We give gifts. For what purpose? To please? To impress? To win favor? To apologize? And when we get a gift, does it work? Are we pleased, impressed, influenced or forgiving? A friend sent me a copy of a post on a psychology blog that was very interesting. Giving gifts may not be such a wise relationship choice. Apparently if your relationship is going well, a good gift is a neutral offering. No big whup. But a bad gift can hurt even an apparently good relationship. The bad gift indicates dissimilarity.
It got me to thinking. What makes a bad gift?
I think a bad gift is a gift lacking thought. Even an extravagant gift, given casually and without emotional consideration, is ill-received. Don’t get me wrong….is someone handed me a tiny hinged velvet covered box or a shiny sportscar with a giant red bow on it’s roof, I would probably squeal with delight. But a gift with the added notion of planning or time would have a more lasting impact.
I like giving gifts more than receiving them. I like thinking about a person and what they like. I think of their interests or our conversations. I file away tiny ideas to use later. I want a gift to let the receiver know I had spent time thinking just of them. I want the gift to convey the time and thought used in its planning.
There are few things as lovely as watching a person open a neatly, hand wrapped package to find something so perfect suited for them. A quilt embroidered with the names of their grandchildren, a silly mechanical clock with a fisherman and shark tick-tocking back and forth, a set of cloth napkins and placements, a 1st edition copy of a book, an old photograph, enlarged and framed, a vintage plastic cooler for water in the fridge that matches the one in your Granny’s fridgerator.
To seek and find that little hiddden treasure is more than a gift. When they open the gift a secone place in their heart opens too.