How to View Gifts Properly

How to view gifts properly

How to view gifts properly? The short answer How to View Gifts Properly is first to define what a gift is NOT!

How to View Gifts Properly
A beer on the porch at 123

A gift is NOT something that is given with the idea of getting something back. This might sound true at face value but basically, even though a genuine gift is presented without expecting repayment, there IS a payment in sort.

The payment is (looking at it from a guy’s perspective) that warm feeling you get when you see the look in your wife or girlfriends eye. It could perhaps be accompanied by a tear of happiness or a hug. (The opposite is true if you are a girl reading this article.) People who learn the art of heartfelt giving get so many happy rewards.

As a very well respected historical person once said: “there is more happiness in giving than receiving.” (Jesus) You only understand what that means if you are a generous giver. If everyone in this world acted unselfishly, caring for others as much as themselves, we would have a much happier planet and it would be automatic to view a gift properly and not have some sort of ulterior motive.

Really, we humans can’t do without one another. We need affection. We all need to feel wanted, liked, appreciated, respected, esteemed, cherished, valued, admired, yes, loved. We just cannot do without it, even though some tough guys try to act as if they can. Secretly, I know some really big tough guys who cry like babies when no one is looking. (Some when others ARE looking)

It starts not long after birth.

I guess a lot of folks have heard about the little babies in the orphanages who thrived if their bassinette was close to where a hugging nurse walked by at night. Here is a modern day comment about this:

“Techniques of Touch: New Knowledge about Nurturing Newborns” mentions the history of non-touched babies. Infants placed in orphanages in Europe after World War II received nourishment, but they did not grow and many developed severe social problems. Doctors attributed this failure to thrive from a lack of parental touch.-

How to view gifts properly? A Gift is a way of showing affection

As adults, we are often too proud to admit it but we all crave affection, and tangible gifts are often good ways of forming links between people. Boys to girls. Girls to boys. Husbands to wives and vice versa. Family members and friends to one another.

Material items can serve a useful purpose because they serve as a reminder of someone’s love or appreciation for the receiver. And if you guys out there aren’t too good at saying ‘I love you,’ a gift can sometimes do it for you. (But you had better get used to saying the I.L.Y bit too if you want to keep your girl)

However, there is a danger in this. The world is full of things that people give one another and while it’s interesting to own that new gadget, too often the emphasis is placed on the material item being given, rather than on the warm human relationship it nurtures which is far more important.

And the prompts we receive to remind us of gift giving are dangers in themselves. The western world too often relies on events such as birthdays, Christmas, Mothers Day, Valentine’s days, etc to be reminded of the need to be generous and it’s unfortunate that people often feel under obligation to give on these occasions and this really takes away from the idea of giving altogether.

Gift giving can become something we are expected to do or ‘what will this person think if he/she doesn’t get a gift on this occasion?”

Sadly, this often results in (among other things) (1) Overspending, causing no little arguments and frustrations (2) Lack of appreciation for the gift, particularly on the part of young children at Christmas time who expect gifts rather than receive them as a surprise as a reward for good behavior. This practice tends to breed selfish children who grow up into unappreciative adults.

Such unappreciated gifts often end up on the junk pile not long after the gift-giving event is over.

This is not to say that we should abandon gifts. Gifts are great ways of showing appreciation, or expressing love to someone, often without saying a word. We should just try not to be controlled by the commercial system which pressurizes us into giving when we either can’t afford it or really don’t do it from the heart as it should be.

Try being spontaneous in gift giving. Try not to have to be reminded about it. Try developing a kind heart and an appreciative personality. That way, our gifts, whether a nice pendant for the wife or a pair of cufflinks for the husband, a pair of earrings for a girlfriend, a ring for a boyfriend or just a thoughtful card for some nice folks that we know, will be genuine, from the heart and not out of a feeling of obligation. We will truly view a gift properly.

Take a look at this information for some excellent advice on the matter of gift giving

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5 thoughts on “How to View Gifts Properly

  1. Hi Peter,
    I agree with your sentiments on gift giving. The greatest joy comes from spontaneous giving. I have never allowed myself to be shackled to the seasonal giving which commercial institutions seem to promote for their financial gain, and the givers pain. That becomes evident when people who can not afford it try to pay off their “plastic” after being compelled to give seasonal gifts. Try something simple, give a complete stranger like the doctors receptionist a choclate bar next time they organize an appointment for you. Savour the reaction. DD.

    1. Dennis, what an interesting concept. At the risk of having the secretary fainting after such an unexpected event it sure does prove a point. If we humans dont start treating one another better, we are all going to fade out. It really is a shame that we have to interpret many human relationships in money terms rather than in terms of just being nice to one another. Spontanistically (if there is such a word…microsoft says there’s not) speaking, the little things we do for one another creates a really nice warm atmosphere. If everyone had the same point of view, what a wonderful world we would have. But of course there would be a bunch of lazy people who would just wait to be given things I guess. This conversation is worthy of a follow through. Thanks for your comments Dennis. Peter

  2. I agree with the fact that as adults, we are often too proud to admit it but we all crave affection, and tangible gifts are often good ways of forming links between people.

    1. Totally agree Robert. There is not enough generosity in this world. Its unfortunate that money seems to get in the way of human relationships and people often equate the value of a gift to what it would have cost. The thought behind it is much more important and as the article emphasizes, gifts should be spontaneous, not expected just because of an event. Of course sometimes we need reminders to be generous but if we get into the habit, it comes naturally and not prompted by commercial interests. I just bought my wife a bunch of flowers. She knew it only cost me around $5 but she has been treasuring those flowers for a couple of weeks now. Taking out the dying ones and salvaging the good ones. And the bunch is always in an obvious place on the kitchen table. In fact i have to keep pushing it out of the way so i can eat dinner. Maybe she is trying to tell me something about being generous more often (smile)

    2. I agree Robert. Sometimes a gift can speak when we find it hard to say anything. I like Dennis’ comment above about giving a chocolate bar to a receptionist. What a surprise that would be. It makes for really good human relationships.

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