Desist order.

    No… My apology was not one… I do have a question… if you find my writing offensive… why do you keep reading, and not commenting on everything? I am sure there had to be something offensive in the “Path Not Taken” piece, or what about the “Fall of Heros” piece? I review your IP footprints, and you are obviously reading a lot of stuff, and if it is all offensive, we are going to be at this a long long time.

    I appreciate your comments… But I cannot think that everything I write is as bad as you say.

  7. John… One last thing. I had a little laugh tonight at my stats. You accounted for more than 34% of my total traffic for the last week. I am hoping you will not take this wrong, but thanks… you gave me my best single week to date.

    Seriously… I hope you do keep reading… and occasionally commenting, it keeps the blood flowing and the mind working. Maybe one of these days I might even get some praise out of you for something I write. You have given me a goal to work towards. 😉

    Here’s hoping to see you again, sometime.

    Sempre Fi.


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