I’ve always loved the concept of giving and receiving gifts. More recently, though, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into why I want to give someone a gift and whether or not that person will actually appreciate it. Gifts can definitely be great, but it can also be inconvenient to to the receiver when the gift is something he or she has absolutely no interest in having or using.
If you’ve ever received a gift you didn’t like or want, you know how awkward or uncomfortable that can be. It can feel rude to say no, but at the same time it takes up space. Do you give it away? How long are you supposed to keep it? Can you regift it or donate it? Or does that make you the rude one?
Gifts I didn’t actually like used to be really difficult for me to get rid of. I would feel guilty about considering getting rid of the item when that other person had bothered to think of me and get something for me.
It’s a weird situation. You’re taught from a young age not to be rude and to say thank you. But isn’t it rude to add junk to someone’s life as well? At the same time, one would think that the person trying to give you a gift would know you well enough to know what you would or wouldn’t like.
Granted, there might be times when you’re supposed to give a gift to someone you don’t know that well, such as a co-worker for the company’s Secret Santa.
Now, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t give each other gifts. I love receiving gifts, but it’s only truly fun when it’s something that I like or need. And it’s also more fun to give someone a gift when I know they really will be able to enjoy it.
I find that it’s better not to give a gift than to give one you’re not really sure the gift receiver will appreciate. And it’s not the worst thing if you need to ask that person for suggestions. It can still be a surprise if they give you some ideas. You can use those ideas as inspiration or actually pick out one of the suggestions.
When in doubt, cards or letters are always nice. Other than that, you can always bake something for the person, pick out a gift card to his or her favorite store, or check out my blog post on gift suggestions for even more ideas.
Gifts are meant to be something positive for the person receiving them, so think about that person before making a purchase.