Gift giving – Why do we give gifts?

It seems like gift giving is an expected ritual, the act of going out and purchasing a gift has therefore become second nature to the majority of individuals. For example, you know it is so and so’s birthday on this date and therefore you need to ensure you have purchased (whether that be spending time browsing online stores or physically walking around shops) and wrapped a gift to give them. There are so many special occasions, the list is endless; birthdays, wedding anniversarys, anniversaries, valentine’s day, christmas, new year, weddings, christenings, graduations, passing a driving test, passing exams, having a baby, beginning university, house warmings and you probably realised that all these occasions usually require a gift to be given. My special occasions list, which is by no means exhaustive we can see that any event, big or small may require a gift to be purchase, wrapped and then given. 
 
Gifts are given as a way of showing the recipient that they deserve something in acknowledgement for the day or event that is causing some celebration. Gifts are given as a way of making the recipient feel special, loved, happy and in some ways also valued. Giving a gift symbolises that the gift giver knows and understands the recipient, as hopefully the gift will be relevent and of value to the person it is given to. Traditionally, flowers, chocolates, money and wines are given as gifts, but in today’s society where technnologies and ideas are constantly developing, it is possible to use your imagination and find gifts that are bound to make the recipient truly happy and grateful for the time and effort you have spent on finding the perfect gift for them.
 
Giving gifts should be a choice to see the happiness they bring to a loved one’s face in acknowledgement of a special occasion or event, gift giving should not be seen as an obligation, even though tradition and society may have made it so.
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One Response to “Gift giving – Why do we give gifts?”

  1. Melissa Morris Says:

    Gifts can be so many things! They can be a small token of appreciation, or a bigger and more meaningful gift. I think that the old saying, “It’s the thought that counts” is really the most important thing. Gifts allow us to show people we care about that we have been thinking of them (and as you said in your post – know and understand what is important to them). But gifts can also be intangible, like doing a favor for someone or spending time with them.

    When we give gifts out of obligation, we miss “the thought” of the gift and that might be why it feels so much like an effort rather than something we enjoy doing.

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Melissa 🙂
    http://www.melissamorris.wordpress.com

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