Thursday, December 14, 2006

Let's talk about gifts

gift –noun
1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.
2. the act of giving.
3. something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned: Those extra points he got in the game were a total gift.
4. a special ability or capacity; natural endowment; talent: the gift of saying the right thing at the right time.
In this particular post, I am concerned with the first definition given, specifically this part: "without payment in return." Why is it that we have such a hard time with that part?

It is Christmas! I give gifts because I enjoy (hopefully) bringing a little cheer into people's lives, not because I expect anything in return. Now, admittedly, I would be a bit shocked if I did not receive any gifts at all from my family, but that would not prevent me from wanting to give them something. For me, Christmas really is about giving!

So if I give you something and you weren't expecting it, for heaven's sake, please do not send me something in return! It is a GIFT! I didn't give it to you because I want something from you, I gave it to you because it made me think of you and I wanted you to have it. It does not make you indebted to me, you do not owe me. It is supposed to make you feel happy that you received a gift, not bad because you didn't get me anything. Just accept it with good grace, enjoy the gift, and maybe pay it forward when you get the chance. It is an amazing feeling to know that you brightened the day of someone who was not expecting it. Just try it sometime!

And if you think I'm talking about you, you just might be right. I'm expecting at least one, perhaps two people who read my blog to balk when something unexpected arrives in their mail next week. So I'm telling you right now, do NOT email me and say "I'll send you something." Just accept it and enjoy it. Okay?

I know, I shouldn't be grumpy about gifts, especially ones I'm giving. I'm just sick as a dog right now with the cold from hell (DH has it, too; he's about a day behind me in symptoms), DH's alternator died but they can't fix it until tomorrow, and I to have all the stuff on that list right there done by Friday, December 22. Uh-huh. Speaking of the list, here is the current status:

Currently feeling: giving


  1. Aww Erin! It's not about feeling obliged to send something, but a way of saying Thank you! And doing something nice in return :)

    I hope I'm not among the people you were talking about!

    I haven't started on THE project yet. Lots of things going on rightnow. I want to enjoy doing it, so I'll wait for some time :)

  2. I love giving gifts too. But I admit, I like giving gifts to people who give me gifts. But it's not an obligation, it's just something that makes me happy. I definitely do hate it when people expect to give me something because I gift them... it's all about fun!

  3. I read this after ranting to DH last night about the Sears ad where they talk about "the friend who give a gift too soon", or some silly thing like that. Darn it, I can give a gift to anyone I want whenever I want, and I do it because I like to see them happy, not because I want something in return!!! Argh.

    (Hi, by the way....from another Erin!)


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