Have gifts become irrelevant in this age of self gratification? Most of us have enough financial muscle to buy ourselves things reasonably within our reach. If it is slightly beyond our reach then there is always plastic money and the numerous personal loans which all banks are dying to offer us. The burgeoning economy and the retail boom add to the options of buying just about any international brand.
Do people even appreciate the sentiments behind a gift in this day and age? Increasingly, I am seeing that a gift is judged by amount of money it cost, from the shop it has been purchased from and such like. I have myself snottily turned up my nose at a lipstick given to me which seemed to be purchased from a throwaway sale - the label showed 0.99 cents. Immediately an internal voice from somewhere rebuked be for being crude and said its the thought that counts, someone cared enough to remember me, someone cared enough to think I was important enough to bring me a little something from somewhere, somebody cared enough to invest that one inch of space in their suit cased to fit in something just for me - don’t all those things count?
I have been on the receiving end as well when I could sense vibes about the 'ho hum' attitude, about things being the usual supermarket stuff, cheap, not exclusive, common and what not. Of course they all say the thank you's very prettily but lack warmth completely. Why did I even bother? Some of the people I have got gifts for have just accepted silently without a single acknowledgement. I had to ask - did you get the thing I got for you and they would wake up and say oh yes - thanks. What a waste yet again. I wonder what they would loose to show a gesture of appreciation to someone who has bothered to remember the person's existence and spent time and money to buy something that the person may like. It's perhaps insensitivity at its best.
I have experienced the joys of gifting as well, the whoops of joy, the smile and the true sentiment that goes with accepting a gift. All of it has been without exception from my immediate family. My Mother makes it a point to mention how much convenient her life has become after the onion chopper or how much she enjoyed the candied ginger and she is not saying that to please me. My son plays with the toys I got for him, my husband spent a little fortune to alter shirts I had brought for him but were of the wrong size.
Perhaps we are more diligent about the gifts when we gift to our loved ones and buy the other gifts out of a sense of duty. Perhaps it is best not to do things just out of a sense of duty and not give gifts to people who cannot appreciate the gesture of gifting and save precious time, efforts and money.