New Year’s day inevitably comes with a variety of attributes, such as: a decorated Christmas tree, multi-colored fairy lights, spiced home baking, the smell of cinnamon and tangerines and, needless to say, – gifts! On New Year’s Eve we are going to receive as well as give dozens of presents to our near and dear ones, colleagues, partners and even our clients. It is worth mentioning that a ritual of gift giving is one of the oldest in the world! However, if for some people New Year’s trouble, including choosing presents, brings mere pleasure and excitement, for others all this pre-holiday fuss may seem a total disaster, robbing of all the energy and money.
What we are going to discuss in this article is how to choose gifts in such a way that it is enjoyable for both a giver and a receiver.
A lot of people have encountered an opinion lately, that a gift should reflect a person’s wellbeing. What is more, many believe that a gift must necessarily be pricy, luxurious, «look expensive». So expensive that it can be afforded only once a year. From this perspective, the purpose of «gift giving and receiving» ritual is strongly distorted. Ritual of gifts possesses sacred meaning. Our ancestors viewed exchanging gifts with each other as a way to express the best wishes, benevolent intentions, love and care. And the purpose of a gift has been the same since then. Certainly, a gift can serve as a material value, but this value mustn’t be the basis for choice. Take for example the fact, that money is often picked out as a gift. In my opinion, no sum of money can act as a gift, as when buying an actual gift we materialize money into objects, which we fill with certain meaning, thus performing their sacralization. Money by itself has no sacred meaning, and is the object of daily life. So, try to get rid of the thought that a gift equals money.
The ritual of choice (selection) is an essential part of any gift. When you are asked to buy «this thing at this place for this price», the beautiful ritual of gift giving loses its emotional value, and a gift turns into a donation.
If, when it comes to choosing a gift, you experience strong internal resistance, connected with the fact that you are worried what someone might think about you, consider that by presenting a gift you are bringing pleasure to yourself in the first place. If this anxiety regards your relatives or colleagues, remember that you cannot meet all the expectations, and it’s impossible to please everyone! For this reason, try to tune in to your own desires and needs and don’t aim to «comply». But, at the same time, listening to your own wishes don’t forget to take into account the desires of your near and dear ones: giving your wife a playstation, when she is not interested in computer games, will be a bad idea.
I celebrated New Year’s Eve and Christmas in Finland several years ago. I was pleasantly surprised by the local traditions of Christmas and New Year gifts. Beautifully decorated cookies, chocolate, warm woolen socks and scarves, holiday decorations, interior features, and all of these with Christmas ornaments, are considered the most appropriate gifts for colleagues or neighbors. Naturally, it would be delightful to receive a gift, which was carefully planned to the least details, such as wrapping and jingle bells ribbons, and besides, which is permeated by holiday atmosphere. On one hand, such gifts are multipurpose (they can be given to anyone), but on the other hand, they bring out thoughts about the holiday, in other words, they are charged with New Year’s mood, and will not leave anyone indifferent.
Gifts for children definitely stand out from the rest and are worth mentioning separately. Children as no one else feel the sacred meaning of a gift. A present for them is a miracle, that’s why you should never give it to children in advance or after the holiday is gone. Even if there is no opportunity to give a child exactly what he dreams about right now, by no means, leave him without magic on New Year’s Eve. A child will be happy to get any present which is given with love and attention to him.
To sum up, I would like to say, that there is no one-size-fits-all instruction on how to choose a gift for New Year. Tapping into your intuition, as well as an ability to consider feelings and desires of a person, you are choosing a gift for, are the best tools to aid in choosing presents. Remember that the purpose of a gift is above all to achieve harmony between a giver and a receiver.
Author Tatiana Pechalova
Translator Daria Samusenko
Original text Подобрать подарок. Как?